15 Fierce Fast Facts on Popcorn

Craving salt? Try popcorn dusted with chili powder. (The Popcorn Board)

Lots of people are vowing to eat healthier and exercise more in the new year. If you’re one of them, and you’re missing your snacks, eat more popcorn. It’s one of the healthiest snacks to munch on — if you don’t go crazy with salt, butter and other toppings that add calories to calorie-free popcorn. Here are other facts from the Popcorn Board. (Yes, there’s truly a board for everything! And Jan. 19 is National Popcorn Day.)

  1. Popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories.
  2. Air-popped popcorn has only 30 calories per cup; oil-popped popcorn has only 35 calories per cup.
  3. When lightly buttered, popcorn contains about 80 calories per cup.
  4. Popcorn is a whole grain, making it a good-for-you food. One serving of popcorn can provide about 70 percent of an individual’s recommended daily intake of whole grain.
  5. Popcorn contains no cholesterol,
  6. Popcorn provides energy-producing complex carbohydrates.
  7. Popcorn is relatively high in fiber, providing roughage the body needs in the daily diet.
  8. Popcorn is 100-percent unprocessed with no additional additives, hidden ingredients, or GMOs.
  9. Popcorn has no preservatives and is sugar-free.
  10. Popcorn is a good snack for diabetics as it does not impact blood sugar levels.
  11. Popcorn has a good glycemic index (GI) of 55.
  12. Popcorn is ideal for between meal snacking since it satisfies and doesn’t spoil the appetite.
  13. 3 cups of popcorn equal one serving from the grain group.
  14. Popcorn contains a number of essential vitamins including: folate, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, pantothenic acid and vitamins B6, A, E and K.
  15. A serving of popcorn contains about 8 percent of the daily value of iron, with lesser amounts of calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

A Popcorn Bar for Every Taste

Some like their popcorn sweet, others prefer savory and then there are those who like to mix it up. You can set up a popcorn bar to suit every taste, and snackers can go at it!


  • Freshly popped popcorn (air-popped or see below for stovetop popping)
  • Topping Options:
    Popcorn salt & pepper
    Assorted herbs & spices
    Nuts (pine nuts, peanuts, slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds, etc.)
    Cheese crackers
    Pretzel sticks
    Dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, apricots, etc.)
    Grated cheese
    Chocolate chips
    Cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg
  1. Stovetop Popping:
    To pop popcorn on a stovetop, cover the bottom of a 3- to 4-quart pan with a thin layer of vegetable oil. (Don’t use butter; it will burn.)  Place 3 kernels of popcorn in the pan, cover with a loose lid that allows steam to escape, and heat.  When the kernels pop, pour in enough popcorn to cover the bottom of the pan, one kernel deep, cover the pan and shake to evenly spread the oil. When the popping begins to slow to a few seconds apart, remove the pan from the stovetop. The heated oil will still pop the remaining kernels.
  2. Assembly:
    Set out a large bowl of popcorn. Put smaller bowls with various popcorn fixings around the big bowl of popcorn.  Let each person fill a paper bag or other container with popcorn, and top or mix with their desired flavorings.

Here’s another recipe for Southwestern, curry and pizza seasonings from the American Diabetes Association, plus directions for popping with olive oil.

A popcorn bar offers something for every taste. (Photo and recipe: The Popcorn Board)


An Addict Comes Clean on National Popcorn Day

“My name is Yanick, and I’m an addict. I’m addicted to popcorn.

“They say that one of the first steps to recovering from any addiction is admitting that you have a problem. So there; I said it. And I’m eating popcorn at this very moment.”

Click here to read this throwback testimonial from a Fierce co-founder. Although she cut back a little since then, she hasn’t progressed much beyond the admission stage of her 12-step program. She is still addicted and blames a friend who lured her into a popcorn store. Really?


Of your recommended daily whole Grain intake

Calories per cup if air-popped

How high? The number of feet in air when popped

Quarts eaten per person