The average American eats 45 quarts (that’s 180 cups) of popcorn every year, according to The Popcorn Board. It’s clear we have a collective love affair with this delicious, crunchy snack—but is it actually healthy?
“My answer is always that it depends,” says Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, founder of NutritionStarringYOU.com and author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club.
Popcorn, which is made with a unique variety of corn, expands once heated thanks to the small amount of water inside each kernel. The heat eventually triggers it to explode. “Popcorn popped in a brown bag in the microwave without any oil, chemicals or salt is the purest form and the healthiest. Movie theater popcorn drowned in butter? That’s another story,” Harris-Pincus confirms.
If you’re wondering, “is microwave popcorn healthy?” The answer most often is a resounding yes, as long as the ingredient list is short. In fact, modern versions