What's worse for you?

Making popcorn with oil, and then putting nothing on it but salt


Making hot-air pop corn, but then dousing it with butter.

You can make popcorn without a microwave?!? :smack:

Sure. It’s called a “PAN”
Or you can use a MICROWAVE POPPER which let’s you choose between making it “hot air style” (no oil) or regular style (using oil).

So what’s worse for your health: oil or butter?

You’re kidding, right?

The answer is, unless your doctor has put you on a restricted diet to lower your cholesterol level, neither choice is bad for you. Dietary fat is not a major factor in body fat.

Ooh! Aren’t we the epitome of sarcasm? :wink:

A guess (no cites) at the OP’s post is that butter would be worse for you assuming the same volume of cooking oil and butter. Butter’s fairly saturated, whereas most cooking oils these days aren’t.

Besides, some of the oil will stay in the pan. And I suspect that the initial assumption is wrong and you’d use more butter in any case.

I’ve found that “I can’t believe it’s not butter” spray (the pump bottle from the dairy section), used at about five times the serving size recommended, makes dry-popped popcorn taste pretty good. I pop mine in a microwave using one of those microwave popping bowls (takes ordinary popcorn, not the microwave bags), so it’s effectively air-popped.

Ummm, yep! And I realized I left off the bit that answered the OP. I like air-pop and then I like to spray olive oil and garlic powder.

Has anyone ever tried Old Bay seasoning on popcorn?? Good stuff.

Also, I second the “Five times the serving size for I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter” spray. Yum yum.

As to the OP - I’d say the oil…it’s not that good for you, but poss. the lesser of two evils??

Why would the oil (presumably, we’re talking about vegetable oil and not motor oil) be “not that good for you” or “evil”?

Wouldn’t it depend on the oil used? There are a wide variety of cooking oils, some of them terrible for you, and some almost healthy. Peanut oil, for instance, would probably be worse than the butter (though it’d taste really good), but olive oil has all sorts of good things going for it.

Why would peanut oil be “worse” than butter?

I ask because peanut oil is a monosatured fat. Consuming foods high in monounsaturated fat, such as olive oil, and polyunsaturated fat, as found in nuts and most vegetable oil, is linked to a decreased risk of heart attack.

Oops, of course I meant that peanut oil is a monounsaturated fat.

I thought olive oil only had good things going for it if it wasn’t heated. Doesn’t it get all trans-fatty when heated?

So spraying some olive oil on popped popcorn might give you a nice mouth feel (and slight taste, perhaps enhanced by some grated parmesan, garlic salt or basil), but using it to pop the corn would be a no-no.


phew. I was worried this was another example of “grandpa what does winding your watch mean?”

All oils will oxidize and hydrogenate to a tiny degree if repeatedly heated to very high temperatures, such as done in commercial frying operations. However, olive oil is a highly monounsatured oil and thus resistant to oxidation and hydrogenation. The amount of hydrogenation in olive oil would be miniscule.

If you really want to do the calculations, keep in mind that butter is not all fat. It’s 20% water.

Could you expand on this a little? I’m trying to read into it I don’t want to jump to any conclusions about what you mean.

Willett, W.C., Leibel, R.L., “Dietary Fat Is Not A Major Determinant of Body Fat,” American Journal of Medicine, 113(9BS), 2002, pp. 47S-59S.

Willet, W.C., “Is Dietary Fat a Major Determinant of Body Fat?,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 67(Suppl), 1998, pp. 556S-562S.