Popcorn and movies undoubtedly go together. But if you're counting calories or carbs, or just aiming to make healthier choices, movie theater popcorn is probably something you want to eat in moderation.
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If you're concerned about the calories in movie theater popcorn, try air-popped popcorn instead.
Movie Theater Popcorn Nutrition
According to AMC Theatres, a medium-sized movie theater popcorn without butter will give you:
- Calories: 600
- Total fat: 27 g
- Saturated fat: 2 g
- Trans fat: 0 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: 1,530 mg
- Total carbs: 82 g
- Dietary fiber: 15 g
- Sugar: 0 g
- Protein: 14 g
Movie Theater Popcorn Calories and Macros
If you're wondering how many calories are in movie theater popcorn, the answer depends on the theater you go to and the size of your order. A medium-sized popcorn from AMC movie theater holds 7 cups of popcorn and has about 600 calories.
The calories in movie theater popcorn can vary quite a bit, though. Butter-free popcorn from AMC ranges from 300 calories for a small order to 1,090 calories for a refillable tub, per AMC Theatres.
The carbs in movie theater popcorn also vary. You can get anywhere between 41 and 148 grams of carbs from movie theater popcorn.
Because AMC popcorn is popped in canola oil, it's usually high in fat, even if you skip the butter. You'll get anywhere between 13 grams of fat (in a small) and 48 grams of fat in a refillable tub.
Movie theater popcorn also has some protein. In a small, you'll get 7 grams of protein, while a refillable tub has 25 grams.
Calories in Movie Theater Popcorn With Butter
Adding butter to movie theater popcorn also adds calories and fat. Not to mention, butter is usually dispensed through a button-operated machine, so it can be easy to lose track of how much you're using. One tablespoon of movie theater butter has 130 calories and 14 grams of fat (of which nine grams are saturated fat), according to Cinemark.
Nutritious Movie Snack Ideas
If you can't enjoy your movie without a snack in hand, you also have the option to meal prep your own snacks to keep the carbs and calories low.
You can also air-pop your own popcorn. With only 31 calories per cup, air-popped popcorn will give you the same satisfying crunch for a fraction of the calories, according to the USDA.
If you like pairing your movie theater popcorn with something sweet, make your own trail mix. Combine air-popped popcorn, unsalted nuts and dried fruit for flavorful variety. This combination of protein, carbs and fats will fill you up without derailing your healthy-eating streak.
But if bringing your own snack isn't an option, choose the healthiest snack at the theater: A small order of unbuttered, unsalted popcorn. Plus, you'll get four grams of filling fiber!