Unlike most snack foods, popcorn not only tastes good, but and is actually good for you! YES – popcorn is a healthy snack. The healthiest way to eat popcorn is Air-popped popcorn. It is the perfect healthy snack because it’s low in calories and fat, as well as high in fiber and vitamins.
However, if you’re having a cheat day and want to splurge on popcorn with delicious toppings, check out our flavors - America’s Favorite Gourmet Popcorn! From caramel to cheese, cherry blossom to dark chocolate kettle corn, we have flavors for everyone! And the healthy fibers, vitamins, and protein are still there.
Let’s break down the nutritional value of one serving of air-popped popcorn (about 3 cups,) to better see the answer to the question of whether popcorn is a healthy snack.
Generally, one cup of air-popped popcorn is about 30 calories, which is great for your diet because you can eat large amounts of popcorn before the calories begin to pile up. Instead of eating a mere 14 pringles for 160 calories, you could almost eat five-and-a-half cups of air-popped popcorn!
Air-popped Popcorn is also a low-fat food. There’s hardly any fat in air-popped popcorn alone, and it’s all considered to be “healthy” monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats, not “unhealthy” saturated fats.
For a crunchy snack, air-popped popcorn is a relatively low-carb food. With one cup at just six grams of carbs, popcorn is the perfect snack for people on low-carb diets like the Atkins diet, or even the Keto diet.
Eating a diet high in fiber can lower the risk of heart disease, help weight loss, and promote digestive health. Lucky for you, popcorn is one of the highest fiber foods! Three cups of popcorn contain the same amount of fiber as one cup oatmeal or brown rice.
Surprisingly, air-popped popcorn also has a small amount of protein. While it’s not much, one serving of popcorn, contains the same amount of protein as one serving of broccoli.
In addition to all these health benefits, popcorn also contains helpful micronutrients and vitamins for your body. Some of these vitamins include Vitamin B1, B3, B6, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, and Zinc. Not to mention, popcorn is also a plant-based, whole grain food, which can make up one of your recommended six servings of whole grains per day.
When popcorn becomes unhealthy.
While popcorn by itself is a very healthy food, it becomes less-healthy based on how it is cooked and its toppings. As opposed to air-popped popcorn with 90 calories and 1 gram of fat per serving, oil-popped popcorn has 120 calories and 12 grams of fat per serving, and buttered popcorn has 192 calories and 15 grams of fat per serving. This isn’t even counting any seasonings, salt, cheese, chocolate, caramel or other toppings on the popcorn! You can see how the calories add up fast, and the nutritional value lowers when you add butter, or other tasty toppings to popcorn. But if you’re going to cheat – cheat with us 😊!