Is Popcorn Keto or Not?

by Al Paterson

Is Popcorn Keto? Well, it is low in carbs, usually containing no more than five grams, so yeah, Popcorn can easily fit in your keto diet and is a healthy whole-grain snack. In addition, Popcorn contains healthy fiber and carbohydrates, which gives the body energy.

What is Ketosis?

Nutrient-rich ketosis is also known as a Ketogenic diet. While following the keto diet, you will need to cut down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins significantly. Most people that follow a keto diet want to lose weight, but it also reenergizes the body and makes you feel better.

When people start avoiding carbs, their body moves into a model known as ‘Fat-Burning.’ Once your body has switched to this mode, the liver will start burning fat much more efficiently; this process is known as Ketones.

What Foods Are Good with Popcorn when on Keto?

When you are on a keto diet, you probably won’t add a topping of chocolate or caramel on the Popcorn; however, you will need to find toppings that contain healthy fats. You can pair popcorns with nuts, nut butter, salt, and cinnamon. 

Popcorn is Keto Friendly

Popcorn is often eaten as a midnight snack; however, those that follow a keto diet are often confused: is popcorn keto-friendly? Well, the answer is yes, it is. The fear that most people have is the content of carbohydrates in the Popcorn. However, as discussed earlier, the quantity of carbs is too low.

The daily net carbohydrates consumed by people following a Keto diet, the number of carbs subtracted from fibers and sweeteners, should be below 25 grams per day.

 One cup of Popcorn has less than six grams of carbohydrates and just a gram of fiber. So unless you’re not consuming popcorn topped with caramel, you’re good to go. 

Nutrition in Popcorn

People usually consider corn a vegetable; however, Popcorn is whole-grain. Popcorn kernels are harvested when the corn matures, and all parts of the grain are intact. Studies have found that consuming whole grain decreases the risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, and high blood pressure.

Popcorn is high in nutrition, and it contains the following:

  • Calories: Ninety
  • Fat: One Gram
  • Carbohydrates: Eighteen Grams
  • Fiber: Four Grams
  • Magnesium: 9% of RDI (Reference Daily Intake)
  • Phosphorus: 9% of RDI
  • Manganese: 12% of RDI
  • Zinc: 6% of RDI

Since the fiber content is high in Popcorn, it is very filling but does not contain many calories. Popcorn is also rich in the following minerals:

  • Zinc
  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese

Popcorn also contains antioxidants such as polyphenols that prevent cell damage. Polyphenols also protect against cancer. 

Can Popcorn be consumed on a Keto Diet?

Whether Popcorn can be part of your keto diet or not depends on you because if your daily intake of carbohydrates is high, you cannot eat Popcorn. However, if you consume a low amount of carbs daily, then Popcorn can be part of your diet. 

Since a typical serving of Popcorn only contains fourteen grams of net carbohydrates, they are safe to consume and won’t knock you off ketosis. The good news is, Popcorn can also be part of your keto diet if your daily consumption of carbs is 50 grams or less. 

Popcorn will also not hinder your weight loss process, as it only contains ninety calories. That being said, a large three-cup serving of Popcorn (24 grams) will take up a large chunk of your daily carb intake. Therefore, if you truly want to enjoy Popcorn on your keto diet, limit other carbs so your net carb limit is low and manageable.

Other carbohydrates such as chips, biscuits, bread are refined grains and contain no fiber whatsoever. Instead, try to eat Popcorn, and to help keep the consumption in check, add olive oil, butter, or coconut oil. Make sure you make Popcorn at home instead of buying ready-to-eat varieties.

Making Popcorn at home is straightforward; all you need to do is heat a tablespoon of butter or coconut oil in a large pot and add two tablespoons of kernel popcorn. Then put the lid on the pot; remove the pot from the stove and season it thoroughly once the popping stops.

How to Make Keto Popcorn?

You can also make keto Popcorn at home, and all you need is cheese, herbs, and spices. You can use any variety of cheese such as Sharp American, Gouda, and Colby Jack. 

Making keto popcorn starts by picking a variety of cheese, then chop that cheese into small cubes. Once you’ve chopped the cheese, place the cubes on a baking sheet, and use a dishtowel to cover it. Then place the baking sheet in a cool area for at least 24 hours.

The next day bake the cheese cubes for seven to eight minutes until they are popped and puffed. After a while, remove the cheese from the oven, let it cool down, and remove the excess oil from the Popcorn. 

Tips for Low-Carb Popcorn

  • Try not to overbake the cheese as it will deflate.
  • Make sure the Popcorn is completely cooled before adding flavor.
  • A longer drying process will help the cheese puff up.
  • Seventy-two hours are needed for the best result.

Variations of Flavour

While popcorns taste good on their own, there is no harm in adding some flavor to them. Below we have discussed a few options:

  • Sweet and Salty: Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon of salt and two tablespoons of keto sugar or ¼ cup of a granulated sweetener.
  • Cheddar Cheese: Add two tablespoons of cheese powder to the Popcorn.
  • Butter: Melt the butter, add it to the Popcorn and sprinkle ¼ teaspoon of salt.
  • Ranch: Add one tablespoon to the Popcorn.
  • Parmesan Garlic: Add two tablespoons of parmesan and one teaspoon of garlic to the Popcorn.

Keto Popcorn Nutrition

  • Serving: One Person
  • Calories: 116KCAL
  • Carbs: One Gram
  • Protein: Seven Grams
  • Fat: Nine Grams
  • Sodium: 176 Milligrams
  • Potassium: 31 Milligrams
  • Fiber: One Gram
  • Vitamin A: 284IU
  • Vitamin C: One Milligram
  • Calcium: 207 Milligrams
  • Iron: One Milligram

Keto Substitute for Popcorn

Not fond of Popcorn? Don’t worry. We have some alternatives for you, and they have been discussed below. 

  1. Zucchini Chips

Keto Zucchini chips are a perfect alternative for popcorn and potato chips and are extremely easy to make. To make Zucchini chips, slice the Zucchini and bake it in the oven for a few minutes. Once the baking is done, take them out, and season them with salt, cinnamon, or spices.

  1. Keto Cookies

Keto cookies are also a great substitute for Popcorn; they are low in carbs and easily made at home. Keto cookies also contain a few ingredients and can be made in minutes. Keto cookies are also available commercially, so go and buy them if you are short on time. 

  1. Fat Bombs

Fat Bombs have become popular in the world of Keto. There are many ways of making fat bombs, and they are also known as ‘Fat Balls.’ The ingredients of fat bombs are natural, and they contain no artificial sweeteners.

  1. Jerky (Homemade)

Jerky can also be made at home, and if done right, tastes good. For the best jerky, you should use grass-fed beef and prepare a delicious spice blend. You can take the jerky with you on camping trips and picnics. However, make sure that you add no honey and sugar.

  1. Keto Coffee Chocolate Bark

Don’t be surprised, you can have chocolate on a Keto diet. There is a reason why chocolates are loaded with sugar because chocolate in its purest form is quite bitter. People also love the combination of dark chocolate and coffee that gives them the perfect blend of bitterness.

  1. Keto Gummy Bears

Gummy bears usually have net carbs of up to 1.5 grams, so they are safe to eat. Keto gummy bears are delicious; they are sour and chewy. Make sure you have the gummy bear mould at home but don’t be worried if you don’t, as you can make squares as well. 


So we go back to the same old question: Is popcorn keto? By now, we have a pretty clear idea, and know that Popcorn can be a part of the keto diet. However, you can only make popcorn part of your keto diet if your intake of carbohydrates is in check and low.

Popcorns on their own are healthy; they are made of whole-wheat and contain necessary fibers. So as long as your Popcorn is not topped with a thick layer of caramel or does not have sweeteners, you can eat it.

However, some people don’t like eating Popcorn and are always looking for alternatives. Well, we have given above a list of keto-friendly snacks that you can make at home. We have mentioned the list below as well:

  • Zucchini Chips
  • Keto Cookies
  • Keto Gummy Bears
  • Keto Coffee Chocolate Bark
  • Jerky
  • Fat Bombs

However, before you make sudden shifts in your diet, it is essential to contact your dietitian and discuss. Even small shifts in the diet pattern can knock you off ketosis.

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