Popcorn in its most natural form is really a great snack. It is a whole grain and full of fiber. What we get at the store can also be good too -- but not so good in terms of fat and sodium content per serving.
I have taken the guess work out of shopping for healthy popcorn and given some suggestions below.
Best choices of microwave popcorn:
- Orville Redenbacher Smart Pop 100 Calorie Butter or Kettle Korn flavors
- Orville Redenbacher Smart Pop Butter
- Act II 94% fat-free butter
- Act II 100 Calorie Butter
Worst choices of microwave popcorn:
- Pop Secret Extra Butter, Kettle Korn, and Homestyle
- Orville Redenbacher Movie Theater Butter
- Orville Redenbacher Caramel
What to Look For:
- Zero Trans fat: ingredient label should not contain words “partially hydrogenated”
- Low in saturated fat and calories: remember to look at cups popped for serving size
- High in fiber: Try to choose a popcorn with at least 3-4 grams of fiber per serving
- Whole grains: The Dietary Guidelines recommend making half your grains whole grain, and popcorn fits into this recommendation.
- Fiber: fiber is important for proper digestion and helps lower cholesterol.
- Potassium: potassium helps balance the sodium in our bodies. However, those with kidney problems should avoid foods high in potassium.
The best way to eat popcorn is AIR POPPED.
- Air poppers are still around and cost between $20-30.
- Air popped popcorn contains no fat or sodium.
Flavor possibilities for air popped popcorn:
- Kroger brand popcorn seasonings include: white cheddar, Nacho cheddar, and Movie Theater Butter (serving size: ½ teaspoon)
- I can’t Believe it’s not Butter Spray (serving size: 5 sprays)
Bottom Line: Enjoy your popcorn at home the healthy way, and keep your “Movie Theater Butter” popcorn for special occasions at the movie theater.