Pop-ular for Watching Weight
our best intentions, we gobbled down too much turkey over
the holidays. The plum pudding turned into plump padding,
the crescent roll into a belly roll, and those rounds of
corks popping made a button or two pop. Like millions of
Americans, we ate too much over the holidays and it's time
to get back in shape.
Falling into an unhealthy eating pattern
is an annual tradition we'd rather do without. We know the
consequences of holiday sweets and second helpings, but
we can't seem to push away from the table quick enough.
And each January, as clothing grows snug and scales tip
unfavorably, we resolve to do better.
Now is the time to take stock of the
cupboard and load up on good-for-you foods--like whole grains,
fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean meats--and reacquaint
ourselves with the local gym. It’s tempting to skip
meals, but studies have shown that eating smaller, healthful
portions throughout the day can help boost metabolism and
aid weight loss efforts. So, if you’re hungry mid-morning
or mid-afternoon, grab a smart snack that can help fuel
your metabolism while satisfying hunger pangs, like popcorn.
Compared to many snack foods, popcorn
is low in calories. Air-popped popcorn provides only 30
calories per cup. When oil-popped, it contains only 55 calories.
Even drizzled lightly with butter, it's only 90 to 120 calories
per cup. Popcorn is a whole grain food which makes it a
high-quality carbohydrate source that is not only low in
calories, but high in fiber. This means it takes longer
to chew and makes you feel full longer.
Try popping popcorn on the stovetop.
It's an economical and versatile treat the whole family
will enjoy which makes it easy on your wallet and your waistline!
Perfect Popcorn Poppin' Tips
The first step to popcorn snacking
is popping perfection. And here's how to pop it right:
Warm the heavy pan or heavy skillet.
Be sure the lid of the pan is loose enough to allow steam
Add 1/4 cup of cooking oil to the pan. Vegetable oils are
low in saturated fat. Allow the oil to heat. The best popping
temperature is between 400-460 degrees Fahrenheit. Note:
Oil burns at 500 degrees Fahrenheit, so if your oil starts
to smoke, it's too hot.
Test the heat of the oil by dropping in one or two kernels.
When the kernel spins in the oil, you're ready to add the
remaining popcorn. Pour just enough kernels to cover the
bottom of the pan.
Cover and shake the pan to be certain the oil coats each
kernel. When you hear the last few pops, remove the pan
from the heat and empty the popped popcorn into a large
For added flavor, sprinkle warm popcorn
with herbs (such as marjoram, thyme, summer savory, basil,
rosemary or sage) or spices (such as garlic, dry mustard,
curry or chili powder). For great popcorn recipes, visit