“It is better to make the popcorn independently at home and thus both enjoy the taste and gain a healthy nutritional advantage,” advises Mariana Auerbach, director of the dietary service at Klalit Health Services in the Dan-Petah Tikva district, ahead of International Popcorn Day tomorrow (Thursday). Auerbach provides a series of recommendations for making the popcorn in a healthier way and for consuming other healthy dietary substitute snacks.
“It is possible to buy roasted corn kernels to make popcorn, but it is important to buy them as raw material as it is and without various additives,” she explains. “When preparing them, you can put them in a plastic bowl designed for the microwave, and then prepare them. In this way, they contain a reduced amount of calories, and are also nutritious and satisfying. On the other hand, the popcorn found in packages ready to be prepared in the microwave is rich in fat and carries many calories.”
Orbach also recommends healthy substitutes. “Fresh and cooked vegetables provide us with a large amount of dietary fiber, which is essential for maintaining normal health in general and in particular the health of the digestive system,” she says. “Regarding being overweight and maintaining weight, the presence of fiber in the stomach creates a feeling of satiety, and enables better control over eating needs and habits.”
According to her, winter vegetables are also rich in vitamins, thus strengthening the immune system. “These simple foods can be turned into delicious, nutritious, low-calorie snacks. For example, cut into strips a variety of vegetables such as red pepper, carrot, cucumber, kohlrabi, cabbage, cauliflower and green beans. Arrange the vegetables on a huge, flat plate by groups in a variety of colors and sprinkle them with a mixture of za’atar or blush. It is also possible to cut an artichoke into strips, cook in salt water and season with lemon.”
She also recommends boiled or roasted legumes: “Roasted legumes are a delicious, satisfying, very nutritious and especially warm ‘snack’ for the cold days, such as chickpeas, dry peas and soybeans. It is important to note that the legumes are not fried, salt-free and without dyes dish”. According to her, it should also be noted that three quarters of a cup of legumes is equal to one slice of bread. Therefore, you can “nibble” from them, but in moderation.
On the other hand, she recommends being careful of eating crackers in large quantities, which contain many calories, as well as salty snacks of various kinds, which contain large amounts of fat and calories. “It is important to beware of the temptation of eating cookies that supposedly look small, but the reduced appearance is deceiving and we are tempted to eat a larger amount of them – and thus without feeling like finishing the whole package,” she explains. “It is also important to minimize the consumption of sweets of all kinds, chocolate of all kinds, Halva snacks and dried fruits.”
According to her, it is recommended to avoid the hot drinks as much as possible from the chocolate, cocoa and various chocolate drinks, which contain large amounts of fat and calories. On the other hand, it is recommended to drink more herbal tea of its various types, which does not contain calories and also has a relaxing property. You can also combine warm soup drinks consisting of fresh vegetables.