Is Popcorn Keto-Friendly?
Finding keto-friendly snacks is just one of the main concerns keto dieters have to deal with. And when it comes to snacks, popcorn is the most popular (especially on movie nights!)
In fact, according to Popcorn.org, Americans consume 14 billion quarts of popcorn annually. That means a person, on average, consumes 43 quarts of popcorn every year.
But is popcorn keto-approved? Let’s find out!
What is Popcorn?
Popcorn are puffs that form when corn kernels are heated.
You can easily pop them in a microwave or cook them on the stove. They have become a widely popular snack at home and in movie theaters.
To understand if popcorn is keto-friendly, it’s essential to pay attention to the carbs in them.
If you’re a fan of this salty and crunchy staple yourself, keep reading to learn if popcorn can fit into your keto diet.
Popcorn’s Nutritional Content Broken Down
A single cup of air-popped popcorn (which is about 8 grams in weight) contains 5 g of net carbs, while a typical 5-cup serving air-popped popcorn is loaded with 25 g of net carbs.
On the other hand, a cup of stovetop popcorn cooked with coconut oil has 5 g of net carbs. A five-cup serving contains 25 g of net carbs.
In keto diet, the ideal net carb to be taken daily can be as low as 20 g but no more than 50 g. By maintaining your carb intake within this range, you’ll be more able to reach ketosis.
Keep in mind though, that the number of carbs in a popcorn may also depend on its flavor. Some add flavorings and other spices that can add up to the total carb count of the snack.
Corn is considered whole grain more than it's considered as a vegetable. And since popcorn is whole grain, they’re high in fiber and are nutrient-dense.
That means you’ll feel fuller and more satisfied eating a cup of popcorn than you would when eating the same amount of potato chips.
As long as you’re careful, you can sneak in popcorn to your keto diet. But if you will find yourself overeating and gaining unwanted fat or not losing weight, then you might have to avoid popcorn on keto.
It’s also worth noting that popcorn being sold in theaters is mostly highly processed and is filled with additives as well as added sugar.
As far as food is concerned, there are snacks you can indulge in that have much lower carb count than popcorn.
Take, for example, keto-friendly nuts. A 28 g serving of pecans contains 1.1 g of carbs only.
Macadamia nuts, on the other hand, contains 1.5 g carbs for every 28 g serving. While Almonds contain 2.9 g of carbs in a 1 oz portion.
Pork rinds also make for a perfect snack. They’re perfectly low in carb and protein-dense. And what’s more, they’re savory and satisfyingly crunchy!
The Bottom Line
Popcorn is keto-friendly, that’s for sure.
They’re low in carbs and can even help make you feel fuller and more satisfied, which helps curb your cravings!
But you have to take them with caution.
It’s better to cook them on the stovetop so you can have more control in the amount of oil as well as the kind of oil you use.
Take note, however, theater popcorn is usually highly processed and contain additives.
You might want to consider bringing other snacks along with you on the movie theater, such as the keto-friendly alternatives mentioned above.
Eating well is a form of self-respect...