Have you ever gone to the movies and left feeling a bit wide? Ever feel like that tub of popcorn on your lap has somehow ended up completely empty by the end of the movie? Whatever may have caused you to eat up, we all have at some point or another had the uncomfortable feeling of consuming a large bowl of popcorn.
Studies have found that popcorn, when prepared correctly, can be quite a healthy treat. Theater popcorn is likely not a product of such a study, it's usually bathed in butter and popped with oil, which results in high fat content. This makes the calorie intake of just one cup of popcorn from 50 to 100 almost 200 calories. If you are in the middle of watching your calorie intake, this could be quite detrimental. Although popcorn is not a “nutrient rich” food, it definitely can be a healthy snack when prepared properly.
The Better Popcorn Option: Air popped kernels is excellent alternative to concession stand popcorn. This option is rare, but there are some movie theatres that sell bags of it. The best thing to do when you know you're going to a movie theater and you want to munch on popcorn -- bring your own! Not only are you in more control of the portions, you know exactly what is in each serving. Plus, it is way better than having to wait in line for a treat that will most likely leave you feeling uncomfortable.
Popping your own corn: You can also pop the kernels in a Teflon pot and a cover. It is much less fattening than microwave popcorn. Microwave popcorn has twice as many calories as air-popped. Popping it yourself gives you more control over your popcorn calorie count. By adding Parmesan, Romano cheese or onion powder you can customize your popcorn using your favorite flavors.
So depending on what kind of popcorn you use, and what you decide to add, popcorn can be a low-calorie healthy snack. Remember, buy organic when possible. Consuming foods that have the least amount of preservatives and additives is better for your overall health.
Here are some good Popcorn Options:
1) For the Sweet Tooth Popcorn Lover: Try Trajer Joe’s Kettle Corn Popcorn, Each serving provides 130-calories, 70 from Fat. Total Fat content is 8 grams, with 0g Trans Fat, and 0 Cholesterol. There is 150 mg of Sodium and 17g total carbohydrates. There are 2 g dietary fiber, 7 g sugar, and 1g protein.
2) For the Cheese Lover: Whole Foods Brand 365 White Cheddar Cheese popcorn is 150 calories. Total Fat content is 10 grams, with 0g Trans Fat, and 5mg Cholesterol. There is 230 mg of Sodium and 13g total carbohydrates. There are 2 g dietary fiber, 0 g sugar, and 3g protein.
3) For the Butter Lover: Newman’s Own Organics Popcorn Light Butter is by far the best butter lover alternative. It contains no trans fatty acids serving and is 112 calories. Total Fat content is 3 grams, with 0g Trans Fat, and 5mg Cholesterol. There is 168 mg of Sodium and 19g total carbohydrates. There are 3.5 g dietary fiber, 1 g sugar, and 3g protein.
Rosie Acosta is a sunny California native of Mexican heritage, she writes about her passion for Yoga and Mexican Food. She transforms her grandmother's hearty recipes into organic healthy alternatives for a healthier lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter: @RosieAcosta FB: facebook.com/organicmexicangirl and visit her website organicmexicangirl.com