How healthy any given popcorn is depends entirely on the manner that you eat it.
It is healthy if eaten in its purest form. I am talking of whole-grain, antioxidant-rich snack food whose calorie content is low. If you were to eat three cups of air-popped popcorn, you get exposed only to 1 gram of fat, 4 grams of fiber and 93 calories.
The problem sets in when it comes to theater popcorn which is usually popped in coconut oil, and then buttery topping and salt are added. This and its clean-living relative have nothing in common, CNN reports.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest published a report in which they explain a medium bucket with 20 cups of popcorn has the following ingredients: 1,200 calories, 60 grams of saturated fat and 980mg of sodium. Eating just 3 cups from this bucket will have you consume a day’s worth of saturated fat. Remember chances are you will take more than three cups.
What can I do to ensure healthy popcorn?
If you happen to purchase pre-popped popcorn from the supermarket, confirm the nutrient labels like sugars and sodium. Also compare the sizes because the nutrient labels vary with sizes as well. For instance, kettle corn has up to 4 teaspoons of sugar per 1¼-cup serving while Skinny Pop’s original popcorn has zero grams of sugar and close to 4 cups per serving.
Similarly, the amount of sodium varies as well. Skinny Pop’s original popcorn has 75 milligrams as opposed to Wise’s white cheddar version with 365 milligrams.
For those popping at home, it is vital that you go for lighter or lower-fat versions. Keenly watch on the amount of butter and salt that you are adding. Instead of using these, you may find it helpful to replace these with herbs like red pepper flakes, oregano or basil. Parmesan cheese can be a perfect replacement as well.