Although popcorn can be a healthy choice -- it's a whole grain that's packed with fiber -- the plain version is friendlier for your waistline than caramel popcorn. Caramel is made from sugar, and adds empty calories to your snack, providing no benefit besides taste.
One ounce of caramel popcorn contains 122 calories. About 90 of those calories come from carbohydrates, while about 27 come from fats. Just 4 calories come from protein. In comparison, 1 ounce of plain, air-popped popcorn contains 108 calories with one-third of the fat of caramel popcorn. Despite the added sugar, caramel popcorn still has fewer calories than fried snacks such as potato chips, which contain about 158 calories and nearly 11 grams of fat per ounce.