Is Popcorn Keto? Plus Low-Carb Alternatives

Being on the celebrated low-carb, high-fat life style means giving up sugars, processed carbs, and maintaining a carb count that keeps us in keto. The thing is, specifics can get slippery — even with foods as childlike looking as popcorn .
so where does the most celebrated movie bite of all fourth dimension match in ?
In this article, we’ll talk about:

  • What popcorn actually is
  • What keto and “keto-friendly” mean
  • Whether or not you can eat popcorn on keto
  • The nutritional content of popcorn
  • Carb counts for common types of popcorn
  • The best keto popcorn alternatives
  • How to make your own popcorn at home

Is Popcorn Keto-Friendly

What Is Popcorn? Is It Actually Healthy?

Popcorn is barely what it sounds like — popped corn kernels. Kernels are the fruits of corn, and a single ear of corn can have over 800 of them ! There are a short ton of different types of corn ( or maize ), but farmers in the corn belt out grow a specific pas seul known as “ popping corn ” for popcorn. This corn has kernels that are ideal for drying and popping due to their moisture levels [ * ] .
All popping corn kernels have a starchy weave called an endosperm. When the endosperm is exposed to high estrus, the moisture inside it turns to steam and quickly expands until the kernel splits and becomes the delicious treat we know and love .
Whether or not popcorn is goodly depends on the type you eat and the diet you ‘re following. fresh, air-popped popcorn is first gear in calories, filled with fiber, has more antioxidants than some fruits and vegetables, and may even help competitiveness cancer [ * ] .
On the other hand, movie field popcorn is a concentrated bucket of saturate fat and calories — delightful, yes, but so far from what we would consider “ healthy ” .

Keto Diet Overview

The ketogenic diet aims to reduce your carbohydrate levels long adequate for your body to enter a survival state known as “ ketonemia ”. This is when your body begins consuming its own fat to provide your body with the energy it needs. You are basically gaming one of your body ‘s survival mechanisms by swapping your typical energy source ( glucose found in carbohydrates ) for an alternate one ( ketones found in your fat ) [ * ] .
While the total of daily net carbohydrates you can eat varies according to your activity levels and body, most people on keto should eat between 20g and 50g of net carbohydrates each day. once you begin reducing your carbs, your body will begin to work toward a department of state of ketonemia [ * ] .
How long it takes you to reach ketonemia depends on how hanker it ‘s been since you were end in ketonemia and how strictly you are reducing carbs, but you should reach ketonemia within a few weeks .
People tend to report bad hint, short-run fatigue, increased focus, and insomnia when they beginning enter ketonemia, but these side effects normally go away after a few days [ * ] .

What Do We Mean by “Keto-Friendly”?

Keto is a little different than a traditional diet because it is n’t concerned with calorie counts. It ‘s all about carbs .
You could eat nothing but gripe ( kernel is naturally zero-carb ) and consume thousands of calories over your daily recommended value and inactive be “ on keto ”. This would n’t be a healthy access to keto, but you would n’t break your ketonemia .
With this in heed, there are n’t foods that are keto or not keto — it ‘s all about staying below your allotted carb amounts. ampere long as you do n’t surpass your carbohydrate limit, you can technically eat anything, but in orderliness to maintain some degree of normality and eat a balance diet ( that besides keeps you fully ), you need to prioritize eating low-carb foods .
In short, the more keto-friendly a food is, the fewer carbs it has per serving. That ‘s it !

Can You Eat Popcorn on the Keto Diet?

If you eat air-popped popcorn or popcorn popped with a goodly fat source like coconut petroleum or ghee and keep an eye on your serving size, then yes, popcorn is keto-friendly .
Most types of sugary and mass-produce popcorn such as movie dramaturgy popcorn, kettle corn, and microwave popcorn should be avoided on a standard ketogenic diet due to their high carbohydrate contented and insalubrious additives .
Homemade and popcorn made with healthier anoint is much more keto-friendly. For exemplar, one typical serve of popcorn ( 4-5 cups ) can have around 30 grams of carbohydrates — which is likely enough to kick you out of ketonemia [ * ] .
The thing is, that ‘s a good measure of popcorn ! If you only have a one cup, your nosh will be under 10g of net carbs. just quantify your serving size ahead of time to be safe — we all know how hard it is to keep popcorn snacking to a minimum !

Is Skinny Pop Keto?

It is more keto-friendly than most other types of popcorn .
Skinny Pop is fabulously popular. It ‘s low in calories, tasty, and convenient. Skinny Pop has 7g of net carbs per humble cup of tea, making it reasonably keto-friendly .
indeed while it is lower in carbs than typical popcorn, it ‘s still best to substitute Skinny Pop for lower-carb nosh options like gripe jerky sticks, cucumbers, hard-bitten eggs, and nuts .

Pro Tips for Eating Popcorn on Keto

Since your goal is to reduce carb counts, the best way to eat popcorn on keto is to eat it without any extra sugar or carb-containing additives. That eliminates all movie field popcorn, all microwave popcorn, any sugary popcorn like kettle and caramel, and any other flavors that add extra carb-containing ingredients to their popcorn .
In short, make homemade air-popped popcorn and toss it with strategic arms limitation talks and pepper for the best results ! Or better so far, choose a different, lower-carb nosh altogether.

Popcorn Nutrition

Popcorn is probably healthier than you thought. If you eat air-popped popcorn that is plain or lightly seasoned it actually has a bunch of nutritional value and fits into a goodly diet .

Benefits of Eating Air-Popped Popcorn

  • Popcorn is a low-calorie snack when eaten plain. 4-5 cups of popcorn only has around 125 calories[*]. This makes it a great guilt-free snack when you’re trying to keep your calorie count low.
  • Popcorn also has a lot of dietary fiber. Fiber can help with cholesterol, maintain weight, and improve your bowel regularity[*].
  • Popcorn contains useful vitamins and minerals. These include calcium, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin K[*].

Potential Risks From Eating Popcorn

The risks from eating popcorn about all come from the oils, fats, and seasonings that frequently come with it .

  • Movie theater popcorn is extremely high in saturated fats. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and eating too many saturated fats can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke[*].
  • This type of savory popcorn is also high in calories. Regal’s large popcorns can contain 20 cups of popcorn, 1,200 calories, and 60 grams of saturated, artery-clogging fat[*]. That’s the same as eating two personal pepperoni pizzas from Pizza Hut. Wow!
  • Microwave popcorn contains harmful ingredients like diacetyl. Diacetyl has been linked to the progress of Alzheimer’s disease and may contribute to respiratory abnormalities[*]. Plus the bags themselves can contain carcinogenic PFOAs. Do yourself a favor and just skip the microwave popcorn from now on!
  • Popcorn is high in carbs, which can kick you out of ketosis. This isn’t really a risk, but it is something to keep in mind if you’re eating any sort of low-carb diet.
  • Popcorn has a moderate number of carbs, which can kick you out of ketosis if your snacking gets out of hand. This isn’t really a risk, but it is something to keep in mind if you’re eating any sort of low-carb diet.

Common Popcorn Types and Brands (Plus Carb Counts)

here are a few of the most democratic brands to buy and ways to prepare popcorn along with their carb counts. It ‘s pretty amazing to see how quickly popcorn goes from being a alimentary bite to being an entirely unhealthy one depending on how you prepare it .
Your choice of anoint, season, and additives all affect its nutritional value, so keep that in mind as you buy and make your own popcorn .
notice : the follow macros are for a 1 oz ( ~28g ) serve, which is approximately 3.5 cups of popcorn .

1. Air-Popped, No-Oil Popcorn

This is adenine plain as it gets. No boodle. No anoint. Just the kernels and inflame [ * ] !

  • Calories: 120
  • Fat: 1.2g
  • Carbs: 21g
  • Fiber: 3.6g
  • Protein: 3.7g

2. Plain Oil-Popped Popcorn

This is about equally light on the temper as you can go. This fair means putting a spot of anoint in the pot you ‘re popping the popcorn in and tossing it with salt [ * ] .

  • Calories: 142
  • Fat: 7.97g
  • Carbs: 16.5g
  • Fiber: 2.8g
  • Protein: 2.6g

3. Caramel Corn

These stats are for distinctive caramel corn, which normally includes anoint and embrown carbohydrate [ * ] .

  • Calories: 122
  • Fat: 3.6g
  • Carbs: 22g
  • Fiber: 2.8g
  • Protein: 1.1g

4. Kettle Corn

I ‘ve always been on team kettle corn as a kid, and it ‘s easy to see why — kettle corn is good regular popcorn with white sugar [ * ] .

  • Calories: 130
  • Fat: 5g
  • Carbs: 21g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 1g

5. Smartfood White Cheddar Popcorn

Growing up I loved Smartfood ‘s White Cheddar Popcorn. I can taste it just thinking about it ! here ‘s what that popcorn is like on the inside :

  • Calories: 160
  • Fat: 10g
  • Carbs: 13g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 4g

6. Skinny Pop

apparently found in every co-working space and office in the nation, here are Skinny Pop ‘s nutrition stats [ * ] !

  • Calories: 150
  • Fat: 10g
  • Carbs: 15g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 2g

now that you know the nutrition behind your options, let ‘s talk about how to make some healthy popcorn at dwelling .

The Best Keto Popcorn Alternatives

If you ‘d rather skip thinking about carbs wholly, then you should keep some no-carb or very low-carb snacks around the house. here are 5 of our favored no-carb or super low-carb snacks !

1. Pork Rinds

Plain pork rinds are completely free from carbs. We recommend buying healthier brands than the ones you find at most gas stations, or just making your own. I was doubting at first gear, but homemade pork rinds are amazing .

2. Deli Meats

Keeping fresh delicatessen meats in the electric refrigerator is a great keto substance abuse. Any kernel like ham, knock gripe, joker, or chicken is complimentary from carbs and can help you feel wax between meals. You can besides add a bit of cheese to these to make a low-carb roll-up of sorts .

3. Chomps

We ‘re a little biased, but we think Chomps are one of the best no-carb keto snacks out there. We use the highest-quality, sustainably-sourced protein with no add carbohydrate and no harmful ingredients to deliver keto-friendly kernel snacks that taste amazing and give you the fuel you need at any point during the day .

4. Cucumbers and Pickles

For one of the goodly and lowest calorie snacks, keep some cucumbers or knit dill pickles around the house. Cucumbers and pickles have little amounts of carbs, but since serving sizes are small, you rarely ingest more than a couple of grams .

5. Homemade Cheese Chips

Cheez-It fans, this one ‘s for you. Homemade tall mallow chips are super easy to make, and they make a antic keto nosh. Plus, you can easily make diverseness packs with whatever cheeses you like !

How to Make the Healthiest (and Tastiest) Popcorn at Home

If you want to whip up a bite for friends or syndicate at home and keep it healthy, here ‘s the way to do that [ * ] .
What You’ll Need:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ¼ cup unpopped popcorn
  • sea salt to taste


  1. Place popcorn and oil in a 3-quart pot over medium heat and cover the pot with a lid.
  2. Shake the pot constantly as popcorn pops.
  3. When popping slows to a few seconds in-between pops, after about 3 to 5 minutes, remove pot from heat and pour popcorn into a large bowl.
  4. Season with sea salt.

That ‘s it !

The Bottom Line on Eating Popcorn During Keto

Popcorn is considered a grain and has a moderate flat of carbohydrates across the display panel. It is delicious and can be healthy if prepared with natural and simple ingredients .
When eating popcorn on keto it is best to view popcorn as a “ treat ”. In other words, you can decidedly have it but make certain to keep your share sizes small .