Popcorn is one of my absolute favorite snacks. It’s quick and easy to make and it’s a great base for all sorts of flavors. However, some popcorn brands are healthier than others. In this article, I will see if Jiffy Pop Popcorn is a healthy snack option.
Jiffy Pop Popcorn is not that healthy. Although it is whole grain and free of artificial colors, Jiffy Pop Popcorn has palm oil which is high in saturated fat. Jiffy Pop also has TBHQ which is a preservative that may have negative health effects.
Let’s dive a little deeper to answer the question: Is Jiffy Pop Popcorn healthy? I’ll review the nutritional facts and compare them to other brands. I’ll conclude with a suggestion for enjoying popcorn in a healthy way!
Is Jiffy Pop Popcorn Healthy?
Check out these 11 questions I’ll be answering about Jiffy Pop Popcorn. Click on any of these questions to skip ahead to that section or keep scrolling to read them all:
- What Are The Ingredients In Jiffy Pop Popcorn?
- How Many Carbs Are In Jiffy Pop Popcorn?
- Is Jiffy Pop Popcorn Good For Weight Loss?
- Does Jiffy Pop Popcorn Have Diacetyl?
- Does Jiffy Pop Popcorn Have PFAS?
- Is Jiffy Pop Popcorn High In Sodium?
- Is Jiffy Pop Popcorn High In Fiber?
- Is Jiffy Pop Popcorn Healthier Than Orville Redenbacher?
- Is Jiffy Pop Popcorn Healthier Than Pop Secret?
- What Is A Healthy Alternative To Jiffy Pop Popcorn?
- Is Jiffy Pop Popcorn Vegan?
1. What Are The Ingredients In Jiffy Pop Popcorn?
Jiffy Pop Popcorn comes in one flavor: Butter Popcorn. Let’s take a look at each of the ingredients in Jiffy Pop Butter Popcorn along with my key takeaways.
- Jiffy Pop Popcorn contains popping corn, which is a whole grain. Because of this, Jiffy Pop is naturally higher in important nutrients compared to other snacks. One of these nutrients is fiber. We’ll talk more about fiber below.
- Jiffy Pop Popcorn contains palm oil. This plant oil is used in food production as it is stable at high heat and is cheaper than other vegetable oils. But palm oil is higher in saturated fat. It’s generally recommended to eat lower amounts of saturated fat and replace it with unsaturated fat to decrease your risk of heart disease. Palm oil is also a controversial food with environmental and social ethical issues.
- Jiffy Pop Popcorn is free of artificial colors. Instead, it contains annatto from the seeds of the achiote tree. This natural orange-yellow coloring is better since artificial colors and dyes have been linked to health concerns like hyperactivity in children.
- Jiffy Pop popcorn contains natural flavors which include dairy ingredients. While natural flavors are generally considered safe, they can come from many different plant or animal sources. So, you should avoid specific ones based on your allergies or dietary restrictions. For example, if you are lactose intolerant or eat a vegan diet, you should avoid natural flavors that contain dairy.
- Jiffy Pop Popcorn includes TBHQ and Citric Acid for freshness. Citric acid is naturally found in citrus fruits. TBHQ is a preservative that has been considered safe in the amounts added to food. But TBHQ can have negative effects when consumed in higher amounts and over time. One of these is increased inflammation.
So, along with some healthy ingredients, Jiffy Pop Popcorn also has ingredients that we may want to eat less.
2. How Many Carbs Are In Jiffy Pop Popcorn?
Jiffy Pop Popcorn has around 20 g of carbs per serving, so it is not considered a low-carb or keto-friendly option. Luckily, 3 g of the total carbs are from fiber whereas none is from added sugar.
Unlike added sugar, the carbs in popcorn are from starch, which can modestly elevate blood sugar levels. For this reason, popcorn is considered a low glycemic index (GI) grain. This is helpful for people watching their blood sugars like those with diabetes.
3. Is Jiffy Pop Popcorn Good For Weight Loss?
Popcorn is naturally high in fiber and lower in calories, making it good for weight loss. But with Jiffy Pop Popcorn, added calories come from the fat in palm oil.
The oil makes Jiffy Pop more calorie-dense than air-popped popcorn and less helpful for weight loss. Since the goal of weight loss is taking in fewer calories than the body needs, lower calorie-dense options are preferred.
Higher nutrient density is also important for weight loss and healthy eating. Nutrient-dense foods pack in many nutrients to meet your needs and allow you to stay full with fewer calories. Since popcorn has more nutrients than other snacks like chips, it would be more nutrient-dense.
While Jiffy Pop Popcorn can still be part of a weight loss plan, moderation is the key!
4. Does Jiffy Pop Popcorn Have Diacetyl?
Diacetyl is a chemical that is found in low levels in butter and gives it its unique flavor. In the past, higher amounts were added to foods like butter-flavored popcorn, margarine, and cooking sprays.
High levels of diacetyl have been linked to a lung disease called “popcorn lung”. Because of this, many manufacturers have removed diacetyl from their food products.
I was not able to find any sources confirming whether Jiffy Pop has diacetyl. But, as most popcorn brands have moved away from it, my guess is that Jiffy Pop also does not contain diacetyl.
5. Does Jiffy Pop Popcorn Have PFAS?
PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) are chemicals used in food packaging like microwavable popcorn bags. Starting in 2011, studies linked PFAS to several types of cancer. For that reason, these chemicals were eventually banned.
Since Jiffy Pop Popcorn is packaged in aluminum foil and not in microwaveable bags, there shouldn’t be large amounts of PFAS exposure.
6. Is Jiffy Pop Popcorn High In Sodium?
Jiffy Pop Popcorn can be considered a medium-sodium option. A serving size provides around 220 mg of sodium. This is around 10% of the daily value based on the American Heart Association’s recommended daily sodium limit of 2300 mg per day.
Consuming too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Since many packaged foods are high in sodium, check for 5% or less Daily Value (DV) per serving on the label.
7. Is Jiffy Pop Popcorn High In Fiber?
Jiffy Pop Popcorn provides a moderate amount of fiber. The listed serving size of 4 cups provides around 3 g of fiber which is around 11% of the daily value. This is more fiber than you would get from other packaged salty snacks like chips and pretzels.
Eating enough fiber can help keep us feeling full and supports a healthy digestive system. A quick way to look for higher fiber options is to check for 15% or more Daily Value (DV) per serving on the label.
8. Is Jiffy Pop Popcorn Healthier Than Orville Redenbacher?
The ‘Butter’ flavors of Jiffy Pop Popcorn and Orville Redenbacher are similar in nutrition. But Jiffy Pop Popcorn is lower in saturated fat.
A serving of Jiffy Pop is lower in calories, fat (total and saturated), and sodium than a similar serving of Orville Redenbacher popcorn. A serving of Jiffy Pop is also higher in carbs, fiber, and protein. These differences are mostly minor, except for saturated fat.
The saturated fat per similar serving is almost 5 g higher in Orville Redenbacher. So, Jiffy Pop can be considered a mostly equal option to Orville Redenbacher. Which brand you choose will be based on your preferences.
9. Is Jiffy Pop Healthier Than Pop Secret?
A serving of Jiffy Pop Popcorn is lower in calories, fat (total and saturated), and sodium than a similar serving of Pop Secret popcorn. A serving of Jiffy Pop is also higher in carbs, fiber, and protein than a similar serving of Pop Secret popcorn.
These differences are mostly minor. So, Jiffy Pop Popcorn can be considered an equal option to Pop Secret. Which brand you choose will again be based on your preferences.
10. What Is A Healthy Alternative To Jiffy Pop Popcorn?
The process of cooking Jiffy Pop Popcorn is the same as making stovetop popcorn from scratch. So, a healthy alternative to Jiffy Pop is popping your own corn at home. This way, you can choose which and how much oil, seasoning, and other ingredients you want to add.
Some healthy oils you can add to air-popped popcorn include olive or avocado. These are higher in healthy, unsaturated fats. You can also add nutritional yeast. This can boost the protein and vitamin content while adding a cheesy, nutty flavor!
11. Is Jiffy Pop Popcorn Vegan?
Since the natural flavors in Jiffy Pop include milk, it is not vegan. If you’re looking for vegan popcorn, however, there are plenty of options out there. In fact, we have a whole guide to vegan microwave popcorn brands.
Of course, you can also pop your own popcorn at home, on the stovetop or in a popcorn popper. As long as you don’t add butter or other dairy ingredients, the popcorn itself (and the oil and salt) will be vegan!
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