Skinny Pop popcorn is a popular low-calorie popcorn brand. With its light and fluffy texture and simple ingredients, Skinny Pop has become a go-to snack for those looking for a tasty treat that won’t ruin their diet. But how many calories are actually in Skinny Pop popcorn? And is it really a low-calorie snack?
Calories in Skinny Pop Original Popcorn
The number of calories in Skinny Pop popcorn depends on the serving size. Here are the calorie counts for different serving sizes of Skinny Pop Original popcorn:
|1 bag (1.5 oz)||60|
|1 bag (2.5 oz)||100|
|1 bag (3.5 oz)||140|
As you can see, the calorie count increases as the serving size increases. But even at its highest with the 3.5 oz bag, Skinny Pop only has 140 calories. That’s certainly on the lower end for popcorn brands.
Some key things that keep the calories low in Skinny Pop popcorn are:
– It’s air popped instead of oil popped. This eliminates a lot of excess calories from oil.
– The popcorn kernels themselves are naturally low in calories. Popcorn is a whole grain and high in fiber.
– Minimal ingredients. The original Skinny Pop is just popcorn kernels and salt. No unnecessary extras.
Calories in Other Skinny Pop Flavors
Skinny Pop comes in a variety of flavors in addition to original. Here are the calorie counts for some other popular Skinny Pop varieties:
|Flavor||Calories (3.5 oz bag)|
|Sea Salt & Pepper||140|
|Movie Theater Butter||160|
|Naturally Sweet Kettle Corn||150|
As you can see, most Skinny Pop flavors have 140-160 calories per standard 3.5 oz bag. The flavored varieties have slightly higher calorie counts compared to original since they contain additional ingredients like seasonings and sweeteners. However, the differences are fairly small. Even the highest calorie Movie Theater Butter flavor still only has 160 calories for the full bag.
Comparing Calories to Other Popcorn Brands
Skinny Pop is generally on the lower end of the popcorn calorie spectrum compared to other popular brands. Here’s how it stacks up (based on a standard 3.5 oz bag):
|Skinny Pop Original||140|
|Orville Redenbacher’s Original||180|
|Pop Secret Original||210|
|Smartfood White Cheddar||270|
|Popcorn, Indiana Kettle Corn||170|
Skinny Pop has around 20-130 fewer calories than the other leading popcorn brands. A lot of this comes down to differences in preparation methods. Most standard popcorn relies on oil, butter, or other fats for popping. More of these added fats drives up the calorie counts. Skinny Pop’s air popping results in a much lighter calorie load in comparison.
Factors That Impact Calorie Count
While Skinny Pop is naturally low in calories, there are some factors that can alter the calorie counts:
As seen earlier, the calorie count rises with larger serving sizes. Sticking to sensible single serving bags helps keep calories in check.
The flavored varieties tend to be slightly higher in calories than original. Extra ingredients like cheese, sweeteners, and seasonings add a small amount of additional calories.
Skinny Pop uses an air popping method. Popping with oil would significantly increase the calorie count. When air popping at home, no extra oils should be added.
It’s easy to pour a big bowl of popcorn at home. Larger portion sizes mean more calories even if the base calorie count is low. Stick to reasonable portion sizes around 1-2 cups.
Avoid adding high calorie toppings like butter, caramel, or chocolate drizzle which can quickly drive up the calories. Stick to lighter options like a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
Nutrition Facts for Skinny Pop
Here is the nutrition information for a standard 1 oz (about 1 cup) serving of Skinny Pop original popcorn:
Key things to note:
– Extremely low in fat and sugar. No added oils or sweeteners.
– Provides 1 gram of fiber per serving. This comes from the whole grain popcorn.
– Relatively low in sodium at 115 mg per serving.
– Mainly carbohydrates from the popcorn kernels. This makes it a great high volume, low calorie carb source.
Vitamins and Minerals
Skinny Pop popcorn also contains some vitamins and minerals, including:
So while it’s not the most nutrient-dense snack, it does provide some important vitamins and minerals. The whole grain corn contributes these nutrients.
Given its light calorie and nutrition profile, Skinny Pop can be part of a healthy diet in moderation. Some benefits include:
Low Calorie Snack
Skinny Pop makes for a satisfying lower calorie snack, especially compared to chips, cookies, candy and other junk food options. Its light and crunchy texture is satisfying.
It’s a convenient way to get more whole grains into your diet. Whole grains provide important nutrients and fiber.
High Volume Food
Air popped popcorn is high in volume but low in calories. This can help with weight control by providing a large satisfying portion with fewer calories.
Low Glycemic Index
Despite being a grain, popcorn actually has a low glycemic index. This means it won’t spike your blood sugar as much as many other snack foods.
Plain popcorn is naturally gluten free. This makes it a good snack option for anyone avoiding gluten.
Downsides of Skinny Pop
While Skinny Pop has some nutritional advantages, there are a few potential downsides to consider:
Easy to Overeat
One risk with popcorn is mindless overeating. It’s easy to plow through a whole bag. Practice portion control.
Not Very Filling
Air popped popcorn is very light and contains a lot of air. This means it may not keep you full for long. Combine it with protein or healthy fats.
Lacks Some Nutrients
Popcorn is relatively low in overall nutrients and protein compared to foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. Don’t rely on it as your sole snack.
Skinny Pop still contains some sodium from the salt seasoning. People on low-sodium diets may want to be mindful of this.
Can Contain Harmful Chemicals
Some research has found trace amounts of potentially harmful chemicals called PFCs in microwave popcorn bags. Unclear if this applies to Skinny Pop.
Tips for Enjoying Skinny Pop
Here are some suggestions for enjoying Skinny Pop as part of a healthy lifestyle:
– Stick to single serve bags to control portions
– Combine with protein like nuts or Greek yogurt for a balanced snack
– Opt for healthier toppings like Parmesan instead of butter
– Use it to replace croutons on salads for added crunch without the calories
– Make your own air popped popcorn at home to control ingredients
– Pair with salsa, mustard or other low cal dips instead of butter
– Choose flavored varieties over original if you want more flavor without the calories
– Eat mindfully directly out of the bag instead of pouring into a large bowl
If you’re looking for alternatives to Skinny Pop, here are some other low calorie popcorn options:
Make air popped or oil popped popcorn from scratch on the stove. Watch the portion sizes as it’s easy to overdo it.
These crunchy popped corn snacks have only 130 calories per serving. Flavors include white cheddar, ranch, and sour cream & onion.
Boom Chicka Pop
Another popular air popped popcorn brand with classic and unique flavors like sweet and salty kettle corn.
Microwave popcorn from Orville Redenbacher that uses a silicone-based popping method for lower calories.
Skinny Girl Popcorn
Flavored microwave popcorn in fun flavors like white cheddar jalapeño with only 35 calories per cup.
This brand offers lower calorie kettle corn flavors as well as interesting varieties like black and white drizzlecorn.
The Bottom Line
Skinny Pop lives up to its name as a lower calorie popcorn option. Thanks to its air popping method, most varieties ring in around 140-160 calories per standard size bag. This is less than most conventional popcorn brands which use oil for popping.
Sticking to reasonable single serving sizes is important to keep calories in a healthy range while still enjoying the light crunch of this popular popcorn. Pair it with protein or healthy fats for a balanced snack. And limit high calorie add-ons like butter, caramel or chocolate drizzle which can sabotage the calorie count.
While no food should be consumed in extreme excess, enjoying Skinny Pop popcorn in moderation can be part of a healthy diet as a low calorie whole grain snack. Just be mindful of portion sizes to keep the calorie count in check.