People who eat popcorn have an approximately 250 percent higher daily intake of whole grains and a 22 percent higher daily intake of fiber than non-popcorn eaters, according to researchers at the Center for Human Nutrition, Nutrition Impact LLC and ConAgra Foods.
Researchers used data from the 1999-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to determine average popcorn consumption among Americans. Popcorn consumers were identified as anyone eating any amount of popcorn within the past 24 hours before taking the survey.
Total grain consumption was found to be significantly higher (20.8 percent) with significantly lower total meat consumption (14.9 percent) in popcorn eaters.
A high intake of whole-grain foods has been linked with reduced risk for coronary disease, stroke and various types of cancer and may protect against type 2 diabetes. Yet fewer than 10 percent of Americans consume the recommended three servings per day.
The researchers conclude: Popcorn may offer a healthful alternative to energy-dense, low-nutrient-dense snacks, and may have the potential to improve nutrient status in Americans of all ages and help them meet dietary guideline recommendations to consume three whole-grain servings per day.
The American Dietetic Associations Complete Food and Nutrition Guide 3rd Edition (Wiley & Sons 2006) recommends using a hot-air popper which requires no oil, so popcorn can be a quick, low-fat, low-calorie snack.
Funding for this study was provided by ConAgra Foods, Inc.
Additional research articles in the May Journal of the American Dietetic Association include:
|Contact: Jennifer Starkey|
American Dietetic Association