Weatherford Democrat

Extension News

October 27, 2013

EXTENSION NEWS: Want a good snack? Get your popcorn ready

By KATHY SMITH

One of my favorite Halloween snacks is popcorn and especially popcorn balls. Popcorn is one of America’s truly native foods. Popcorn was an important food of the Aztec Indians. It was also an integral part of their ceremonies, often used to decorate ceremonial headdresses, necklaces and statues of their gods.

Today, Americans eat 54 quarts of popcorn per person per year. And while movies and popcorn seem to go together, theaters are not the largest users of popcorn. About 70 percent is purchased by consumers at retail stores in raw or popped form and eaten at home.

How healthy is all this popcorn? Like most foods, it depends on what you put on it and what you eat with it. Plain popcorn is a nutritious, low-calorie snack. However, drenched with butter or margarine and doused with salt, popcorn begins to fall out of favor with nutritionists and dietitians.

Add sugary syrups and you have a snack that promotes cavities.

Prepared via the air-pop method in a microwave oven or with an inexpensive air-pop machine, a cup of plain popcorn contains fewer than 30 calories and is virtually fat and sodium free. It’s also a good source of fiber (about 2 grams per cup), which adds bulk and thereby makes this nonfattening food quite filling.

Every tablespoon of oil used for popping adds around 100 calories, as does every tablespoon of melted butter added after popping. More than two-thirds of the popcorn sold today comes already buttered and salted and ready to microwave-pop in two to three minutes. Calories for microwave popcorn vary from 40 per cup for “light” varieties to 60 or 70 per cup for “regular” versions. Sodium levels also vary highly, from 50 to 150 milligrams per cup.

If you’re interested in controlling the fat and salt in your popcorn, start with plain kernels and an air-pop machine. The two main types of popcorn, yellow pearl and white rice, pop differently. Yellow pearl kernels produce a greater volume of popcorn per kernel than do white rice ones. On the other hand, white rice popcorn does not produce any hulls to get stuck in your teeth.

Text Only
Extension News
  • Kathy smith mug.jpg EXTENSION NEWS: Food safety for expecting mothers

    Pregnancy is an exciting yet critical time in a woman’s life. Because the mother’s health has direct effects on the health of her baby, there is a lot to be concerned with. Along with nutrition comes the importance of food safety during pregnancy. Pregnant women are at increased risk for foodborne illnesses because of the hormonal changes that occur. While these changes are necessary for survival of the fetus, they also suppress the immune system.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kathy smith mug.jpg EXTENSION NEWS: Eat more fruits and vegetables for health

    Many people think that eating healthier will automatically help them slim down. And no wonder — most weight-loss plans emphasize the importance of incorporating more fruit and vegetables in the diet.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kathy smith mug.jpg EXTENSION NEWS: Raising children with good morals

    How do our children learn right from wrong? How do we teach them to be the kind of people who enhance rather than diminish the quality of life in our society? How do we pass on to them a sense of morality, values and social responsibility?

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kathy smith mug.jpg EXTENSION NEWS: National Picnic Month

    July is National Picnic Month.

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kathy smith mug.jpg EXTENSION NEWS: Sun safety tips

    Summer is in full swing and many, with the 4th of July approaching, will be outdoors enjoying the lake, pool or just time with friends. With the exception of the past week or so, daily temperatures are getting warmer and soon that Texas heat will reach 100 degrees. Take precautions and keep from getting too much sun. The sun also has UV rays which can be harmful to the skin. 

    June 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kathy smith mug.jpg EXTENSION NEWS: Eating the rainbow with fruits and vegetables

    There are many things we can do that lead to a healthier lifestyle. One important component is meeting our body’s nutrient needs by eating the right foods in the right amounts, which includes our intake of fruits and vegetables. Eating fruits and vegetables benefits our body by providing nutrients that maintain healthy and may reduce the risk of developing a chronic disease.

    June 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kathy smith mug.jpg EXTENSION NEWS: Think safety when grilling

    No one really wants to think about food poisoning when they are enjoying the outdoors and grilling food. But food safety is just as important when you are grilling outdoors as when you are in your kitchen. 

    June 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kathy smith mug.jpg EXTENSION NEWS: The essentials of water

    What is odorless, tasteless and has no calories, but is something we need everyday? Water.

    June 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kathy smith mug.jpg EXTENSION NEWS: Some carbohydrate choices are better than others

    For many people, cutting and reducing the amount of carbohydrates is necessary because of having diabetes, being pre-diabetes or having high triglycerides. When you look at the nutrition facts labels on many of your favorite foods, you may be surprised how many carbs they have and wonder how you can fit your favorite foods into a lower-carb diet.

    May 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kathy smith mug.jpg EXTENSION NEWS: Helping your children build self-esteem

    Self-esteem can be important in order to be happy and successful in life. A person who has talents that help them achieve, yet lacks self-esteem, can become a major road block in being successful in a relationship, job and almost everything.

    May 18, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA