Popcorn is a great high-fiber snack, but adding ingredients like sugar and oil can make it less healthy. We’re going to take a closer look at Lesser Evil popcorn and find out if it’s a nutritious snack option.
Lesser Evil popcorn uses only organic ingredients and non-GMO popcorn. Most flavors contain no added sugar, making Lesser Evil popcorn a relatively healthy snack. However, Lesser Evil uses coconut, ghee, and olive oil in their popcorn, resulting in a fairly high amount of saturated fat, so sticking to the 28g serving size is wise.
In this article, I’ll continue to dig deeper into whether Lesser Evil popcorn is a good healthy snack. I’ll also be exploring whether it’s a whole grain, and if Lesser Evil popcorn can help with weight loss. This will allow you to make an educated decision on whether this snack is the best option for you!
Is Lesser Evil Popcorn Bad For You?
The 11 Lesser Evil nutrition questions I’ll be answering are listed below. You can click on the individual sections for the information you are looking for, or continue reading to learn about this popcorn snack in more detail.
- What Are the Ingredients in Lesser Evil Popcorn?
- Does Lesser Evil Popcorn Have Sugar?
- Is Lesser Evil Popcorn Good For Weight Loss?
- Is Lesser Evil Popcorn High In Sodium?
- Is Lesser Evil Popcorn Low Fat?
- Is Lesser Evil Popcorn Processed?
- Is Lesser Evil Popcorn a Whole Grain?
- Is Lesser Evil Popcorn Healthier Than Skinny Pop?
- Is Lesser Evil Popcorn Healthier Than Chips?
- What Is a Healthier Alternative to Lesser Evil Popcorn?
- Is Lesser Evil Popcorn Vegan?
1. What Are the Ingredients in Lesser Evil Popcorn?
I’ve chosen three popular flavors of Lesser Evil popcorn to explore the ingredients. Keep reading below to see the breakdown of what’s included in each flavor.
|Himalayan Pink Salt||Organic NON-GMO Popcorn, Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Himalayan Salt|
|No Cheese Cheesiness||Organic Non-GMO Popcorn, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Tapioca Solids, Organic Rice Flour, Himalayan Crystal Salt, Organic Flavor, Yeast Extract, Lactic Acid, Organic Butter-Type Flavor|
|Fiery Hot!||Organic NON-GMO popcorn, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Tapioca Solids, Sea Salt, Organic Raw Cane Sugar, Organic Garlic Powder, Organic Red Bell Pepper Powder, Organic Jalapeño Pepper Powder, Organic Yeast Extract, Organic White Distilled Vinegar, Organic Spices, Organic Nutritional Yeast, Organic Flavor, Citric Acid, Organic Onion Powder, Organic Annatto Extract, Organic Habanero Pepper|
Here’s what catches my eye about these popcorn ingredients:
- Lesser Evil popcorn only contains organic ingredients and non-GMO popcorn. These ingredients don’t stem from the use of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and GMOs, making them a healthier and more nutritious option. Lesser Evil prides itself on making ‘clean’ snacks for people to enjoy, and the use of only organic ingredients is a big part of this.
- Lesser Evil popcorn has no artificial colors. There are an increasing number of studies showing artificial colors have negative effects such as hyperactivity in children. Therefore Lesser Evil containing no artificial colors is fantastic.
- Most flavors of Lesser Evil popcorn are dairy free. Many people are intolerant to dairy or choose to have a dairy-free diet, including vegans like myself. The only flavor of Lesser Evil popcorn that has any dairy is the ‘Oh My Ghee’ flavor.
- Most flavors of Lesser Evil popcorn contain no added sugar. We all know how good sugar tastes, but it can wreak havoc on our bodies. Consuming sugary snacks can spike blood sugar levels, so it’s best to opt for healthier snacks with minimal or no added sugar.
- The ‘Oh My Ghee’ flavor of Lesser Evil popcorn has 4.5g of saturated fat per serving. Ghee is clarified butter, typically made from cow’s milk, making it unsuitable for vegans and high in unhealthy saturated fats.
Lesser Evil popcorn has whole grain popcorn, which is naturally high in fiber and low in fat. However, the addition of sugar and ghee makes some flavors less healthy than others. The Himalayan Salt flavor seems to be one of the healthier choices, with 0g of sugar and only 3 ingredients.
In the next section, we’ll take a closer look at the sugar content of Lesser Evil popcorn.
- What kind of popcorn does Lesser Evil use? Lesser Evil uses non-GMO, air-popped popcorn with the addition of organic ingredients to enhance taste and flavor.
- Is there MSG in Lesser Evil popcorn? Lesser Evil popcorn contains no MSG (monosodium glutamate).
2. Does Lesser Evil Popcorn Have Sugar?
Only 3 flavors of Lesser Evil popcorn contain sugar: Himalayan Sweetness, Fiery Hot, and Celebration. The sugar in these flavors is organic raw cane sugar and doesn’t exceed 5g per serving. Raw cane sugar is somewhat healthier than regular white sugar but is still not ideal for weight loss or a low-sugar diet.
Personally I always try to avoid consuming too much sugar. Cutting down on sugar is an effortless way to aid weight loss without counting calories. The Dietary Guidelines For Americans advises keeping sugar to less than 10% of daily calories, which can be hard if you’re regularly consuming sugary snacks.
I’ve put together a table showing the sugar content of all 8 flavors of Lesser Evil popcorn:
|Flavor||Serving Size||Total Sugar|
|Himalayan Pink Salt||3 cups (28g)||0g|
|Himalayan Gold||3 cups (28g)||0g|
|No Cheese Cheesiness||3 cups (28g)||0g|
|Fiery Hot||3 cups (28g)||1g|
|Himalayan Sweetness||2 cups (28g)||6g|
|Avocadolicious||3 cups (28g)||0g|
|Oh My Ghee!||3 cups (28g)||0g|
|Celebration||3 cups (28g)||4g|
It’s clear to see, most of the Lesser Evil popcorn flavors don’t contain sugar. As hinted by its name, Himalayan Sweetness has the highest sugar content with 6g per serving. It does have a smaller recommended serving size, so it’s worth keeping this in mind when snacking on this flavor.
The carb content is worth considering for all flavors, as well. Most flavors have around 14g of total carbohydrates, but Himalayan Sweetness has 18g. Plain popcorn has a low glycemic index (GI), but when other ingredients such as sugar are added, the GI score increases.
- Is Lesser Evil popcorn high in carbohydrates? Lesser Evil popcorn has a considerable amount of carbs, ranging from 14g – 18g across different flavors. It may be a good option for HCLF vegans but not for those following a low-carb diet.
- Is Lesser Evil popcorn gluten-free? Lesser Evil popcorn does not contain any gluten. Therefore, it’s suitable for sufferers of Coeliac Disease or those opting for a gluten-free diet.
3. Is Lesser Evil Popcorn Good For Weight Loss?
Lesser Evil popcorn may be a good option for weight loss, provided consumers stick to the recommended serving sizes. Some Lesser Evil popcorn flavors contain considerably more calories than others. This is something to be mindful of when eating Lesser Evil Popcorn if weight loss is a goal.
Weight loss, in simple terms, comes down to calorie input and calorie expenditure. This means if you are burning 2000 calories but consuming 3000, you are in a surplus of 1000 calories. Over time, this can lead to significant weight gain. It’s therefore best to consume a balanced diet, in the suitable calorie range for your body type, activity level, and dietary needs.
Lesser Evil popcorn flavors either contain organic coconut oil, ghee, or olive oil. Ghee is a particularly high-calorie ingredient derived from animals.
Can Lesser Evil popcorn cause weight gain? Weight gain is typically caused by being in a calorie surplus. Lesser Evil popcorn can cause weight gain if consumed in large volumes. It’s important, however, to consider total lifestyle choices, as this will have an impact on weight gain, too.
To lose weight successfully, it’s important to build good habits, eat nutritious food, and move your body if you can. If your overall lifestyle is an active one and consumption of processed foods isn’t an everyday occurrence, consuming Lesser Evil popcorn shouldn’t ruin your weight loss goals.
Losing weight is a journey, and it’s vital to consume wholesome food, exercise regularly, and understand that it doesn’t happen overnight. Even as a vegan, it can take time to lose weight and see physical changes, as explained in this post: How long does it take to lose weight on a vegan diet?
4. Is Lesser Evil Popcorn High In Sodium?
The amount of sodium in Lesser Evil popcorn ranges from 140mg to 230mg per serving. No Cheese Cheesiness has the highest sodium content, with Fiery Hot and Celebration having the lowest.
Below is a breakdown of the amount of sodium in each flavor of Lesser Evil popcorn per serving.
|Himalayan Pink Salt||3 cups (28g)||190mg|
|Himalayan Gold||3 cups (28g)||170mg|
|No Cheese Cheesiness||3 cups (28g)||230mg|
|Fiery Hot||3 cups (28g)||140mg|
|Himalayan Sweetness||2 cups (28g)||180mg|
|Avocadolicious||3 cups (28g)||200mg|
|Oh My Ghee!||3 cups (28g)||170mg|
|Celebration||3 cups (28g)||140mg|
Most Americans consume around 3,400 mg of sodium a day, which is far more than our bodies need. Eating too much sodium can cause many health issues, such as stroke, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and even heart disease.
Snacking on the high-sodium popcorn flavors from Lesser Evil and eating other foods high in salt during the day can push you over the recommended sodium guidelines. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), daily sodium intake shouldn’t raise above 2,300mg. That’s 10 servings of the No Cheese Cheesiness flavor!
If you have a high-sodium diet, it may be advisable to start cutting down your salt consumption to lower your health risks.
5. Is Lesser Evil Popcorn Low Fat?
Lesser Evil popcorn has a relatively low-fat content across all flavors, ranging from 3g to 7g per serving. Oh My Ghee has the highest amount of fat and Himalayan Sweetness has the least. As Lesser Evil popcorn is air-popped, the fat content is considerably less than other snacks like chips, which are usually fried.
Here’s a table showing the fat content of each of the Lesser Evil popcorn flavors:
|Flavor||Serving Size||Total Fat|
|Himalayan Pink Salt||3 cups (28g)||6g|
|Himalayan Gold||3 cups (28g)||6g|
|No Cheese Cheesiness||3 cups (28g)||6g|
|Fiery Hot||3 cups (28g)||6g|
|Himalayan Sweetness||2 cups (28g)||3g|
|Avocadolicious||3 cups (28g)||6g|
|Oh My Ghee!||3 cups (28g)||7g|
|Celebration||3 cups (28g)||5g|
- Does Lesser Evil popcorn contain saturated fat? All Lesser Evil popcorn flavors contain saturated fat. Celebration has the lowest amount at 0.5g, with Himalayan Pink Salt, Himalayan Gold, and No Cheese Cheesiness having the highest amount at 5g per serving.
- Why Does Lesser Evil popcorn have saturated fat? Lesser Evil popcorn contains saturated fat due to the addition of either coconut oil, ghee, or olive oil. If you are at risk of heart disease, it’s essential to avoid consuming too much saturated fat, as it can lead to an increase in LDL cholesterol. If you have a healthy diet that’s low in saturated fat, however, consuming Lesser Evil popcorn shouldn’t cause any issues. The American Heart Association advises keeping saturated fat intake to less than 13g per day.
- Does Lesser Evil popcorn have trans fat? No flavors of Lesser Evil popcorn contain trans fat.
6. Is Lesser Evil Popcorn Processed?
Most flavors of Lesser Evil popcorn contain minimal ingredients, therefore requiring minimal processing. The use of raw cane sugar, non-GMO popcorn, and organic ingredients makes Lesser Evil popcorn a minimally processed snack. It should, however, still be considered as processed, as it has added ingredients such as oils and butter-type flavoring.
Processed foods are items that have been altered somewhat during the manufacturing process. Processed foods tend to be less healthy than whole foods, and often have less nutritional value too.
As Lesser Evil popcorn contains ingredients such as coconut oil and olive oil, it should be considered a processed snack. This doesn’t necessarily make Lesser Evil popcorn unhealthy, however, as there are different degrees of processed foods.
Candy bars, for example, are highly processed snacks as they typically contain a multitude of ingredients, and are very far away from where they started as a cocoa bean! Lesser Evil popcorn is air-popped and contains minimal ingredients, all of which are organic, making it a minimally processed snack choice.
7. Is Lesser Evil Popcorn a Whole Grain?
Lesser Evil Popcorn is a moderately processed food. Popcorn itself is a whole grain. However, Lesser Evil popcorn has additional ingredients like sugar, oil, flavorings, and salt, which are more refined and less healthy.
Including whole grains in your diet is an ideal way to reduce LDL cholesterol and insulin levels. Popcorn is a good choice—however, it’s not the healthiest whole grain option available as it is still processed and usually has added ingredients that affect the nutritional value.
Refined carbohydrates such as white rice, white bread, sugary desserts, and sweet breakfast cereals don’t contain wholegrain. Choosing whole-grain options such as brown pasta and bread can help avoid a spike in blood sugar that processed, refined carbohydrates can cause.
- Is Lesser Evil popcorn high in fiber? All flavors of Lesser Evil popcorn contain 4g of fiber. This isn’t an exceptionally high amount of fiber, but is substantially better than candy snacks such as Skittles which contain 0g of fiber.
8. Is Lesser Evil Popcorn Healthier Than Skinny Pop?
Both Lesser Evil and Skinny Pop are wise snack choices for those wanting to cut back on dense, fattening snacks such as chips. Although Lesser Evil popcorn contains fewer calories per serving than Skinny Pop, it is higher in saturated fat and sodium, making it a less healthy choice.
The table below breaks down the nutritional information for Lesser Evil vs Skinny Pop. I’ve chosen to compare the popular Himalayan Pink Salt flavor from Lesser Evil and the original flavor from Skinny Pop.
|Nutrition Facts||Lesser Evil (Himalayan Pink Salt)||Skinny Pop|
|Serving Size||3 cups (28g)||3 3/4 cups (28g)|
As you can see from the table above, it’s quite a close call between these two flavors of popcorn! Lesser Evil is a less healthy choice due to the higher amounts of saturated fat and sodium, but it does contain more fiber and less total fat than Skinny Pop.
9. Is Lesser Evil Popcorn Healthier Than Chips?
Let’s delve deeper and explore the nutritional values of Lesser Evil popcorn vs Nacho Cheese Doritos.
|Nutrition Facts||Lesser Evil (Himalayan Pink Salt)||Doritos (Nacho Cheese)|
|Serving Size||3 cups (28g)||12 chips (28g)|
Lesser Evil Himalayan Salt popcorn is likely a healthier choice than Nacho Cheese Doritos. Lesser Evil popcorn has fewer calories, less sodium, and less sugar per serving than Nacho Cheese Doritos. However, the Lesser Evil popcorn does have 5x more saturated fat.
The high saturated fat in Lesser Evil popcorn is likely due to it containing either coconut oil, olive oil, or ghee, depending on the flavor. These fat sources, especially coconut oil, contain a substantial amount of saturated fat.
Taking all of the nutritional information into consideration for both snacks, Lesser Evil seems to be the healthier snack choice—but it depends on your priorities.
10. What Is a Healthier Alternative to Lesser Evil Popcorn?
Popcorn is generally a healthy snack, but as I’ve mentioned previously, adding ingredients such as oil and sugar makes it less healthy. Plain, air-popped popcorn contains fewer calories than popcorn that has been coated in oil, butter, or sugar.
Therefore, if you want to lower your calorie intake and choose healthier snacks, plain popcorn is a good choice. I try to make wholesome homemade snacks each week that I can turn to when I’m feeling peckish. This allows me to control the ingredients and make low-calorie popcorn that’s oil-free, sugar-free, and a healthier alternative.
If I’m in the mood for something sweet, I sprinkle some cinnamon on my air-popped kernels. I then toss the warm popcorn in the cinnamon so it’s coated thoroughly, and voila! Sweet, tasty popcorn with far fewer calories than a buttery, store-bought alternative.
Cinnamon not only tastes good but also has many health benefits. Studies are highlighting the positive impact cinnamon has on blood glucose levels, great for those suffering from diabetes. Cinnamon may also help prevent Alzheimer-induced changes in the brain, so it’s a win-win ingredient in my eyes!
If you’re more of a savory-toothed person, craving the saltiness of cheesy popcorn, you could always sprinkle some nutritional yeast on the popcorn. Nutritional yeast is a store-cupboard staple for me, and it contains far fewer calories and fat than regular cheese while still having a cheesy taste.
11. Is Lesser Evil Popcorn Vegan?
All flavors of Lesser Evil popcorn are vegan, except for Oh My Ghee, which contains milk. Ghee is sourced from dairy milk and is made by separating the milk solids and liquid fats. The resulting collected fat is ghee.
Ghee is the only animal-derived ingredient across the whole Lesser Evil popcorn product line. The other seven flavors only contain plant-based ingredients.
Lesser Evil manufactures its popcorn in an environment that handles milk. This is worth bearing in mind if you are a milk allergy sufferer, but it’s generally not something that vegans worry about.
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