What’s a trip to the movies without a bag of popcorn?? That buttery smell is pretty hard to resist. Sure, we know it can’t be *the best* for us, but is it really that bad to indulge in every once in a while? Well, a study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest might have you thinking twice about ordering movie theatre popcorn–even unbuttered!
According to the study, many theatres pop their kernels using coconut oil. “Coconut oil is the worst thing movie theaters could be using to pop in, because it is so bad for our hearts,” CSPI nutritionist Jayne Hurley said. “It’s 90 percent saturated. Lard is 40 percent saturated.” OK, that’s pretty gross.
The study then looked at medium-sized popcorns from three movie theatre chains: Regal, AMC and Cinemark. At Regal, a medium popcorn (which is equivalent to about 20 cups) contained 60 grams of saturated fat and 1,200 calories. A medium AMC popcorn is nine cups. It has 33 grams of saturated fat and 590 calories. Cinemark, while having 760 calories, was found to be the best of the three. They use canola oil, instead of coconut, and therefore a medium popcorn has just three grams of saturated fat.
So, next time you’re going to the movies, maybe don’t order popcorn? You’re much better off sneaking in healthier options like Skinny Pop (pro tip: mix with peanut M&Ms).
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