You’ve gone Keto, but you’re still craving your favorite snacks. You want to achieve your health goals, but also want to stick to the keto protocol.
Your next question is probably, is popcorn keto friendly?
First, let’s look at popcorn’s nutritional profile. Depending on the type of popcorn you eat, a cup of popped popcorn ranges from 30 calories, if air-popped, to 35 calories, if oil-popped, to 80 calories, if lightly buttered. More importantly, from a ketogenic perspective, a serving of popcorn, regardless of how you pop it will, provides 6 grams of carbohydrates. Your fat consumption will vary, however, depending on how you pop your popcorn. If air-popped, you will be consuming no fat. If oil-popped, you will be consuming roughly 1-1.5 grams of fat depending on oil type and quantity used. If buttered, then your fat consumption will probably be around 2 grams.
Of equal importance is whether eating popcorn will keep you within the confines of the ketogenic regimen. The primary concern would be how many carbohydrates you are consuming. As the goal is to keep carbs below 50 grams a day, a serving of popcorn is well within that range. Secondarily, fat consumption should also be elevated. Depending on how you prepare your popcorn, you would be consuming a moderate amount of fat but not nearly enough to provide the bulk of your calories. This may be one case where it’s okay to lay on the butter!
Overall, a serving of popcorn (even 2!) is still a decent snack if you are embarking on the keto diet. If you are looking for other snacks to complement or rotate with popcorn, try consuming more nuts. An ounce of roasted mixed nuts provides 16 grams of fat as well as 5 grams of protein with only 6 grams of carbs. It has the same carbohydrate value as popcorn with even more keto-friendly fats and protein.
If you are a popcorn fanatic or looking to introduce a little variety into your keto plan, rest assured that a serving of popcorn is still a healthy and delicious addition that will keep you on a successful ketogenic path.