Fifteen years after its ground-breaking expose’ on the dietary train wreck that is movie theater popcorn, the Center for Science in the Public Interest has published results of a new study showing that little has changed when it comes to the cinema-show favorite “snack” (report). The popcorn choices carried by most major theater chains range from 400 – 1200 calories and are packed with salt and “essentially fried in one to three days’ worth of saturated fat.” Other standard snack choices fair little better, with CSPI concluding that the best movie-time snack choice is no snack at all. No argument here.
The problem with popcorn, though, is in the preparation, not the grain itself. Popcorn is actually a whole grain food – which isn’t widely known – and if it’s popped at home in an air popper or over the stove with a small amount of healthy oil like canola oil, it can be a very healthy and tasty snack. Add just a dash of salt (not too much) and you’ll feel like you’re in a darkened theater waiting for the previews – and without the calories, saturated fat, and sodium of three fast food hamburgers.