Not All Popcorn is Created Equal in Caloric Values
In viewing our data chart below we can readily see that the methods and ingredients used greatly impact the nutritional values.
The microwave popcorn which is prepared using palm oil contains 43 calories per cup. That's in-line with the variety prepared with partially hydrogenated oil as well as the one prepared with hot air - and also it compares closely in energy values to the 94% fat free variety.
A Closer Look - Distribution of Fats
However, when we look at the total fat in addition to the amounts of different fatty acids that are contained within each variety, the nutritional picture becomes quite clear.
The palm-oil variety contains 43 calories per cup and 2.45 total fat grams - with about 2 grams of saturated fat.
The partially hydrogenated oil variety contains 44 calories per cup with total fat increased to 2.69 grams. Saturated fat decreases to 0.570 grams. However, note that another type of lipid shows an increase. See the Trans fat content? At 0.774 grams it is more than double the amount contained in the popcorn prepared with palm oil. Trans fat is one of the most unhealthiest types of lipids and is tied to heart disease and stroke, among other serious diseases.
The 94% fat free variety contains 402 calories per 100 grams in comparison to 538 grams for the palm oil version and 557 calories for the partially hydrogenated oil version. In addition, Trans fat, saturated fat and total fat are elevated in comparison. The total fat for the 94% fat free is triple that for both the popcorn prepared with partially hydrogenated oil AND palm oil. Go figure, eh?
The hot-air variety is the healthiest in our data chart. While the calorie values are close to the other varieties, the fat distribution is much healthier.
Note: All excepting the hot-air method contain Trans fat - even the 94% fat free variety.
Nutrition Facts & Calories in Popcorn, Microwave vs Hot Air Popped
Hot Air Popcorn - Great Diet Snack
Replace salty, fatty chips with hot air popped corn.
We like to spray no calorie butter spray on our batches of fresh hot air-popped corn - either Parkay or 'I Can't Believe It's Not Butter'. Both are excellent.
During waking hours, keep in mind that scents in the air impact appetite. Going to the movies might spur a craving for popcorn - or the smell of a campfire, hot dogs.
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