Is Popcorn Keto and How Many Carbs are there in Popcorn?

Is Popcorn Keto and How Many Carbs are there in Popcorn?

No matter if you are a first timer doing the Keto diet or you have been a mainstay, there is always something new about this eating plan. When it comes to popcorn, you may not connect this food to Keto, but rather to the movie theaters. But, the carb amounts vary between how much popcorn you eat and what types of popcorn you choose. 

Is Popcorn Keto Friendly?

Yes, popcorn can be Keto friendly, but not all popcorn can be eaten in a Keto diet. Based on nutritional facts for popcorn, one cup of popcorn should help a person stay within Ketosis. (5) Here is a list of 3 types of popcorn that is most commonly eaten on the Keto diet.

1. Air-Popped

The United States Department of Agriculture calculated that this type of popcorn has 6.22 grams of carbohydrates in a cup. (1) Made from a hot-air popper, this version is probably one that is used the least often by people. This is primarily because of that fact that this is the oldest way to make popcorn. 

2. Oil-Popped

For this type of popcorn, the carbs measure out to 4.65 grams per cup. (1) This is great news for people who like to use oil, which is heated to expand each and every kernel. You can use oils that are low in carbs and calories. 

3. Microwave

If you like microwave popcorn, the USDA measures the carbs per cup at 4.52 grams. (1) As one of the most common ways to make popcorn, the microwave is an easy way to make your tasty treat quickly and efficiently. 

So, from this information, how Keto-friendly is popcorn? Well, there are much worse foods for you to eat that will knock you from ketosis. If you limited your intake, Ketosis can be achieved by staying under the 50 grams of carbohydrates threshold every day. (3) Now, there may be better choices you can get away with it if you are committed to your diet. It is a friendly option because of its low-calorie make-up with no trans fats. (5)  

Since popcorn comes from corn, many people still are not convinced that it is Keto-friendly. A typical sweet corn ear ranges between 13-27 carbs. (1) This is not only eye-opening, but terrifying to Keto dieters. However, slow your roll because corn as a whole might be bad, but popcorn kernels are different with how you can measure out what you are going to eat.

Calories are another measurement that Keto uses. 100 grams of popcorn would be way too much with a calorie range of 387-535. (1) But, if you keep popcorn at a cup, your calorie count will be a lot less. So much less in fact, that you should only expected your cup of popcorn to cost you 31-42 calories. (1)

Can You Eat Popcorn on the Keto Diet?


By eating a cup of popcorn only, you will be able to stay in Ketosis day in and day out. (1) You should not feel bad if you are craving this snack. But, if you are starting to eat more than a cup, you should run away. At this point, you may fall out of Ketosis. Going to the local movie theater can really put you over the edge. With the weight of popcorn bucket ranging from theater to theater, small popcorns are between 5-6 cups. (1) This is more than enough for you. So, either you can take some home for later or discard the rest of the popcorn on your way out. Unfortunately, because of the influx of measurements, grams per cup at a movie theater  is between 4.5 to 6.2. (1)

Popcorn definitely in not the most filling of options, but it is great for a treat every now and again. You just need to understand your limits on the Keto diet. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the best way to cook popcorn on a Keto diet?

Using an air-popper or using oil on the stove to heat your kernels are the best options for a Keto dieter. (5) This way, you will have more control of what toppings and oils you want to add. With microwave popcorn, there are not as many options to control your diet. 

2. What are the best fats to add to Keto-friendly popcorn?

Fats like butter, coconut oil, and olive oil are great for Keto-popcorn. (3) When you do this at home, you can control your measurements. Only use 1 tablespoon of fat or you will find yourself out of Ketosis very quickly. (3)

3. What kind of nutrition in popcorn will help with Ketosis?

With 1 gram of dietary fibers in your one cup of popcorn, you will worry less and less about staying in Ketosis. Instead, you will think more and more about your snack that is Keto-friendly and actually somewhat healthy. (1)

4. Does Keto approve popcorn on its list of foods?

Though popcorn in small amounts can keep you in Ketosis, it is not approved. (2) Because the carb count comes close to the daily limit, that may scare some people off. But, with its rich antioxidants, this food may not be approved, but it is a food possibility. (2)

5. What is the best way to keep track of your carbs?

When on the Keto diet, you may be able to count your carb manually. However, if you are not confident during this process, a calculator may be your very best friend. There is a plethora of macronutrient calculators across the Internet for you to take advantage of. (5) Stick with it and do not give up so quickly. Most habits take weeks to perfect.

6. Should all carb measurements be treated equal in Keto?

Even though the article gives an average of 1 cup of popcorn for people to eat on the Keto diet, this is not true across the board. An individual’s daily carb intake depends on 3 important factors. The first is body type, second, health history, and third, goals. (5) Every person on the planet is unique and different when it comes to these variables. Make sure you decide upon what goals you have during your diet, how your body reacts to different foods, and how healthy you have been over your lifetime. With this information in mind, you will be able to create a plan that sheds pounds quicker than you ever thought possible. 

Keto Ways to Eat Popcorn


There are many ways to eat popcorn that fits to the requirements of Ketosis. Check out these yummy options that will not take you very long to make at all.

1. Butter Up:

Putting butter on popcorn is one of the oldest kernel pastimes. You can also put some heated olive oil or margarine on top. (2) Whatever you choose, this is probably the most popular of options.

2. Getting Salty:

Unfortunately, many Keto dieters struggle with the “Keto Flu” because of their poor salt intake. By putting some salt on the popcorn, you will stay away from the flu if you add up to ½ teaspoon. (2) There aren’t many time where adding more salt is a good thing, but the Keto diet is the exception to the rule. 

3. Cheddar Cheese:

Another thing to add is cheese on top of your popcorn. This is a great way to flavor your popcorn, and it is a great topping for any of your Keto meals. (2)

On the other hand, there are a lot of copycat meals, where you can make foods that are similar to popcorn. If you are looking for a few Keto substitutes, these options could work for you as well. 

 Crunchy Keto Popcorn Cheese Puffs: You may want to steer clear from popcorn all together, but still want a similar texture. With the help of sliced cheddar cheese, it is like you are eating popcorn, without actually eating a kernel. (4)

Raw Veggie Platter:  This might not be as tasty as popcorn, but you will get plenty of fiber and low carb options with cauliflower, celery, and broccoli to name a few. (1) Depending on the carb levels, you can dip these veggies  in a dressing for added flavor. Just make sure to calculate your eating intake. 

Pork Rinds:​ Looking for something with a crunch? It may not be popcorn, but taking a bite of pork rinds will give you that same crunch. But, pay attention to those calories, as you plan out your day.  

  • Ketogasm. (2019). “Carbs in Popcorn: Is Popcorn Keto Friendly? 
  • Kiss My Keto. (2019). “Is Popcorn Keto Approved? (Carbs in Popcorn and Other Info).”
  • Healthline. (2019). “Can You Eat Popcorn on a Keto Diet?” 
  • My Keto Kitchen. (2018). “Keto Popcorn Recipe Cheese Puffs – 1 Ingredient EASY!”
  • Perfect Keto. (2019). “Is Popcorn Keto-Friendly? What You Need to Know About the Carbs in Popcorn.”