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Is Popcorn Keto-Friendly?

Posted by Steven Bier on

A ketogenic diet is a kind of diet designed to treat several neurological diseases like epilepsy. They also improve the risk factors of heart attack, cancer, and even Parkinson’s disease. Now, how does popcorn fit into this topic? Well, a ketogenic diet is a low carb diet that helps you lose weight and has numerous health benefits, and popcorn is a low carb snack which people on the diet, with moderation, can indulge in with little to no guilt!

Now, the main air of a ketogenic diet is to reduce the carbohydrate intake so that the body will be forced to convert the available body fat to glucose as its primary source of energy. So when you reduce those carbs, your body-brain will send a signal to your body that it needs another source of energy. Your body will respond by using its stored fats as sugar source by converting them to glucose. The one diet you should “forbid” when you are on keto is grain. Grain is carb-rich and should be treated as a treat and not friendly food. Popcorn is a carb-rich variety of corn kernel with a hard shell and when it is heated, the pressure inside the grain causes the kernel to pop. When it pops it is turned inside out showing the white flakes inside. Although popcorn is low in calories, there are several reasons some believe you should stay clear of popcorn while you are on a keto diet for several reasons.

Firstly, it is not recommended for a person on keto to eat carb-rich foods of which popcorn is a contender in that category. Foods that have high starch content, as well as carbohydrate, should usually be avoided. If a person is near their carb limit for the day, he or she should question if they need a cup of popcorn, specifically when their carb intake is already high for the day. However, it is all about the amount of popcorn you eat. Five cups of air-popped popcorn have a total of about 20 carbs; if you choose not to eat an excessive amount of popcorn, you can definitely indulge in this low-carb snack on a keto diet.

On the other hand, even though popcorn is low on calories, while you are counting the macros, it is the carb content that is the main killer. Since popcorn is made up of mostly carbs, some people may think that popcorn may pose a problem for people on the keto diet. However, a cup of popcorn contains about 5 grams of carbs, which is way below the recommended carb intake for a person to achieve ketosis. Most ketogenic diet guidelines recommend a person to consume 20-60 grams of carbs per day, and it is believed that a person should not exceed 1 gram per 1 kg of body weight in order to successfully achieve ketosis. In the grand scheme of the keto diet, 1 cup of popcorn should not threaten a person’s keto diet.

It is important to think about the state of the food you’re eating, whether it is processed or organic, especially on a keto diet. It is normal for people to avoid processed foods as much as they can and people on keto are not left out. Nearly all commercial popcorn is filled with artificial colorings, flavors and preservatives. Since you want to reduce your sugar intake in your body and a lot of processed foods are sugar-rich, it is important to check what kind of popcorn you are purchasing, whether it is made with real ingredients, and how that may affect your keto diet.

Additionally, there are some instance where carbs are necessary for a person on keto diet if they are on CKD (cyclical ketogenic diet). Cyclical ketogenic diet is meant for athletes on a keto diet. These individuals train very hard so that they need carbs for their workouts. This is another instance in which popcorn is a healthy low-carb snack which would fulfil athletes’ required intake of carbohydrates.

So, is popcorn among the keto friendly foods? In the end, it all depends on moderation. In small portions, popcorn is a delicious, yet healthy low-carb snack that people on the keto diet can enjoy.


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