Although sweet corn and popcorn share the same name, they are very different in nutritional value. Sweet corn is classified as a vegetable, while popcorn is a whole grain. Sweet corn has a much higher starch content than popcorn because of its short harvesting time. ChooseMyPlate.gov states that one cup of cooked sweet corn counts as one serving of vegetable, while three cups of popcorn count as a serving of whole grain. Both provide the same amount of fiber, which is four grams per serving.
Sweet corn can be a part of a healthy diet if not consumed too often. It is a starchy vegetable, along with potatoes, acorn squash, and peas. Leafy green vegetables contain fewer calories and less carbohydrates, and are recommended to be eaten daily.
On the other hand, popcorn is a great snack to have in your diet. When trying to switch out half your grains for whole grains, popcorn is an excellent choice. Just be wary of certain popcorn that have added fats and salts in them. The more organic the better! So whether it’s an ear of fresh corn once a week during these last few weeks of summer, or sitting back with some hot popcorn, enjoy it before the cold comes!
-Adapted from Tufts Health and Nutrition Letter, Vol. 34, No.5