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.
- 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.