Is popcorn clean eating?

PopcornI love popcorn.  I love the smell of it when you walk into the movie theatre and the heat of it against your fingertips.  Growing up my mom used to pour oil in the bottom of a popcorn maker, pour in the popcorn and then put the giant yellow-orange lid on it.  (Hey, it was the 70’s.)  We used to jump up and down waiting for it to pop and then pour butter over it and sprinkle some salt on it.  Then we’d make a fort out of every single blanket and pillow in the house, watch The Dukes of Hazard, and enjoy our evening snack.

That can’t be clean.

Air popped corn became all the rave in the 80’s.  It was less messy and healthier but didn’t taste as good.  But then the mega monster known as Orville Reddenbacker came out with microwave popcorn and it tasted AMAZING.  Plus there were no bowls to clean.orville

So, my question is:  Is popcorn a clean food?

My extensive research ( tells me that in fact, popcorn is indeed a clean food because corn is considered a whole grain, which means it is not processed and has fiber in it too.  It also has magnesium, zinc and iron and some vitamin B in it.

How you pop it and what you put on top is what separates the clean from the dirty.

  • Clean sources of popping:  Air, canola oil, olive oil, vegetable oils (sunflower, safflower, corn, soy) and coconut oil.
  • Clean toppings:  Nothing.  Sorry!
  • Dirty popcorn:  Microwave popcorn
  • Dirty toppings:  Butter, margarine, salt

In theory, if you are popping it in oil there should be enough flavor that you don’t need a topping like butter.  Also, if you are doing clean eating for dieting purposes rather than just a lifestyle choice you should be aware that it’s the butter that adds on the bulk of the calories without any real benefit (other than taste.)  Oils named above (particularly canola oil) do contain fat but they are the healthier kind of fats.  The fiber in popcorn makes it a top snack choice for most healthy diets.

Do you like popcorn?

Lisa ;) (c) 2013 Lisa Traugott.  All rights reserved.  No portion of this blog, including any text, photographs, and artwork, may be reproduced or copied without written permission.

18 responses to “Is popcorn clean eating?

  1. I don’t really know a lot about clean eating, but I do know that garlic powder on popcorn is AMAZING.
    There are a lot of spices which have health benefits so maybe you can do something with that?

  2. I can’t believe it’s not butter spray is great on popcorn. What about those fancy oil spritzers from bed Bath and beyond? Also cinnamon or garlic powder are really good on popcorn. Parmesan cheese is also good. It’s not as strong favors so you don’t need very much to give the popcorn a snap.

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