Sometimes you just can't make it into the kitchen to cook. Dr. Gourmet has reviewed over 1,000 common convenience foods, ingredients, and restaurant selections so that you know what's worth eating - and what's not. View the Index of all Dr. Gourmet's Food Reviews

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Dr. Gourmet's Food Reviews

Microwave Popcorn

In searching for snacks recently I have pretty much avoided the popcorn aisle because of the portion sizes of microwave popcorn. There are some lower calorie varieties, but they're still well over 200 calories. Face it, if you pop that bag, you're gonna eat the whole thing. There's really not much to popcorn itself -- it's the fat that it's popped in that adds most of the calories.

I had been wondering why the popcorn companies didn't address this when there it was and right on the Dr. Gourmet website....


PopcornWe take advertising through ad networks and watch the ads closely to make sure that they are acceptable. I saw one for Orville Redenbacher popcorn and went to look (kind of expecting to ban them from advertising). Lo and behold, 100 calorie mini bags. I picked up a box of the Kettle Korn flavor and this stuff is perfect. (There wasn't any of the regular flavor on the shelves.)

The Nutrition Facts claims that it pops up 6 cups and I didn't believe it, but I measured and sure enough it's six cups. There's only 100 calories in the 6 cup bag and 2 grams of fat. There's even a little less sodium than the regular, at 330 mg. The flavor is great -- slightly sweet and slightly salty. Even better there's 4 grams of fiber.

In case you think that this is a shameless plug for someone who advertised on the web site, I did look for the Pop Secret brand 100 calorie bags and there weren't any in the stores (I guess these guys are really popular). The Pop Secret web site does show that their product has slightly more fat (3.5 grams) but less sodium (280 mg).

Don't Eat

Both the Orville Redenbacher and other regular-size microwave popcorns are really high in fat and calories. The same 6 cups of regular microwave popcorn has about 400 calories, a whopping 29 grams of fat and 700 mg of sodium! Wowser! There's no doubt that this is a Don't Eat. Great that there's a delicious alternative.