Popcorn has long held the title as the “Ultimate Movie Theater Snack.”
The bite-size puffs of air always seem to disappear before the movie has even finished – it’s just that good.
Outside of the theater, popcorn remains a staple snack for adults and kids alike.
But is it healthy for you?
Popcorn is traditionally thought to be a pretty healthy snack compared to candy and potato chips, with only 30 grams of carbs per serving size, and a relatively low-calorie count.
While this may seem like good news and an excuse to start binging on popcorn in a guilt-free fashion, you should also be aware that anything added to plain popcorn changes up the story.
That’s right, that butter you love smothering over your popcorn is adding a lot of fat.
Just one tablespoon of butter can add around 100 calories to the popcorn, and considering that a small popcorn at your average movie theater has 20 grams of fat, you can see just how much of a difference the toppings play.
The same is true for microwavable popcorn found in stores. A bag of Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop has 100 calories per bag, while the Movie Theater Butter style popcorn from the same brand is 160 calories per bag.
The addition of other flavors can also affect the number of calories, and in turn, carbs that you’re taking in.
Think twice before going to town on that holiday tin of popcorn, specifically the caramel and kettle corn.
You must also take into consideration how the popcorn is prepared, or should we say popped.
Air popped popcorn contains 30g of carbs per cup, but oil popped popcorn will average out at 55g per cup.
A Healthier Option
There are many healthy popcorn options on the market, and most cater to one specific health request.
For example, Skinny Pop popcorn has 150 calories per serving, with 15 grams of carbohydrates.
ips Perfect Pop has the same number of calories per bag but has around 3 more grams of protein.
Why is this important?
Protein is what helps our bodies burn fat and build muscle.
The more protein in the popcorn, the more energy and muscle building power it will have.
A bag of ips Perfect Pop has 5 grams of healthy whey protein per bag, which is the equivalent to around 20 almonds.
They also contain no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives that you would get with traditional movie theater style popcorn.
This means that the White Cheddar version is just as healthy as the Classic Salt style, which is more than you can say about other popular brands of popcorn that offer a variety of flavors but each with increasing carbs, sugar, and sodium.
Anything in excess can have an adverse effect, so if you’re going to indulge in a snack, try to find something with health benefits that outweigh the things your body doesn’t need.