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Eat that, not that!

According to dietitians, the most unhealthy way to make popcorn

While popcorn is synonymous with movie theater snacks, it doesn’t belong in the same league as goodies like candy and soda – at least when it comes to nutrition. Popcorn can actually be good for you. “Popcorn can be an excellent, nutrient-dense snack food depending on how it’s prepared. Popcorn is a whole grain, a little known fact, and therefore an excellent source of fiber and polyphenols,” says Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, a at Balance One Supplements registered dietitian. Although this light and airy snack is high in fiber and low in calories, as Best mentioned, popcorn can easily be turned into an unhealthy bite if not done properly. To ensure that you actually get the benefits of popcorn, you need to make sure you aren’t making it the most unhealthy way: coated with butter and salt. Why is too much butter and salt the most unhealthy way to make popcorn? “A. The common way people prepare popcorn that affects its health benefits is by adding lots of butter on top,” says Kylie Ivanir, MS, RD, a registered nutritionist with Within Nutrition. While butter is incredibly delicious, butter is not enough. Your body is doing a disservice when poured over popcorn. in fact, it can even promote fat gain. “Butter is rich in saturated fat, which when combined with carbohydrates creates a ‘sweet fat’. This very tasty combination can lead to overconsumption, impair the body’s ability to regulate appetite and lead to increased cravings. This combination from carbohydrates and saturated fat can also put the body into fat storage mode, “says Ivanir. (See Also: 20 Foods That Will Ruin Your Weight Loss Goals.) Just one tablespoon of butter is equal to 100 calories and contains 7 grams of saturated fat. And if you’re using a store-bought popcorn topping like Orville Redenbacher’s Popping & Topping Buttery Flavored Oil, you’re consuming just 2 grams of saturated fat but 120 calories for each serving.More room with calories per serving, the same goes for microwave popcorn . Some butter-flavored microwave popcorn bags have 180 calories per serving when the same bag of butter-free popcorn only contains 80 calories. So if you opt for lightly flavored popcorn instead of butter, you will save 100 calories per serving. You can make matters worse by adding some sugar to your recipe to make kettle corn. “Popcorn turns into unhealthy white sugar easily with the addition of oil, butter, and white sugar [when making kettle corn]. What was a high-fiber, filling snack filled with vitamins and antioxidants is now loaded with anti-inflammatory fat calories and white sugar, “says registered nutritionist Theresa Gentile, MS, RDN, owner of Full Plate Nutrition and media spokesperson for the NY State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “I’ve even seen the addition of corn syrup and maple syrup that make this dessert an instant dessert,” says Gentile. That means it’s hard to find a version better for you and eat it. “With one A few simple changes can make popcorn tasty and tasty at home, “says Vanessa Rissetto, MS, RD, CDN, Registered Nutritionist and Co-Founder of Culina Health. For flavorful, healthy popcorn you have to start with, and to be, a solid foundation pop your own: “One of the best ways to make popcorn is to cut the grains out of the air on the stove, for example Instead of buying pre-packaged microwave popcorn, u burst out, which may contain added oils, salt, or artificial flavoring. Microwave bag linings can also contain harmful chemicals, “says Ivanir. (See also: Top Reason You Shouldn’t Eat Microwave Popcorn.) Once you’ve made your air-dried corn, it’s time to season it without butter.” If you put your own popcorn on the stove, you can control the toppings. People can add fun toppings to their popcorn for a kick, like cinnamon for some sweetness or nutritional yeast for a cheesy taste, “says Ivanir. Rissetto recommends using 1 tablespoon of olive oil (which is loaded with healthy fats) for 1 cup of grains and spices like parmesan, crushed red pepper flakes, and even Tabasco. “To get the health benefits of popcorn, I recommend adding a dash of olive oil and a little sea salt, or adding nutritional yeast, which has a cheesy, hearty taste. “says Gentile. For more ideas, don’t miss this one trick to make your popcorn taste better. If you want to learn more about healthy eating, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter!