Popcorn Nutrition Facts

How many calories are you really eating when you pop a bag of popcorn? The nutrition facts on the box can be so confusing!  
You don’t know whether to read the unpopped or popped nutrition facts? Well, read the “popped” facts.

3 cups of popped regular popcorn (from the package) = 120 calories, 9g fat, 12g carbohydrates
5 cups popped popcorn (kid size) from the movie theater = 470 calories, 37g fat, 22g saturated fat
I consider popcorn a healthy snack because it is a whole grain (you are eating the whole kernel of corn), it contains fiber, you can eat a few handfuls for only 100 calories, and contains magnesium (good for heart health). The only down side is that it can be full of salt and leave you feeling like you need to drink a gallon of water. Yikes.
Quick Tips: 
  • Buy the smaller bags of popcorn that only pop a portioned amount. 
  • Any lower fat brand of popcorn generally has less sodium because it is marketed towards the health conscious.
  • Make your own popcorn–preservative free! Just buy the whole kernels, add a few tablespoons to a paper bag, staple closed (one staple only), throw in microwave for a few minutes, and your done! Just add some Parmesan cheese and a pinch of salt and you have homemade popcorn.


  1. says

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog!! Congrats on being a soon-to-be-RD. Your blog looks wonderful and I can tell, just by the way you write, that you are passionate about nutrition. Good luck to you!

  2. says

    Well, if you like you can put as little as a teaspoon of oil in with the popcorn and shake it around so that the salt and anything else you want to pop it with stays stuck on the popcorn!

  3. Anonymous says

    This paper bag idea seems interesting. However, if you "staple" it and pop it in the microwave your're going to have a problem. Metal staple + microwave = bad. How do you "staple" the bag?

  4. says

    One staple is not enough to cause a spark (at least in my experience!). And, it still works if you fold the bag a few times without a staple :)

  5. Anonymous says

    I tried this with the bag rolled today…it worked great and I'll be making it again. I'm still afraid of the staple haha. Thank you!

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