Is White Popcorn Keto-Friendly?
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Humans have been eating popcorn for thousands of years. Currently, popcorn is a popular snack not just at the movies, but also at home because it is easy to prepare and is very affordable.
Popcorn varieties differ in the way they are cooked and also their color. One type of popcorn is white popcorn. What makes white kernels unique is that they tend to be softer and smaller. But is white popcorn keto-friendly? We cover the nutritious benefits of white popcorn, its carb count, and the best type of white popcorn for the keto diet!
What is White Popcorn?
Popcorn isn’t just popcorn. There are many ways to prepare it and there are many types, one of which is white popcorn. White popcorn has, well, white kernels that pop a little smaller than yellow popcorn. It’s less popular than the yellow popcorn, which is usually found in cinemas and stores.
When it comes to flavor, white popcorn tastes almost the same as yellow popcorn, but some would argue that white popcorn is less flavorful and more corn tasting. Despite the blander taste, it has a more tender texture with bright white flakes.
White popcorn also has smaller hulls, making it better than yellow. Some white varieties are even hull-less. This does not mean that the kernels have no hulls. When they’re popped, they just explode enough for you not to feel the hardness in your mouth.
White kernels, like yellow, can also produce snowflake- or mushroom-shaped flakes. Snowflake-shaped white popcorn has an irregular shape and is usually larger and softer. It’s the kind you’re most likely to find in movie theaters and grocery stores.
Meanwhile, mushroom-shaped white popcorn has thick hulls and more moisture. Their roundness makes them ideal for chocolate-covered or caramel-coated popcorn.
White Popcorn Nutrition
Is there a uniqueness to white popcorn’s nutrition that cannot be found in the yellow one? There isn’t, except for the fact that white popcorn is slightly higher in calories and carb count. Though the difference is very minimal.
For instance, a cup of white popcorn contains about 31 calories, while the same size serving of yellow popcorn has about 28 calories. The extra 3 calories probably won’t hurt as popcorn is generally a low energy-dense food. They have fewer calories by weight than high energy-dense foods.
White popcorn is also a great source of fiber, meeting more than 14% of your daily recommended intake at a 4-cup serving. Aside from that, it also has some fat and protein, which are necessary for keto. But don’t depend on popcorn to meet your fat and protein needs as it can be high in carbs and may kick you out of ketosis if you have too much.
White popcorn is also low in the essential amino acids, lysine and tryptophan, which makes it an incomplete source of protein. It also meets 2% of your daily value for vitamin A at a 4-cup serving.
White popcorn is also gluten-free, meaning it’s safe to serve it to anyone with a sensitive digestive tract. It also has antioxidants called polyphenols, which help fight against free radicals.
White popcorn is a whole-grain food, and most of its calories come from its carb content. It is also thought that it has a slightly higher amount of carbs than yellow popcorn. We take a look at how many carbs there are in white popcorn, depending on how it is prepared.
Air-Popped White Popcorn
Air-popped white popcorn is the best way to enjoy white popcorn on keto because it is low in carbs and is healthier than other ways to prepare it. One cup contains about 6 grams of carbs and 5 grams of net carbs.
This keto-friendly way to prepare white popcorn can be made even better if you butter it. Popcorn tastes better with melted butter! And it will make the salt stick more to the kernels.
Salting your kernels is important to help curb the effects of keto flu. Then keto flu is a much-dreaded side effect of carb withdrawal, that is easy to treat with electrolyte supplements or by adding more salt to your meals.
You can also add cheese to popcorn to help give it more flavor! Keto flu is a much-dreaded side effect of carb withdrawal but that’s easy to treat with electrolyte supplements or by adding salt to your meals.
Oil-Popped White Popcorn
Oil-popped white popcorn is close in carb count with the air-popped, although they are usually higher. On average, it contains 7 grams of carbs and 6 grams of net carbs per cup.
Fat-wise, it has 6 grams per cup. But if you want a higher fat intake, make sure to cook it with good fats or non-vegetable oil like coconut oil and peanut oil. This will help you meet your daily fat requirement without increasing your carb intake.
As with air-popped popcorn, feel free to add salt and cheese to it!
Microwavable White Popcorn
Microwavable white popcorn has the same amount of carbs and net carbs per cup, with a little more fat, at 3 grams per cup.
We don’t really recommend this type of popcorn, whether you’re on keto or not. Its packaging and flavorings contain PFOAs, the same thing that gives Teflon pans their bad reputation, and diacetyl, which is a chemical that can cause lung issues when inhaled. The fats in this type of popcorn are also not healthy, and it’s loaded with preservatives and other harmful chemicals.
How to Make White Popcorn
If you want to make your own white popcorn at home, this recipe is easy to follow! All you need to prepare is the following
- ¼ cup white kernels
- 2 tbsp cheddar powder (optional)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp oil
- Salt, to taste
Watch this video to see the instructions.
Is White Popcorn Keto-Friendly?
When talking about popcorn, white popcorn is usually harder to find in stores. But if you happen to get some, then, by all means, enjoy a cup. White popcorn is a little higher in carbs than yellow but munching on a few kernels won’t kick you out of ketosis.
We recommend going for air-popped or oil-popped white popcorn, and adding butter, salt, and cheese to make the most out of your keto snack. Microwavable popcorn contains toxic chemicals that may harm your body, so avoid it as much as possible! And don’t forget to track your daily carb count so as not to get kicked out of ketosis.