Is Popcorn Keto? No, Here Are Some Alternatives!

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Lolita Carrico
Lolita Carrico
A certified nutritionist and self-taught chef with a love for entertaining and experimenting with food, Lolita Carrico created Ketology after struggling for years with her own hormonal changes and weight gain. After having two children, she found that managing her weight and moods became more and more of a struggle. After researching the ketogenic diet thoroughly and understanding the science and nutritional aspects, she began her keto journey in 2018. Within three months, she shed 25 pounds and her mood improved, focus sharpened and her energy was through the roof. Four years later, she has maintained a 65-pound weight loss and has learned to intuitively follow a balanced keto lifestyle without sacrificing a thing!

One of the biggest questions I get from people starting out with keto is, “Is popcorn keto friendly?” While popcorn isn’t a HIGH carb snack, I don’t recommend that most eat popcorn on a keto diet because a typical three cup serving has 14 grams of net carbs, which is more than I like to see in a nutritionally deficient snack. Really, all you’re getting is those carbs without nutritional value. So, technically, the answer to is popcorn keto friendly, is no because for those following the 50 grams of net carbs model, that popcorn snack will take up almost 1/3 of your daily carb intake. I try to stay under 25 grams of carbs, so popcorn is definitely not keto friendly in my book. Will I grab a tiny handful out of my son’s popcorn bucket when we go to the movies? Usually, yes…but I won’t go all in with a full serving. Also, corn is not great for gut health in general so there are better alternatives for popcorn.

However I know popcorn is the perfect movie snack option – whether you’re in the theater or at home (which is how most of us are enjoying movies at the moment!). I have found a bunch of delicious popcorn alternatives or keto recipes for snacks that will satisfy that crunch and comfort craving that keeps your total carbs count down — and which you might like better than popcorn!

Lowrey’s Bacon Curls: my sister-in-law introduced these pork rind creations to me last year as a snack she always has on hand. Similar to microwave popcorn, the come in a little bag that you pop in the microwave for a few minutes and they “pop” up into fluffy, crunchy pork rinds that are so addictive. I love the Hot & Spicy flavor however the original sprinkled with some nutritional yeast for a parmesan-like flavor also is amazing. Plus, one serving is LESS than 1g of carbs!

Moon Cheese: Similar to cheese puffs or Pirate’s Booty, Moon Cheese comes in a variety of flavors and are JUST CHEESE for the most part and very low carb at 1g carbs per serving. I keep these in my car but also have them on hand for movie night and sometimes make a keto trail mix with these, pecans and some Lily’s chocolate chips. Delicious!

Cauliflower Popcorn

cauliflower popcornI’ve tried this recipe from All Recipes a few times and it’s delicious! I usually play with toppings like nutritional yeast, parmesan or seasoning salt — no matter what you top it with, it’s a hit!


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