Is Protein Popcorn A YAAASS QUEEN, Or A Girl... Don't Do It?
For those of you wondering what Girl...Don’t Do It is all about, it is my vlog show in which I will review a trendy “health” food, and applying the knowledge that I gained from doing Fitness Genes, I will decide if this food is a “YAAASS QUEEN” or a “Girl...Don’t Do It!”
So for this week's episode, I am digging into the world of protein popcorn!
So I was walking out of the gym one day after doing my daily morning cardio routine (30 min on either the treadmill or elliptical) ...
And right as I was walking by their merchandise store, I noticed they had some new treats for sale.
So I am a huge health foodie, and I always love learning about new foods on the market, especially high protein foods because I don't really eat meat anymore.
So I'm always looking for more ways to increase my protein intake (especially because protein is good at curbing your appetite, which will naturally make you want to eat less, and decrease the amount of calories that you consume. This then could help lead to weight loss).
The protein popcorn definitely caught my eye because I'm also a huge popcorn lover.
So it truly felt like I would be getting the best of both worlds with this snack.
So first, I like to look at the serving size, which is located on the nutrition facts label towards the top.
So the thing about the serving size that you want to be mindful of is that the serving size is not always reflective of what people will normally eat in one serving. A lot of times, companies like to choose a serving size that makes their product look more attractive rather than what people typically eat.
Not knowing this could potentially be hindering your ability to manage your weight because you might be consuming more calories than you thought you were.
Let's check out the serving size for the popcorn…
So the information listed is for if you ate the entire bag, which is nice because I believe that this amount is what most people would consume in one serving. So that checks out. So far so good.
The next part that I like to look at is the calories, and the macronutrient breakdown.
So one of the biggest things that I've learned while going through my Fitness Genes journey is how important it is to compare the serving size, calories, and the macronutrients together when evaluating if whether or not a food is good for me to eat.
Prior to that, I would only ever look at the calories of a food. If the calories were too high, I wouldn't eat it. And I almost never looked at the macronutrients.
But during my Fitness Genes journey, I learned that calories only tell one part of the story. I learned that you really need to understand the macronutrients in combination with the calories and the serving size, in order to get the full picture about whether or not a food will be good for you.
So let's look at the calories first…
So my immediate thought, just looking at the calories, is that 240 calories for popcorn is just too high. Most other popcorn brands tend to be about half those calories...
But selective attention marketing strikes again! (And fucked up my judgment).
It definitely got me good this time. So I know in the video I said that 240 calories was too high, but later I realized that this was for 50g of popcorn, which I think is a decent guess at how much people will eat in one sitting. Most other popcorn brands are displaying calorie information for around 30g of popcorn, which I definitely think is an undershot of how much popcorn people will eat in one sitting.
If we were to modify another popcorn brand's nutrition info for the same amount (50g), it would probably be around the same amount of calories. Unfortunately, these other popcorn brands do the selective attention marketing trick where they put the calories on the nutrition facts label for a serving size that makes their food look attractive, and not what people typically eat.
I know it sucks to hear, but let's at least be grateful that we figured it out!
So with this new information, the calories listed for this amount actually checks out to me. But remember, calories only tell one part of the story. So let's look at the macronutrients to see where the calories are coming from…
OOOFF, GIRL! So right off the bat, I already want to say girl… don’t do it because of the high amount of saturated fat.
Through Fitness Genes, I learned that I code dominantly for the APOA2 gene. This essentially means that when I eat food that is high in saturated fat, it is much harder for my body to break it down, and oftentimes that will result in me holding excess fat, which becomes excess weight.
So it is definitely important for me to watch how much saturated fat I am consuming. However, that doesn't mean that I never eat fat, or that fat overall is a bad thing.
Contrary to what we typically think, eating fat is actually really good at helping to curb your appetite as well. It helps to make you feel full and satisfied, and triggers the hormones in your body that tell you to stop eating. The thing that you want to be careful about is just making sure that you aren't going over your daily recommended amount.
As well as making sure that you are consuming fats that are agreeable with your body.
So the last part that I like to look at is the ingredients list. This will help me try to make an educated guess as to where the source of the macronutrients is coming from, and decide if that is a reasonable ingredient.
It is clear that the saturated fat is coming from the large amount of coconut oil listed in the ingredients.
I’m sure some of you are wondering how I know that a large amount of coconut oil has been used on this popcorn.
Ingredients lists are formatted so that the most used ingredients are listed first, and the least used ingredients are towards the end. As you'll see on this ingredients list, coconut oil is the second listed ingredient.
And for those of you that don't know, coconut oil/coconut-based products tend to be very high in saturated fat.
Saturated fat is not the best source of fat for us to consume because "it raises "bad" LDL cholesterol levels, which increases the risk of heart disease."
So in general, you should try to keep your saturated fat intake low, but if you are going to have it, coconut-based products would probably be the best way to go.
However, as I mentioned before, I have the saturated fat sensitivity that I discovered through Fitness Genes. So I really have to be mindful of how much saturated fat I consume.
So ultimately I'm going to have to say girl… don’t do it on this product. Even though the calories are in line with the serving size and the ingredients are decent, the saturated fat content is too high for me, especially given that I code dominantly for the APOA2 gene.
I love the concept of protein popcorn, and I hope that another, less saturated fat version appears on the market very soon (or at least a protein popcorn seasoning).
So that's it for Girl... Don't Do It this week! If you have suggestions for foods that you would love for me to review on a future episode, please feel free to hit me up on social media (@dayshaveronica or @yesqueenlife), or email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Girl... Don't Do It submission.”
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In love, peace, and unapologetic healthiness,