While there are most definitely many health benefits to popcorn, it’s important to note that this doesn’t mean you can consume any and all types of popcorn risk-free. For example, the American Heart Association notes that movie theater popcorn, while a popular snack, is generally not a healthy option. Popcorn served at the movies can have more than 1,000 calories and more than 2,600 milligrams of sodium.
You can also add microwave popcorn to the list of snacks to cut back on or avoid entirely. According to Healthline, the biggest problem with this type of popcorn is the presence of perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs. These compounds exist on the bags of microwave popcorn and are designed to prevent the oil from leaking through the bag. When heated, these PFCs can break down into perfluorooctanoic acid, which has been linked to cancer. However, if you skip the butter, oil, and fats and stick to the air-popped variety, there’s nothing keeping you from enjoying a bowl of popcorn on your next movie night.