microwave popcorn calories

The nutrition facts on the bag of microwave popcorn I’m looking at state calories for 3 tablespoons unpopped, and 1 cup popped. Then it shows calories from fat for the same two categories. Unpopped popcorn has 20 calories from fat. Popped popcorn has none.
My first question is - who eats unpopped popcorn?
My second question is - where do the fat calories go when you pop the popcorn?
Is that why you have to open the bag carefully after popping it - so the fat calories don’t spill on you?

I can’t answer the first question, but I can address the second one-if you pop a bag of microwave popcorn, eat all the popcorn, then cut the bag open, you will find the insides of the bag very greasy. Most of the fat adheres to the inside of the bag.

Opening the bag carefully only deals peripherally with fat grams spilling on you; see, if you open the bag quickly, you can get steam burns on your hands and/or face. This will make you cuss loudly, leap erratically around your kitchen, then go looking for a half-gallon of ice cream to eat in an effort to soothe yourself, and that’s some serious fat and calories right there! :wink:

If you look on the inside of the bag after you’ve poured out the popcorn, it looks like a lot of the fat ends up there.

ETA: What norinew said!

1: When I was a kid I used to eat the “old maids” out of the bottom of the bowl. They usually had a good buildup of salt and butter on them so I’d suck the good stuff off and swallow the kernels whole.

2: I would think during the popping process a lot of the yellow butter-flavored goodness melts onto and sticks to the walls of the bag, which is why the popped stuff has less fat. Although there’s hardly anything to a cup of popped popcorn; I usually end up eating the whole bagful.

3: Most products have warning labels on their warning labels these days, although I can attest to the fact that the yellow butter-flavored goodness in its liquid state is a hard stain to wash out of your clothes.

(old maids is my mother’s term for the kernels that don’t pop)


Odds are there’s actually a bit less than 20 fat calories in 3 unpopped tablespoons, but the amount was rounded to 20, as the FDA requires. One tablespoon of unpopped popcorn will give you about 1 cup of popped popcorn. So, divide that slightly-less-than 20 by 3, and you end up with a number less than 5, which you may round down to zero.

Food companies like jinking with these numbers. Ever look at spray butter? Zero calories per serving! Of course, a “serving” has been defined as four squirts, each of which is about 1 calorie, and they’re allowed to round that “4” down to “0”. If they made five squirts equal a serving, they’d have to round up to 10, and that’s not good for business.

I think the law is that if you can conceivably eat something in its raw form, you have to include nutrition info for that form. I think even oatmeal includes its nutrition information for being eaten raw.

:eek: The entire bottle contains 900 calories and 90 grams of fat. The serving size yields zero calories. Ain’t rounding fun?! :stuck_out_tongue:

Bear in mind, if you’re the sort to cut open the bag and lick it, you do get those missing calories back.

Along the same lines: Sucralose in it’s pure form is actually non-caloric, apparently, but in the form most of is buy it (granulated Splenda), it actually has about 100 calories per cup due to the fillers they use to make it measurable, and not be a big bag of air (sucralose is very, very sweet, the amount of sucralose in a cup of granulated Splenda is minuscule).

That said, table sugar has about 800 calories for that same cup, so Splenda’s still much better for you, calorie-intake-wise.

(I can’t find the company cite any more, but here’s someone reprinting an e-mail with the same basic content.)

This is incredible; do you have a cite?

Here, I’ll help.


The last link includes a response from ConAgra, revealing the following:

The blog writer then does the math for the total bottle volume, arriving at a total amount of 832 calories in the bottle, from 93 grams of fat. Not so hot, for a “no-calorie” food.

Lick it? Barbarian. Scrape it off with a butter knife - much more genteel.

I can’t fathom a universe in which I’d even need to know how many calories are in the whole bottle. What, you gonna use the whole thing at once? Pop open the top and drink it?