Eating Popcorn Might Reduce Cardiovascular Risks, But Not If You Eat It Like A Normal Person

Too bad the pandemic has obliterated any desire for me to be at a movie theater anytime soon, because Eat This, Not That has revealed that popcorn might be good for my heart's health. This is because popcorn is a whole grain, and whole grains are, in general, good for you.

Eat This, Not That asked registered dietitian Trista Best for some insight. "Popcorn is a whole grain, and therefore an excellent source of fiber and polyphenols. The fiber provided in popcorn helps remove cholesterol from the body, thereby reducing this substance that can be harmful to heart health."

"Polyphenols are plant compounds that act as antioxidants in the body," Best continued. "When we consume them through whole food sources, we are aiding our body in ridding itself of free radicals and toxins that can cause cellular damage and ultimately chronic illnesses."

Researchers from the University of Scranton found that not only does a single serving of popcorn contains more than 70% of the recommended daily allowance of whole grains, it also contains more polyphenols per serving than fresh corn and some fruit. But here's the thing: according to Best, you pretty much negate all those health benefits if you're eating the kind of popcorn sold in movie theaters.

"If popcorn is prepared using butter and oil, this benefit is essentially canceled," she said. You're better off eating it air-popped, light on the oil and salt, and seasoned with dry spices. I know, I know, don't shoot me, I'm just the messenger. But I do think popcorn's an underrated snack, so next time you watch a movie, make your own, and then you can feel good about doing your heart a favor while relaxing in front of the television.