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Real impact of Popcorn as only non-paleo food?

by 269 · December 04, 2012 at 02:14 PM

I am on a Paleo +(heavy cream in my morning coffee) plan, eating mostly grass-fed beef and some store bought meats, omega3 eggs, taking my fish oil and vitD. In other words, I eat a pretty clean paleo diet by normal standards but just want to evaluate a real impact of 3-4 cups of air-popped popcorn a few times a week(it is my wife's nightly snack on weight-watchers* and it is hard for me to control both my psychological and physical desire to join her).

*No need to discuss weight watchers, etc... just looking for an impact. Am I flooding my blood with Insulin and preventing any weight loss and impacting my health in a big way or is this amount of popcorn in my pretty strict paleo diet a nit?

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best answer

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22684 · January 18, 2011 at 06:21 PM

Likely minimal. Here's the Cons assuming you're cooking it in healthy oil(coconut?)

  • Corn has Zein a prolamine similar to gluten which "could" cause gastronomic issues, not quite on par with gluten.

  • Virtually All corn we get is GMO Montsanto crap. It's modified to grow it's own pesticide and modified to be almost entirely starch. It's scary what GMO could do to you and what the pesticides(xenestrogens etc) are doing.

  • It's virtually nutritionally empty.

  • Lectins. You're eating a seed. The plant doesn't want you to.

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575 · January 18, 2011 at 06:18 PM

I wouldnt sweat it... rare is the person who is 100% compliant with strict paleo principals ... A healthy approach to the lifestyle includes the odd "non-paleo" item. 80/20 compliance is a balanced and sane target to live by long term without any "big" impact on one's health, in my opinion.

As for fat-loss... if you're still making progress as is great, if you are not making progress, then perhaps limiting the pop corn could get your moving in the right direction again. Only you know the answer to this.

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5216 · January 18, 2011 at 10:45 PM

It's a great butter transport vehicle that is fine if consumed in moderation.

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39204 · January 18, 2011 at 06:44 PM

Were I to have an insatiable urge to eat popcorn, I would buy the organic, non-GMO variety and eat it when I have a stomach full of meat to mitigate the BG spike.

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13928 · January 19, 2011 at 04:22 AM

According to MyNetDiary (like FitDay), 4 cups of air-popped popcorn has 25g of carbs. Ouch!

Here's a few thoughts:

  1. It's best to eat carbs post-workout and not pre-slumber.
  2. Corn is still a grain and contains lectins, even when popped. So if you've got gut issues, air-popped corn will continue to aggravate them.

I indulge in air-popped corn no more than once a month. I would recommend to myself to avoid it altogether; but I just won't listen.

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15831 · January 18, 2011 at 05:52 PM

Depends on your current state of health. Are you athletic? Obese? Fine with your current body comp? What are your goals with changing your lifestyle with paleo?

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37013 · December 21, 2011 at 04:32 PM

If you are working out with intensity and corn doesn't cause digestive issues, I'd put in on a par with having rice or sweet potato as long as you aren't having a huge bowl.

I personally don't seem to digest corn very well but it causes absolutely no problems for me, unlike the afore-mentioned sweet potato.

Heirloom/organic popcorn would be worth it on the basis of flavor alone. My only suggestion would be to avoid eating out of her bowl, particularly if it's large. Put a modest amount in a coffee cup or some other smallish container and then enjoy.

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1344 · January 18, 2011 at 07:02 PM

I agree with getting organic corn, popping it in cococonut oil and enjoying it. I can't eat it because carbs and I are not friends. Even Robb Wolf "kicks up his heels" and eats corn tortillas at Mexican restaurants. I also probably wouldn't eat it as often as a few times a week.

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2711 · December 04, 2012 at 02:14 PM

Last time I was at Costco I found Popcornopolis "nearly naked" popcorn. Three ingredients: Non-GMO corn, Coconut Oil, Salt. Not too bad for a store bought pre-popped item. I have to admit it tastes pretty good - sort of buttery. Odd given theres no butter.

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3224 · December 04, 2012 at 02:08 PM

I splurge on popcorn occasionally--organic, popped in coconut oil, covered in sea salt, pastured butter, and Penzeys' "Sunny Spain" spice. Delicious! However, I've gotten to where I may do this 2-3 times in a month, and that's in a heavy month. Doing it 2-3 times a week as an after-dinner snack seems really excessive to me. You and your point-counting wife are setting up the psychological need to have food after dinner. If you or she falls off the diet of choice, that popcorn will turn into a pint of Ben and Jerry's. Been there, done that. And even if you stay on track, the eating after dinner thing can be such a slippery slope.

I know you asked for just nutritional advice, but the psychological was hard to avoid since it's so familiar to me. Hope I didn't offend.

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0 · December 04, 2012 at 03:29 AM

Amish grown popcorn is not likely to be GMO... does anyone know for sure? I can't imagine that they would get seed from Monsanto, but maybe I'm making the wrong assumption.

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0 · September 11, 2012 at 02:07 AM

I was watching football and was dying for something bad. Had organic popcorn that I microwaved in a brown bag. Added lots of Kerry Gold butter with sea salt. Was great. Ate a small bowl of it and am still loving it an hour later.

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0 · April 26, 2012 at 02:41 AM

I would just pay attention to how you feel after you eat it. I think the main thing like with all aspects of Paleo is to find the best possible source of Popcorn, say organic and heirloom. I grow some really awesome strawberry popcorn that tastes amazing and is a totally different plant then what you buy in the store. Its really satisfying and I think as an occasional indulgence it coudnt hurt. That being said I have been Paleo for the last 4 months and havent touched any grains but was craving popcorn and googled to see if it might be okay for me to have a bit tonight,,, The main thing for me is that I need to feel good after I eat it, pay attention to how you feel, are you sligish or do you experience a sugar spike, do you feel tired the next day, any digestive upsets, that sort of thing. That is how i gage if its okay for my body. I live a very clean lifestyle living in the mountains on an organic farm and so I feel a few indulgences now and then cant hurt, so far they have been mainly in the for of chocolate but tonight I am wishing for popcorn, I will let you know if my body says its a no no!!!

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0 · December 21, 2011 at 03:43 PM

Make kale chips. Those things satisfy my snacking urge for crispy and salty.

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1560 · January 19, 2011 at 01:57 AM

As far as it being"ok" to eat popcorn",does it cause you discomfort?Does it make you gain weight?Could you replace it with something else that is healthier and feel just as satisfied?

When I first started noticing an issue with corn,it became apparent that popcorn had a completely different effect on me than, say,corn tortillas.It upsets my stomach a tiny bit,but it doesn't cause the rashes,dizziness,ect that "normal" corn does. Maybe it is the GMO factor?

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7300 · January 18, 2011 at 11:02 PM

If you're gonna have it, you better enjoy it! Drench it in butter and salt. Why get the bad stuff if it doesn't even taste that good?

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