Whoa, Eating a Bowl of Popcorn for Dinner Is Healthier Than Pasta

Yep, we were shocked, too

It’s 9 p.m. You’ve been running around all day. And those steamed veggies with roasted chicken you were planning to make for dinner? Yeah, not gonna happen. 

Usually we’d grab the nearest box of pasta, throw some store-bought sauce over it and pat ourselves on the back for not eating popcorn. But it turns out, when you’re in a pinch, a bowl of popcorn is actually better for you than penne, according to nutritionist Maria Marlowe.

Basically, a serving of white pasta has 200 calories, 2 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein. But if you eat eight cups of unsalted, air-popped popcorn (which is a whole grain, BTW), you’ll rack up 10 grams of fiber and protein while still staying under 250 calories. Shake on some spices, pair it with veggies and hummus and you’ve actually got a not-so-bad meal.

Are you going to win any World’s Healthiest Dinner awards? No. Is it better than mac and cheese from a box? Absolutely.

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Freelance Editor

From 2015-2020 Lindsay Champion held the role of Food and Wellness Director. She continues to write for PureWow as a Freelance Editor.