Is Popcorn Good for Weight Loss?

After documenting my Learnings from the Whole Food Plant-based “2 Forks” event this weekend, a few people have asked me about a comment made be celebrity Chef AJ. She said, “popcorn is not a weight loss food.” Why?  What about air-popped?

Chef AJ explained the calorie density method for optimizing weight loss.  Calorie density is the number of calories a food has per pound.

According to the UC Davis website, “Low calorie dense foods (fruits, veggies, starchy vegetables, whole grains and legumes) are the most filling and nutrient dense.”  Below are their guidelines for choosing the foods with the lowest calorie density.


Even without oil or salt, air-popped popcorn has a high calorie density. It is close to the border of “limited consumption” and “extremely limited consumption.” For weight management, it’s a better snack than cookies or nuts. However, corn, peas, mango, rice, bread, and even maple syrup would all be better choices than popcorn.

Due to my recent diabetes diagnosis, I am extremely interested in maximizing both my health and weight loss, so I will be employing the calorie density approach to nutrition and lifelong weight management. I have removed popcorn from my weekly grocery shopping list.

I hope you found this information helpful!

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