Popcorn is the favorite snack of people around the world. Everyone enjoys a big bowl of crunchy, salty popcorn. However, some people may wonder exactly how much popcorn they should eat. How much is too much and what exactly is the proper serving size of popcorn?
We will tell you all about the proper serving size of popcorn as well as go over a few of the health benefits of this yummy snack. Popcorn is an amazing, healthy snack when eaten in moderation. So, let’s dive into exactly how much popcorn to eat to fill you up but keep your snack habits in check.
Finding the Proper Popcorn Serving Size
Popcorn is a fantastic low-calorie snack food. It is a great way to satisfy snack cravings without overindulging. However, popcorn portion control is still important.
The serving size of popcorn will depend a lot on how it is prepared. If you are enjoying homemade, air-popped popcorn, then you can have a larger serving since the popcorn has been made in a healthy manner. If you are eating popcorn at a movie theater and the snack is loaded with butter and salt, you will need to have a smaller portion size. Take a look at our serving guide for each type of popcorn to get a good idea of how big a bowl you should eat.
Serving Size for Air-Popped Popcorn
Air-popped popcorn is considered to be the healthiest type of popcorn. It is low in calories and also low in fat. Of course, this applies to air popped popcorn that has no toppings or seasonings. One cup of pure, plain air popped popcorn has just 31 calories and .4 grams of fat.
The serving size will vary based on your toppings and seasoning, even when it comes to “healthy” air-popped popcorn. If you are using light seasoning, then a 3-cup serving size is recommended. If you add heavy toppings like butter or cheese, then it is best to stick to a one-cup serving size of air popped popcorn.
Measure your servings with an actual measuring cup to ensure accuracy. Scoop the popped popcorn into the cup then pour it into your bowl. A one-cup serving is about the size of a baseball while a three-cup serving of air-popped popcorn would be about the size of a small cereal bowl.
Serving Size for Oil-Popped & Microwave Popcorn
A serving of oil-popped or microwave popcorn is typically about two to three cups. This will again vary based on brand and toppings but it is a good guide to start with.
When making stovetop, oil popped popcorn, be sure to use healthy oils. Some oils, like olive oil, have more nutritional value than other high-fat oils. Keeping the number of trans fats down will help ensure you have a healthy snack.
Try to use a minimal amount of oil when popping popcorn on the stove. Lighter toppings, like herbs and spices, will make the popcorn tasty, and flavorful but still in line with your low-calorie goals. When you keep your bowl of popcorn healthy, you can enjoy a larger serving.
Popcorn Nutrition Facts
Popcorn is actually a whole grain and has a high nutritional value. Popcorn contains fiber, magnesium, and also antioxidants. In fact, a three cup serving of air popped popcorn has about 3.5 grams of dietary fiber which is 14% of the daily recommended value.
That same three cup serving of air popped popcorn also has about 18 grams of carbohydrates, 1.2 grams of saturated fats, and 93 calories. Popcorn is also considered to be a good source of carbohydrates. This tasty snack food really can be part of a balanced diet.
As you can see, popcorn is a low-calorie snack food that can be part of a very healthy diet. You just need to be mindful of the seasonings you add and how you prepare your popcorn. Salty or overly sweet toppings can turn this nutritious snack into an unhealthy one quite quickly.
How Much Does One Cup of Popcorn Kernels Make?
One cup of popcorn kernels will make around 10-14 cups of popped popcorn. There is a range in the serving size since the popping method and moisture of the specific kernels can affect the size of the popped popcorn. The type of pot you use to make the popcorn and the brand of kernels can also affect the size. Even a change in cooking time will alter the yield a little bit.
However, one cup of popcorn kernels can really make a large amount of popcorn which is why it is such a convenient snack for big families and groups. A little bit goes a long way.
Is Popcorn Healthy?
Popcorn is a whole-grain snack food. It is low in calories and also in fats which does make it a pretty healthy snack. A three cup serving only has about 100 calories and 1 gram of fat. To top it off, popcorn is also a good source of dietary fiber and all the vitamins and minerals we mentioned before. Thiamin and niacin are just two of the minerals found in popcorn and both are important to brain health and preventing heart disease.
Additionally, popcorn is a good source of potassium which is essential for maintaining healthy blood pressure. The antioxidants and polyphenols in popcorn can actually help prevent certain cancers It is amazing how much good is inside those little popcorn kernels.
Learn More About Popcorn on the Popsmith Blog
When you prepare your popcorn in a healthy way, it is quite a nutritious snack. Remember to add limited amounts of oil, salt, and sugary toppings to keep your popcorn healthy. Then, you will be able to enjoy more popcorn without hesitation.
Be sure to check back here often as we at Popsmith are always finding new and exciting ways to make your favorite snack. We also have tons of information about popcorn, in general, to help you learn more about the crunchy treat. There is so much more to popcorn than meets the eye and we will help you discover it all. See you soon.