It depends on the type of popcorn you are eating. If it’s air-popped popcorn straight out of the popper, it’s really healthy. It gives you some fibre and a few other nutrients. But once you start to pour on the butter and salt, it becomes a less healthy choice.
There are plenty of ways to make sure popcorn stays healthy. Use the air popper and just spritz on a non-stick cooking spray or olive oil. When you spray it on, you just use a tiny bit. If you choose a microwave popcorn, choose the one that has no trans fat and is lower in fat (no more than 3-4 grams per serving). You can also find low-sodium options.
Finally, a word about movie popcorn. Movie popcorn is loaded with fat and sodium, and that’s even before you put extra butter on it. A small popcorn has approximately 500 calories. It could be a meal – and not a healthy meal at that.
Shannon Crocker is a Registered Dietitian and Principal Consultant with S. Crocker Consulting. An experienced nutrition communications specialist, Shannon consults to government, non-profit organizations and corporate clients across Canada. Through presentations, professional training sessions, consumer workshops, media interviews and nutrition articles (Web and print), Shannon promotes healthy food for healthy living.
She has appeared on various media outlets including Breakfast Television, CH Morning Live, CTV Toronto News and CTV Halifax Live at Five. Shannon is a regular nutrition expert for Toronto Star’s weekly food column, The Dish, which offers insight into restaurant choices. Shannon has developed innovative nutrition resources, campaigns and education programs that encourage Canadians to enjoy healthier foods. A mom of two young boys, avid cook and foodie, Shannon specializes in providing real life food and nutrition advice for children, women and families. To learn more, visit http://www.shannoncrocker.com/.