Is Popcorn Considered a Vegetable?

by Kelly Neal ; Updated September 28, 2017

Although popcorn is a delicious snack, it does not necessarily count as a vegetable in your diet.

popcorn image by Photoeyes from Fotolia.com

Whether you want to learn how to make homemade popcorn or incorporate it into your diet plan, you need to know whether or not it is categorized the same as corn fresh off the cob. Corn changes food groups depending on its harvest and preparation.

Origin

A farmer, botanist or cook, for example, would each categorize corn differently. Sweet corn harvested before fully ripening and eaten fresh is considered a vegetable because the plant is cultivated for its edible parts. Dry corn seeds, on the other hand, are more starchy than moist and therefore yields grains such as corn flour.

Preparation

Popcorn is the result of heating dry kernels until the water inside turns to steam and forces them to turn inside out. Their original moisture is then lost and only the starchy parts remain. In spite of the corn's original vegetable form, the resultant popcorn more closely resembles a starchy grain.

Nutrition

While popcorn is high in fiber and vitamins C, B1 and B5, dieters should eat it in moderation. One cup of corn before popping contains almost 200 calories and 32 grams of carbohydrates, not to mention the extra butter and salt that often comes on it.

Photo Credits

About the Author

Kelly Neal began writing arts and culture articles for various websites in 2010. She earned her dual Bachelor of Arts in English and music from The Ohio State University.