What About Eating Movie Popcorn?

I grew up going to the movies. Every Saturday we would go catch the Western double feature along with cartoons. My mom gave me money for admission and a box of popcorn. So movie watching has always been a munching experience for me.

I live in downtown Chicago. There is a wonderful AMC Theater about a mile from my door. That Multiplex is usually my go to theater. With a choice of 10 screens I almost can’t go wrong. The only fly in the ointment is the popcorn. I am always sorely tempted to buy one of their tubs to munch on while watching. Unfortunately, AMC  popcorn can turn any movie into a horror flick.

A large AMC popcorn has 1030 calories, 443 mg of Sodium, 31 grams of total fat with 27 grams of saturated fat. The only good news is 13 grams of protein but at an awful nutritional price.

A look at the breakdown yields the following. The 1030 calories amount to half of my calorie budget for the day. The 443 mg of Sodium are about a quarter of my salt allotment. Lastly, 27 grams of saturated fat are 6 grams higher than the total amount suggested as a maximum for the entire day. The only reservation I have on this is it might be that the saturated fat comes from coconut oil which is wonderfully healthy for the body. Check out my write up Why you should include coconut oil in your diet.

Needless to say, I pass on the popcorn when I go to the movies. But, there is no need to white knuckle it while watching a good movie. My workaround is two snacks I have written about for the blog previously – tamari roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and roasted and salted seaweed.

An ounce of pepitas contains 125 calories, 12 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, No cholesterol, 160 mg of sodium, 4 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber and 18 grams of protein.

A package of about 10 sheets of seaweed yielded the following: Only 30 calories, fat 2 grams, no cholesterol, sodium 50 mg, carbohydrates 1 gram, fiber 1 gram and protein 1 gram.

This works great for me. Not only are they eminently munchable, but they provide valuable nutrition, too.

I went to see Nice Guys starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling this week. Loved it. I am a fan of Shane Black, the director. He did Kiss Kiss Bang Bang in 2005 with Val Kilmer and Robert Downey, Jr. Both flicks were noir comedies, if there is such a genre. It features bad guys and hysterical action. You get to laugh and cringe at the same time. Worth checking out.

The good news is that the snacks I brought lasted the entire film. You might try them out and see how they work. I got the pepitas at Whole Foods and the seaweed at Costco. If they don’t work for you, consider snacks more amenable to your palate but pass on the movie popcorn.

Check out my write up How healthy is popcorn? for a fuller discussion on making and enjoying you own healthy popcorn..


1 Comment

Filed under calories, Fiber, heart, men and healthy eating, popcorn, portion size, protein, Snacking, Weight

One response to “What About Eating Movie Popcorn?

  1. Movie popcorn was one of my most regular treats until my recent surgery. My wife and I would split an AMC large tub that Tony described every Sunday. Ir’s one more thing I can no longer eat. I’ve been bringing a cup of my Trader Joe’s high fiber cereal in a small bag to munch on instead since my angioplasty Aug. 13. Today, I also brought five fresh Italian figs and six new sugar-free, fat-free biscotti I found yesterday at Whole Foods. Unlike Tony, I am not at all happy with my substitutes but know that I can never go back to my old popcorn ways if I want to keep my arteries from blocking up again. I saw two movies today and so also passed on the hot dog I would normally get for a double feature.


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