Are you Up in the Air about which treats to choose as you try to catch all 10 best picture nominees before the Academy Award Ceremony on March 7?
For many a moviegoer, the popcorn and candy are part of the whole cinematic experience. But they may derail your diet if you go overboard.
But with a little creativity and planning, you can enjoy Inglourious Basterds, Hurt Locker, or any of the other Best Picture nominees without getting Blindsided at the concession stand. Here’s how.
The nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) first blew the whistle on movie theater popcorn in a 1994 report that showed movie theater popcorn as being full of artery-clogging fat.
“Immediately, there were changes,” says Jayne Hurley, RD, a CSPI nutritionist. “Many theaters switched to healthier oil within weeks, but through the years they have gone back to old unhealthy coconut oil,” Hurley says.
The CSPI revisited the popcorn issue again in 2009 – and things seem to have gone from bad to worse.
Movie theater popcorn contains anywhere from 400 to 1,200 calories, not to mention one to three days’ worth of artery-clogging saturated fat and a whopping 1,500 milligrams of sodium.
And if the intrepid concession stand employee manages to up-sell you (say by adding some candy or sugary soda to go with that popcorn), then your calories will keep on going Up.
The latest report updates the organization’s infamous 1994 exposé with new nutritional information on the movie snacks offered by America’s three largest movie chains: Regal, AMC, and Cinemark.
“The biggest change is that the third largest theater chain – Cinemark — is popping their popcorn in heart-healthy canola oil, while the other two are still using coconut oil, which means you’re getting an amazing amount of saturated fat in popcorn,” Hurley tells WebMD.
Hurley gives coconut oil an XXX rating when it comes to health.