Is popcorn keto, may be a question you find yourself asking when new to the keto diet. It's a fiber, it's loaded with salt and butter which are keto, so it fits right? Having popcorn is tradition as movies are to our culture. It's sort of the turkey to Thanksgiving dinner. Here I explain when you can fit it in and when you can't. Also a list of alternatives that aren't cauliflower but just as delicious and make you think you're cheating on your diet!
How To Make Popcorn Keto Friendly
So, with that heading there is hope! Popcorn is a whole grain that does have nutritional benefits. Being an whole grain it's low in calories (minus the butter) and very filling due to the fiber.
How Many Carbs In Popcorn?
This varies into how you prepare the popcorn. But, I will break it down as simple as possible:
- Single cup of air popped popcorn 5g net carbs*
- Single cup of popcorn cooked with oil 5g net carbs*
The fat content is all that changes! Which works in your favor, or does it? Air popped is 30 calories but cooked in oil is 45 calories and this is without added butter.
Keto rule #1: More carbs, less fat
What does this mean?
A rule is to keep you fat low because the mix of fat and carbs is weight gain waiting to happen. Think back as to why pizza, donuts, and cheeseburgers are such an issue, but still delicious. Who's to say you plan to eat popcorn everyday? I hope not because depending on how deep you are in ketosis it may or may not cause issues for you.
How many carbs can you eat on keto?
This changes from person to person. But, keto does have a standard.
Keto rule #2: 20g net carbs per day
Rules were made to be broken and can be broken. This comes down to preexisting conditions you have prior to keto. Were you a diabetic, carb sensitive or maybe you're newer to keto and haven't adapted yet?
All these matter! In my Enlightened review I had no issues with glucose spiking. Yet, people have contacted me because they don't get the same results. Someone who is more active can have more carbs through the day. My advice is test away!
Always check to see your thresholds. As a person who has done the keto diet for over 5 years I warn anyone who are within their first 2 weeks. Try getting over that first hurdle then begin experimenting.
When Popcorn Is Bad on Keto
As with most things quality is key. Of course, most commercial things are very low quality and you should avoid store-bought popcorn, movie popcorn and most pre-popped popcorn.
These popcorns have ingredients that aren't ideal and some have sugar.
Keto rule #3: Not all fats are created equal
Most popcorn you find will be cooked in rancid oils that are high in Omega-6's such as:
- Canola Oil
- Sunflower Oil
Luckily, some major brands such as Pop Secret and Orville Redenbacher's use palm oil which is good. Sadly, you run the risk of having to control yourself because you have to pop an entire bag. I'm not built with enough strength to stop eating personally.
A mistake I made was reading a label incorrectly of a caramel drizzled popcorn. Assuming the nutritional label read for the entire bag it really had about 4 servings and I found myself overeating sugar and carbs with each bag.
A recommendation will always be to buy your own kernels and prepare them that way you know what's going in and where they came from.
Nervous Still? Eat These Instead Of Popcorn!
Going through the internet someone actually recommended cauliflower in the place of popcorn. Who in their right mind…?
I'm the dessert guy, I have loads of recipes and products I could recommend because I know you want something super tasty to eat in place of the popcorn.
- HighKey Snacks Cookies/Brownie Bites
- Lily's Chocolate(Carmel popcorn flavor)
- Keto Cups
- Revol Snax
- Smart Sweets gummies
- Nuts (Macadamia, pecan, peanuts, etc)
- Nut Butter
You have plenty of options if you choose not to have popcorn. If you choose to eat popcorn I hope my guidelines helped you out. The keto diet is a wonderful diet when done correctly and by researching you're headed down the right path. I wish you well on your journey!
*Nutrition Reference: Perfect Keto