The next time you pop in a movie, rethink your snack habit: Even if you split the bag of microwave popcorn, you’ll down 20 percent of your daily allotment of sodium—plus oftentimes trans fat and scary preservatives or colorings. And OD’ing on sodium has been linked to higher blood pressure, heart disease, stomach cancer, and weak bones, in addition to water retention and bloating.
That doesn’t mean you have to swap your treat for plain air-popped corn. Virtuous as it is—three cups provides as much fiber as a cup of cooked brown rice and more antioxidants than a serving of fruit or vegetables for less than 100 calories—it’s also pretty bland. Luckily that blank canvas means it’s perfect for crafting a snack to satisfy your craving, whether that’s savory, spicy, or sweet.
These mouthwatering ideas from top nutritionists, food bloggers, and healthy chefs are so good, you’ll start having movie night more often. Simply pour 3 cups freshly popped corn into a bowl, then slowly add the toppings while stirring continuously with a spatula so every piece is coated.