Do health and medical groups feel popcorn has nutritive value, too?
Popcorn is a wholesome, whole grain food which aids digestion by providing necessary roughage, also known as fiber. Health and medical associations regard popcorn as an excellent mealtime complement—sugar-free, fat-free and low in calories.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI), the federal government's cancer prevention agency, suggests fiber in the diet to reduce the risk of some forms of cancer and the American Cancer Society says that eating whole grains as part of a healthy diet has been linked to a lower risk of some cancers and other chronic diseases. The American Heart Association says that when it comes to your health, whole grains are where it’s at. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests popcorn as an easy way to boost fiber in your diet. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research lists popcorn as a smart, low/no-sugar snack. The American Diabetes Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics permit popcorn as a starch exchange on weight-control diets, and the Feingold Diet for hyperactive children permits popcorn because it contains no artificial additives.
The experts agree: Popcorn is all-around "good" food—healthy, economical and tasty.
A NOTE OF SAFETY: While popcorn is a healthful and delicious snacking choice when prepared with low-fat ingredients, it is never recommended for infants or toddlers under 5, as the kernels pose a (choking) threat to their safety (American Academy of Pediatrics). Popcorn is a whole grain, and takes longer to digest and break apart.