Popcorn: The Snack With Even Higher polyphenol Levels Than..

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Popcorn: The Snack With Even Higher polyphenol Levels Than..

Postby Fallen_Horse » Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:38 am

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Re: Popcorn: The Snack With Even Higher polyphenol Levels Th

Postby jpowell » Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:04 am

Hmm... interesting premise but I recently came to the conclusion that factoring water and fibre content out any analysis of my nutrition is a good idea. My reasoning is:

1. Water - I am incredibly unlikely to get too much from food/food ingredients alone, so drinking water (including teas), water added to food (soups, drinks), and amount of water extracted from fruit and vegetables (juice) can be adjusted to give me optimal water intake. Adjustment is very cheap.

2. Fibre - by eating mostly whole foods and fruits and vegetables, it is almost impossible to get too little fibre, and getting a little bit too much (up to 3-5x RDI) seems to pose no real problems. Getting a LOT too much is also pretty unlikely, unless you really plan your diet hard in that direction.

3. Everything else - micronutrients (vitamins, minerals and desirable optionals like particular antioxidants or possibly enzymes) and caloric nutrients/macronutrients (various types of fats, carbohydrates and aminos). These are the things I might have too much or too little of, and the things that are going to be a cost factor in my diet. I figure I can get calories/kilojoules pretty cheaply, of carbs, fats, or even protein, so it is not the food cost per kilojoule that interests me, or even macronutrient ratios as much as the amount of each nutrient per kilojoule and per dollar.

If I feel the need to grossly oversimplify things, I can classify foods as nutrient cheap or nutrient expensive (or somewhere in between) and, orthogonal to this, as energy dense or nutrient dense (or somewhere in between).

Under this reasoning, I am not sure popcorn looks so relatively impressive any more... not that bad, but maybe not that good either... by all means eat some if you feel like it. :-)
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Re: Popcorn: The Snack With Even Higher polyphenol Levels Th

Postby Fallen_Horse » Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:02 am

Not sure what you are getting at here. Popcorn is high 'micronutrient per dollar' under your methodology!
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Re: Popcorn: The Snack With Even Higher polyphenol Levels Th

Postby jpowell » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:09 am

I suppose my reaction was to the premise mentioned in the article that popcorn should be considered high because the polyphenols in fruits and vegetables are diluted in water.... they make it sound like that's somehow a problem.

Doing some arithmetic of my own and referencing www.phenol-explorer.eu it seems to me (I could be wrong) that:

- Yes, popcorn is indeed cheaper for polyphenols than many fruits and vegetables, but actually quite comparable to many, and this disregards other nutrients that may likely be in the fruits and veges but not so much in the popcorn, probably giving the F&V an edge in overall nutrient value per dollar.

- On a price of a single type of micronutrient basis, why not compare it to other foods that score well on this index, like cloves. They seem to be about 5-10 times cheaper.

- Polyphenol density per kilojoule: popcorn comes out better than some fruits and veges, but not nearly as good as many others, or as lots of herbs and spices.

End conclusion seems to revert to something like the usual:
"Eat a good range colourful and flavourful natural foods if you want lots of antioxidants, and be sure to include cloves. Fruits and vegetables contain a good nutritional range of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins as well as various types of fats, carbs and aminos. Including some grains, seeds and nuts may help to keep one's diet a little cheaper/more affordable than otherwise while meeting macronutrient requirements."

I don't see any particular argument in this for eating popcorn except "it's ok to have some if you like it."
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Re: Popcorn: The Snack With Even Higher polyphenol Levels Th

Postby Fallen_Horse » Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:56 pm

[quote="jpowell"]
End conclusion seems to revert to something like the usual:
"Eat a good range colourful and flavourful natural foods if you want lots of antioxidants, and be sure to include cloves. Fruits and vegetables contain a good nutritional range of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins as well as various types of fats, carbs and aminos. Including some grains, seeds and nuts may help to keep one's diet a little cheaper/more affordable than otherwise while meeting macronutrient requirements."

That's exactly what I think we should go for. I am just happy to see popcorn have such a healthy benefit, especially since grains have taken a thorough beating with all of the paleo talk going on these days. I think the article just gives some good info on why popcorn is a healthier grain to have in your diet than wheat or whatnot. Popcorn is not a junk food! :D
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