Is Popcorn Keto-friendly? Carbs, Calories, and More

Medically Reviewed on 7/13/2022
Is Popcorn Keto-friendly?
Popcorn is a whole-grain snack because the kernel is still present although in fragments, along with the soft flesh.

Unsalted popcorn can be had during a ketogenic diet because it only has five grams of net carbohydrates. It is a nutritious whole grain snack and low in carbohydrates. It is high in fiber, which promotes digestive health, and you get regular bowel movements.

People on ketogenic diets have a major concern regarding bowel movements due to the absence of naturally high fiber sources.

  • Popcorn is an unprocessed whole grain and contains no extra additions, chemicals, or genetically modified organisms.
  • The Popcorn Board estimates that an average American consumes 51 quarts of popcorn a year.
  • Aside from a movie snack, popcorn is used as a component in savory and sweet dishes, including soups and desserts.
  • Gourmet popcorn choices include classic caramel, wasabi, bacon, kale, and sriracha.
  • Popcorn can be a source of sugar, fat, calories, and sodium depending on how it is prepared and how much is consumed.

What is popcorn?

A particular variety of maize, called zea mays everta, is used to make popcorn.

  • The kernels are taken out of the corn ears after they have been harvested and dried.
  • Nevertheless, a tiny amount of moisture is still present in the hard kernel, and when the kernel is heated, the moisture vaporizes and pressure inside the kernel builds until the kernel eventually pops and expands into the fluffy, delectable snack.
  • Popcorn is a whole-grain snack because the kernel is still present although in fragments, along with the soft flesh.

Popcorn's nutritional value

Popcorn has a 55 glycemic index, which is a decent number. It has zero cholesterol and nearly no fat (0.1 grams per cup) and only 100 to 150 calories per serving, which is five popped cups.

  • Additional vitamins found in popcorn include folate, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, and vitamins B6, A, E, and K.
  • With lower levels of calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc, a serving of popcorn provides about 8 percent of the daily requirement for iron.
  • Compared to oil-popped popcorn, which has 35 calories per cup, air-popped popcorn has only 30 calories.
  • Popcorn has roughly 80 calories per cup when lightly buttered.

The nutritional benefits of one cup of air-popped, unsalted popcorn for your diet are:

Table. The nutritional content of popcorn (one cup; air-popped, unsalted)
Nutrient Amount
Energy 30.8 kcal
Protein 1.03 grams
Water 0.265 grams
Total lipid (fat) 0.362 grams
Carbohydrate 6.2 grams
Dietary fiber 1.15 grams
Magnesium 11.4 mg
Phosphorus 28.6 mg
Potassium 26.2 mg
Sodium 13 mg
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sugars 0.07 grams
Calcium 0.56 mg
Iron 0.254 mg


Weight loss occurs in the belly before anywhere else. See Answer

Health benefits of popcorn

A cost-effective supply of whole grains, such as popcorn, is something that many people value highly. Popcorn is one of the five most affordable sources of whole grains.

Complex carbs in popcorn produce energy and popcorn is a source of dietary fiber. Consuming whole grains or other foods high in dietary fiber may help lower blood cholesterol levels and lessen the chance of developing heart disease, obesity, and type II diabetes.

  • For people with diabetes, popcorn is a healthy snack because it does not affect blood sugar levels.
  • The United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service further asserts that “low glycemic” diets have established health benefits.
  • In people with type I and type II diabetes, popcorn lowers cholesterol and glucose levels.
  • They help regulate appetite and postpone hunger because they are slowly absorbed, which manages weight.
  • Fiber is advantageous for people diabetics because, according to studies, it lowers blood sugar levels by delaying gastric emptying.
  • Both its packaging and consumption of popcorn have U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval.
  • Popcorn is the perfect mid-meal snack.
  • However, ensure to not ruin this treat by adding salt, butter, or caramel over it.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically Reviewed on 7/13/2022
Image Source: iStock image

The Popcorn Board. All About Popcorn.

Hess J. Popcorn: A Healthy, Whole Grain Snack. USDA Agricultural Research Service.

Zelman K. The Power of Popcorn.

American Heart Association. Popcorn as a snack: Healthy hit or dietary horror show?

Nutrition Facts. Snacks, air-popped, popcorn.