By: Kim Beavers Email
By: Kim Beavers Email

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.

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