The Washington Post

Good news about popcorn and chocolate

Hmmm, what will it be, then? Popcorn? Chocolate? Or both?

(Len Spoden/Freelance)

Unpublished research presented this weekend at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Diego finds that popcorn has higher concentrations of polyphenols than do fruits and vegetables. Polyphenols are plant substances that are believed to serve as antioxidants; those compounds may ward off disease by protecting against harmful chemical reactions in the body. The downside: Most of those polyphenols reside in the hull — the part that gets stuck between our teeth. Also, though we throw around the terms “antioxidants” and “polyphenols,” we don't really know much about how those substance work or how our bodies actually process them. As the chemists say in this video, more research is required.

But the researchers also noted that popcorn is 100 percent whole grain and a terrific source of fiber. But cooking it in oil and adding butter and salt adds calories, fat and sodium that may lessen the snack’s nutritional value. And, they add, fruits and vegetables contain lots of other nutrients our bodies need, so you shouldn’t replace them with popcorn.

(Stephan Savoia/Associated Press)


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