I’m a self-proclaimed popcorn fanatic. I can’t seem to get enough of the stuff. It makes a great low-calorie snack and it satisfies the craving for crunchy and salty, which many of us have. However, when you’re on a low-carb diet, you might need to think twice about dipping into that bag of popcorn.
If you’re wondering how many carbs are in popcorn, you’re not alone. I’m sure anyone starting a low-carb or keto diet has wondered this at some point.
» You might be interested to know if Deviled Eggs are Keto Friendly.
Is it okay to eat popcorn on a low-carb diet? In this post, we’ll answer four important questions:
- How many carbs are in popcorn?
- What is a serving size of popcorn?
- Is popcorn healthy?
- Is popcorn keto friendly?
How Many Carbs Are in Popcorn?
In one cup of popcorn, there are 6 grams of carbs and 1 gram of fiber. That makes 5 net grams of carbs per cup.
This carb count is for just the popcorn itself, not counting any toppings or seasonings you might put on it. That means that not all types of popcorn are equivalent, so you can’t just reach for any popcorn and get this same carb count.
The number of carbs in popcorn will vary greatly depending on your definition of a serving size and on the type of popcorn you are eating.
What is a Serving Size of Popcorn?
A conservative serving size for popcorn – particularly for someone on a diet – is just 1 cup.
However, many brands of microwave popcorn consider a serving size to be between 3 and 6 cups of popped corn.
Here are two popular brands for comparison:
- Pop Secret Butter Flavor – Serving Size = 3 cups; 12 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fiber
- Skinny Girl Orville Redenbacher – Serving size = 6 cups; 28 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber
The number of carbs in popcorn will remain the same if you’re popping your own at home from kernels, so that’s the safest way to know exactly what you’re eating.
Is Popcorn Healthy?
The thing about popcorn is that it’s not an unhealthy food. It just often get a bad reputation because of the additives and extras that are often added to popcorn for flavoring.
Popcorn is actually quite a healthy snack, when eaten plain or with just a bit of salt or olive oil for flavoring. It’s an all-natural, whole-grain food.
When air popped, there are just 31 calories in a 1 cup serving and it has beneficial fiber and bulk that will keep you full longer.
So, yes popcorn can be a healthy snack, without the oil, butter, salt, and artificial flavorings, and when eaten in moderation. Check out the most healthy brands here.
Movie-theater popcorn and similar brands that are heavily flavored or packed with sugar are not so healthy. These versions contain way more calories, carbs, and sugar and are not a healthy snack.
Is Popcorn Keto Friendly?
Yes, popcorn can be a keto-friendly food when you choose the right type. Since a small portion is relatively low in carbs and doesn’t have too many calories, it can be a keto-approved snack.
When asking whether popcorn is keto friendly, you have to again consider the type of popcorn and the amount consumed. For most people, a keto diet allows for 15-25 grams of carbs per day.
You might be able to fit up to 1 cup of air popped popcorn in your daily totals, but it will come down to the other foods you’re eating that day.
Are There Any Health Benefits Associated With Eating Popcorn?
There are numerous health benefits associated with eating popcorn. Research has shown that this popular snack contains many valuable nutrients like vitamins A and C, thiamin, niacin, and magnesium.
One cup of popcorn contains five grams of fiber and only one gram of net carbs. So, if you’re looking for a tasty and low-carb snack to boost your intake of vitamins and minerals, we recommend enjoying a bowl of popcorn.
Practical Tips for Eating Popcorn
- To enjoy the most health benefits and to cut carbs, we recommend eating popcorn in small servings.
- For a healthier alternative and to save carbs, make air-popped popcorn at home.
- If you’re trying to lose weight, limit your intake of microwave popcorn and enjoy it in one serving at a time.
- When choosing popcorn, opt for low-calorie varieties with 5 or fewer grams of net carbs per serving.
In conclusion, popcorn can be a healthy low-carb snack packed with fiber and antioxidants. Just avoid high-calorie toppings, which will inevitably increase the carb count in your popcorn substantially. We hope you’ve enjoyed this guide, and if you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you!
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Pin it for later!
Laura is dedicated to a low-carb lifestyle after losing 52 pounds on the keto diet. As many of us do, she struggles with her weight and has found that one of the only diet lifestyles that allows her to maintain a healthy weight is a low-carb diet. She shares her favorite low-carb recipes here that are both easy to make and full of flavor, so you don’t even miss the carbs.