Is Popcorn Fattening?

Popcorn is one of America’s favorite snacks. Whether it’s eaten at the movies or at home, there’s just something about sitting down with a bag of popcorn and watching a movie or some television that makes life seem alright.

Research that recently came out says that popcorn has some hidden health benefits. It has antioxidants that actually help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. What’st that mean? It means that it helps your immune system fight off sickness and disease, It also means you stay healthier. Who knew that popcorn would do all of this.

But is popcorn fattening? It depends on what kind and what you consider “fattening.”

Everyone loves movie theater popcorn. The buttery flavor that literally drips off of the kernels is hard to resist.

One large bag of movie theater popcorn has 990 calories in it combined with 50 grams of fat, 120 carbs and 18 grams of protein. Ouch! We knew movie theater popcorn was bad, but not that bad. It’s actually far healthier to go sit down and eat a Big Mac and a Coke.

But what about the microwave popcorn you can buy at the store. That stuff has to be a lot healthier than the movie popcorn right? It certainly does not taste as good. But is microwave popcorn fattening?

Most bag of microwave popcorn have between 110 and 300 calories in it. The reduced fat kinds are more towards the 110-130 range while the movie theater style bagged popcorn can have up to 300 calories in it. The carb count and fat can be anywhere from 2 grams to 25 grams.

But here’s what you have to watch out for with popcorn. Just because it might have a low fat content number such as 2 or 3, that doesn’t mean it isn’t fattening.

How’s that you say?

The whole point of watching fat content is because you do not want food to make you gain weight and fat right? Of course.

Just because a food does not have much fat doesn’t mean it won’t make you fat. Calories come in the form of fat and carbohydrates. Both can make you fat just as easy as the other. In fact, many people would argue that foods with a lot of fat and no carbs actually help you lose weight – hence the Atkins and other low carb diets.

Take the bag of popcorn with 130 calories and 2 grams of fat in it for example. If you eat the whole bag you’ve consumed 130 calories. If you don’t burn those calories off they will be converted to fat and stick right to your hips or gut. Plus, your blood sugar is going to spike and make it harder for your body to burn those calories. That’s why popcorn is “fattening” no matter what kind it is.

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