All About Popcorn

Nutritional Information

It's hard to believe a snack food that tastes so good can actually be good for you, but it’s true! Popcorn is a whole grain that is 100-percent unprocessed with no additional additives, hidden ingredients, or GMOs. 

And there’s more good news:

  • Air-popped popcorn has only 30 calories per cup; oil-popped popcorn has only 35 calories per cup.  
  • When lightly buttered, popcorn is about 80 calories per cup.
  • Popcorn is a whole grain and provides energy-producing complex carbohydrates.
  • Popcorn contributes fiber to the diet. Dietary fiber from whole grains or other foods may help reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes.
  • Popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories.
  • Popcorn has no artificial additives or preservatives, and is sugar-free.
  • Popcorn is ideal for between meal snacking since it satisfies and doesn't spoil the appetite.
  • 3 cups of popcorn equal one serving from the grain group.
  • Whole grains are important sources of nutrients such as zinc, magnesium, B vitamins, and fiber.
One serving of popcorn can provide about 70-percent of an individual's recommended daily intake of whole grain.

Popcorn has a good glycemic index (GI) of 55. [1] It contains no cholesterol, it is virtually fat-free (only 0.1 g per cup) and contains only 100 to 150 calories in a serving of five popped cups. Popcorn also has a number of essential vitamins including: folate, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, pantothenic acid and vitamins B6, A, E and K. [2] A serving of popcorn contributes about 8-percent of the daily value of iron, with lesser amounts of calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. [3]

Popcorn is a good snack for diabetics as it does not impact blood sugar levels. [4] Additionally, the USDA Agricultural Research Service says “low GI diets have proven health benefits. They improve both glucose and lipid levels in people with type 1, as well as type 2, diabetes. Because they are slowly absorbed, they help in weight control because they help control appetite and delay hunger. Fiber is good for diabetics because research suggests that it helps to control blood sugar levels by slowing gastric emptying.” [5]

Popcorn is FDA approved for consumption and its packaging is also approved for consumer use.

Here's what a one-cup serving of air-popped, unbuttered popcorn contributes to your diet:
  • Water: 0.265 g
  • Energy: 30.8 kcal
  • Protein: 1.03 g
  • Total lipid (fat): 0.362 g
  • Carbohydrate: 6.2 g
  • Dietary fiber: 1.15 g
  • Sugars: 0.07 g
  • Calcium: 0.56 mg
  • Iron: 0.254 mg
  • Magnesium: 11.4 mg
  • Phosphorus: 28.6 mg
  • Potassium: 26.2 mg
  • Sodium: 13 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg