Medically the evaluation by Katherine Marengo LDN, R.D., Nutrition — composed by Jacquelyn Cafasso — to update on December 7, 2018

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Popcorn has been enjoyed as a snack for centuries, way before movie theaters made that popular. Luckily, you deserve to eat a huge volume that air-popped popcorn and consume relatively few calories.

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Because it’s short in calories, plenty of dieters believe popcorn is likewise low in carbohydrates. But this is much from the truth. Most of the calories in popcorn come indigenous carbohydrates. Corn is a entirety grain, ~ all.

Carb-rich foods items aren’t necessarily poor for you. Also on a low-carb diet, you deserve to enjoy a few handfuls of popcorn there is no going overboard. The key is to pay close fist to the offer size and minimize included oil, butter, and salt.


How countless carbs per serving?

Carbs (short for carbohydrates) are macronutrients that your body uses to develop energy. Your body needs carbohydrates to function properly. Carbohydrates aren’t negative for you, as lengthy as girlfriend consume the appropriate types.

Sugar and also refined carbs, choose desserts and also white breads, are carbohydrates too, however they’re packed v calories and also low in nutritional value. The mass of your carbs need to come native fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Popcorn is considered a totality grain food.

There are about 30 grams of carbohydrates in a offer of popcorn. A serving of popped popcorn is around 4 come 5 cup popped, i m sorry is the amount you obtain from 2 tablespoons that unpopped kernels. A offer of air-popped popcorn contains about 120 come 150 calories.

The exact amount of carbohydrates your body needs will vary relying on your age, activity level, and also overall health.

The mei Clinic recommends that 45 to 65 percent the your everyday calories come native carbohydrates. That’s the identical of about 225 to 325 grams of carbs per day because that someone top top a 2,000 calorie every day diet.

At 30 carbohydrates every serving, popcorn only offers up in between 9 and also 13 percent of your daily allotted amount of carbohydrates. In various other words, having actually one offer of popcorn won’t even come near to putting you end your day-to-day limit.


Fiber is a facility carbohydrate. Complex carbohydrates are much less processed, and more slowly spend than simple carbohydrates, like sleek sugar. Fiber disclosure bowel regularity and helps to manage cholesterol.

It can aid you maintain your weight, and also may also prevent type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular issues. It plays vital role in long-term health.

A serving of popcorn contains about 6 grams that fiber. For reference, males under 50 years of period should eat 38 grams that fiber every day and also women under 50 should have actually 25 grams. If you’re over the age of 50, you should eat around 30 grams every day if you a man, and 21 grams if she a woman.


Moderately low-carb diets commonly consist the 100 come 150 grams of carbs per day. You have the right to still reap a offer of popcorn if on a low-carb diet. The fiber content will aid keep girlfriend full and the volume can prevent friend from providing in come cravings for cake and also cookies.

If friend do select to eat popcorn together your snack, girlfriend may have to minimize other sources of carbohydrate for the day.

Since popcorn has only a small protein and also very couple of vitamins and minerals, it may not it is in the wisest selection as a continuous snack on a low-carb diet, yet can absolutely be took pleasure in on occasion.


Pouring on the butter or including too lot salt have the right to cancel the end the healthy benefits that popcorn.

Movie theater popcorn, for example, contains really high amounts of unhealthy saturation or infectious diseases worldwide fats, and lots the calories. Border this layout of popcorn to a rare treat or take into consideration sharing a small section with a friend.

To gain the wellness benefits of popcorn, shot popping your own kernels in ~ home. If you pop it in the microwave, you don’t have to use any oil or butter to make it pop.

You can’t lower the number of carbs in popcorn by food preparation it in ~ home, however you’ll have much better control over the lot of fat, sodium, and also calories.

Homemade microwave popcorn

You’ll need a microwave-safe bowl with a vented food cover to do homemade microwave popcorn:

Put 1/3 cup that popcorn kernels in the bowl, and also cover v the vented cover.Microwave for a few minutes, or till there space a pair seconds between hearing pops.Use range gloves or hot pads to eliminate the bowl from the microwave, since it will be really hot.

Homemade stove peak popcorn

Another option is to chef popcorn kernels top top the oven top. Friend will need some type of high-smoke point oil, but you can regulate the lot and form of oil friend use.

Heat 2 come 3 tablespoons that oil (coconut, peanut, or canola oil work-related best) in a 3-quart saucepan.Put 1/3 cup popcorn kernels in the saucepan and cover v a lid.Shake and also move the pan gently ago and forth over the burner.Remove the pan from the warm once the popping slows under to a couple of seconds between pops and also dump the popcorn closely into a vast bowl.Add salt come taste (and in moderation). Other healthy flavoring choices include acting paprika, nutritional yeast, chili pepper, curry powder, cinnamon, cumin, and grated cheese.

These recipes make about 8 cups, or 2 servings the popcorn.


Popcorn go contain carbs, however this no necessarily a bad thing. One-fifth the the carbohydrate in popcorn are in the type of diet fiber, i beg your pardon is great for your in its entirety health. Popcorn is a an excellent example of a high-volume, low-calorie entirety grain. If cooking correctly, it makes a healthy snack.

The smartest method to any type of diet is not eliminating totality food groups like carbohydrates. Instead, make certain you’re eating healthy carbs like entirety grains and fresh produce. Limit the lot of carbohydrates you eat indigenous sugar and processed grains.

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There’s no such thing as a “low-carb” version of popcorn. So, if you’re going to have actually popcorn, measure out your very own serving and also opt because that the all natural, butter-, and also salt-free varieties. Or pop your own in the microwave or top top the cooktop top.