Microwave popcorn is possibly one of the most underrated snacks on the market. This go-to treat is perfect when starting your summer diet, and no movie night is complete without it.
However, not all microwave popcorn is created equal, and some are even hiding some unhealthy ingredients you’ll want to avoid.
Today we’ll show you the healthiest microwave popcorn options out there so you can stock up the cupboards.
In a Hurry?
Coming in at number is the delicious 365 organic microwave popcorn, if you’re looking for a healthy snack with clean ingredients then look no further.
Many store-brand microwave popcorns contain diacetyl, a chemical with a fake buttery flavor that seems innocent but has actually been linked to lung disease. The 365 organic microwave popcorn is completely free from any chemicals, oils, GMOs or salts.
- Pops perfectly every time
- All organic ingredients
- Lots of leftover kernels
The Quinn microwave popcorn brand comes in a colorful variety of different flavors. Whether you’re looking to fix your sweet tooth craving or sink into something savory, there’s something for everyone.
We can’t get enough of the Vermont Maple Kettle Corn flavor, made with light sunflower oil, organic popcorn kernels, and locally harvested maple syrup.
This brand swears by its “pure pop” bags, which, unlike many other microwavable bags, are made without plastics or harmful chemicals.
Enjoy their other healthy popcorn options such as Aged Parmesan & Rosemary, Real Movie Theater Popcorn, and White Cheddar & Sea Salt.
- Non GMO
- Gluten, soy, dairy, grain free
- Low sodium
- 3 packets to prepare per serving
- Burns frequently
Ethics are a top priority for the family-run company Black Jewell; not only are they devoted to eliminating the use of pesticides in their crops, but they work with local farmers to create the perfect popcorn batch every time.
That being said, their devotion to making a high-quality product is reflected in the delicious taste of each popcorn flavor. Their five mouthwatering flavors are made with simple, non-GMO ingredients and pop up fresh in a chemical-free bag.
Other flavors include:
- A Touch of Butter
- Sweet & Salty
- Simply Sea Salt
- No Salt, No Oil
- Vegan, kosher, dairy-free friendly
- Melt in your mouth flavor
- Smaller popcorn pieces
If you’re feeling nostalgic for that classic buttery taste without the guilt, then Newman’s Own Organic popcorn is just the thing for you.
With half the fat of traditional popcorn and less than 300 mg of sodium, you can feel good about reaching for this treat on your next movie night.
While some companies use harsh chemicals to preserve their popcorn, Newman’s Own prides themselves on using high-quality vitamin E to keep your popcorn fresh until you pop it. The organic oil gives it just the right amount of buttery flavor without being too heavy.
- Smooth, delicious taste
- Perfect salt to butter ratio
Curious to know what the unhealthiest type of popcorn is?
Made without any preservatives, artificial flavors or dyes, Pop-Secret 94% Fat-Free popcorn comes in as our fifth choice.
Most of you will remember this brand from your childhood, the classic microwave brand with an unmistakable flavor. This 94% fat-free adult version will bring the same smile to your face without all the guilt.
Not only does it have 33% fewer calories than regular popcorn, but it’s also made without trans fats, GMOs, or high fructose corn syrup.
- Natural butter flavor
- Delicious sea salt added
- Very fresh
- Changed from the original recipe
Made with wholesome ingredients Field Day Organic Popcorn pops up into fluffy, airy pieces that everyone will love.
Both kosher and vegan-friendly, these can be sold in packs of 12 or even 36 so they’re perfect for stashing away for a late-night snack. Made with yellow popcorn instead of the traditional white kernels, this option has a unique buttery flavor that is a good alternative when you feel like switching things up.
- Natural popcorn flavor
- Slightly salted
- Too many hulls
- Cooks too quickly
You’ll find that Orville Redenbacher’s Natural Popcorn has the same delicious flavor as its traditional counterpart.
The taste from this American classic company hasn’t changed in decades, but thankfully the ingredients have. This natural popcorn only has a pinch of salt and a splash of oil, making it diet-friendly and delicious.
If you’re looking for a butterier option, their SmartPop! series has 94% less fat and 15% fewer calories than the standard option.
- Pops up nicely
- Not too oily
- Burns easily
Coming in a mini bag size, the Act II Light Butter Popcorn option is a genius solution for those who can’t stop going back for seconds.
This tasty treat has 50% less fat and 30% fewer popcorn calories than the regular option but still gives you all that buttery flavor.
It’s also important to note that this brand doesn’t allow any trans fats in their products; trans fats are hard for the body to break down and can be harmful. This single-serving snack even comes with 4 grams of fiber, so it’ll stabilize your energy and keep you full for hours.
- Convenient 100-calorie portions
- Great buttery taste
- Perfect for kids
- Several unpopped kernels
- Slightly bland aftertaste
With all these microwavable popcorn options to choose from, it’s safe to say there’s something for everyone.
If you’re looking to cut chemicals out of your diet and find some cleaner alternatives, then feel free to roll the dice and choose any from the list above. They’re all made with either natural or organic ingredients, and none of those artificial chemicals or colors we try to avoid.
Check out this article next for more popcorn health information.
Sue’s favorite pastime? Watching a good movie with a giant tub of popcorn by her side. Her friends and family know that if they want to get her something, popcorn is always a safe bet. Sue has an adventurous spirit and loves to travel exploring new places – she’s been to more than 40 countries!