The Truth About Popcorn: Is It As Healthy As We Think It Is?

Important snacking news

‘Tis a sad day, THE TRUTH is robbing us of the enjoyment of another thing we love: popcorn.

We’ll give it to you straight: popcorn is not the healthy snack we once believed it to be. Over the past few years, we’ve all ditched crisps in favour of popcorn. The health police in our heads have adopted the patter that popcorn is a healthy alternative – because, you know, it’s a puffed-up corn kernel and it has to be better than eating 25 slices of fried potato. Right?

According to the market research firm Mintel, the amount spent annually on regular crisps (that’s traditional crisp-shaped crisps in conventional flavours like ready salted) has fallen. British people bought £1.39bn worth of crisps in 2013 and only spent £1.34bn on the snack food in 2015. Meanwhile, sales of non-regular crisps (think Doritos, Hula Hoops and Pringles) have overtaken them.

Mintel also uncovered the fact that in recent years sales of popcorn have soared dramatically. Only £50m worth of the stuff was sold in 2010. But in 2015 Brits spent £129m on popcorn.

However, perhaps predictably, these bags of popcorn are not as healthy as we may have convinced ourselves they are. Sure, popcorn is a wholegrain so it’s fibre rich (and that’s good) but when you dump a load of delicious flavourings on top, it’s no longer such a virtuous option.

We’ve also been drawn in by clever marketing, which has persuaded us that popcorn is a premium choice. Enter ‘poshcorn’. Popcorn has graduated from dark cinema aisles in spectacular fashion to take the snacking world by storm.

Thanks to brands like Propercorn and Tyrells Poshcorn you can enjoy a whole spectrum of refined flavours like ‘sweet coconut and vanilla’ and ‘fiery worcester sauce and sundried tomato’. Who can blame us for being seduced?

We’ll leave you with this enlightening snack comparison: a 23g of Tyrrells Sweet & Salty Poshcorn has 119 calories (the same, per gram, as Walkers Salt & Vinegar crisps). A can of coca-cola has 139 calories.

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