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View Full Version : Help me read the Nutrition Facts on a bag of microwave popcorn


Acsenray
10-03-2007, 02:38 PM
I'm having a devil of a time figuring out how to read the chart.

Ordinarily, I would expect that the top of the chart defines a "serving" and then all the stats below would relate to such serving. But noooooo ....

It's a bag of Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet Popping Corn Smart Pop! 94% Fat Free Butter

Serving Size 3 tbsp (37g) unpopped (makes about 7 cups popped)
Servings Per Bag about 2

Okay, then there are two columns of figures one for "3 tbsp Unpopped" and one for "1 Cup Popped."

So, two servings per bag. Realistically, I'm going to eat the whole bag.

So how do I calculate?

1. I'm eating the whole bag and it makes about 7 cups. So I look at the second column and multiply by 7.

2. I'm eating the whole bag and it makes 2 servings. So I look at the second column and multiply by 2.

Anyway, that only helps with the percentage daily allowance. The actual figures are not in those columns.

For example, for dietary fibre, it says 4 grams. Do I multiply by 7 or by 2 if I'm eating the whole bag?

Q.E.D.
10-03-2007, 02:43 PM
Multiply by 2. All values are per serving, unless otherwise stated.

Hello Again
10-03-2007, 02:46 PM
I think the thing is, not all the kernels pop so the entire unpopped value is not necessarily eaten. But they can't "not count" the unpopped kernels because they ARE food and someone could eat them.

The most correct way to go about it would be to measure how much popped popcorn is actually in the bag after you take it out of the microwave. Then multiply that by "1 cup popped" value. If you are counting calories, use this number as a ballpark going forward, knowing there will be some variation bag to bag.

Or just go for the 7 cup value... the real calories are probably a little less but not enough to matter.

Waenara
10-03-2007, 02:52 PM
Actually, from your description I'm thinking that the whole bag is 14 cups, not 7 cups. The way I read it is that:
One serving = 3tbsp unpopped = 37g unpopped = 7 cups popped
One bag = two servings = 6tbsp unpopped = 74g unpopped = 14 cups popped
So to most easily calculate for the entire bag, I'd use the nutrition information for 3tbsp unpopped and multiply by 2.

If you're not sure how many cups it really is, just pop a bag and then measure it yourself (assuming you have measuring cups). I know that at the movie theatre I usually go to a "regular" popcorn (big, but not gigantic) is about 12-14 cups.

Incidentally, calorieking.com has a database with a lot of nutrition information for popular products (prepared foods, and also restaurants). Their entry for Orville Redenbacher's "Popcorn: Microwave, Smart Pop, Butter 94% Fat-Free, popped" (http://calorieking.com/foods/calories-in-popcorn-microwave-smart-pop-butter-94-fat-free-popped_f-Y2lkPTI1Mzk1JmJpZD03MzkmZmlkPTEwMDczMSZlaWQ9MTk0MzY5ODI1JnBvcz0xJnBhcj0ma2V5PW9ydmlsbGUgcG9wY29ybiBz bWFydA.html) lists the calories as 15kcal per cup popped. So if a bag is 14 cups, it would be a total of 210kcal. If a bag is 7 cups, it would be a total of 105kcal.

Acsenray
10-03-2007, 02:59 PM
There is no way that this bag is 14 cups. I'll buy 7, though.

The other strange thing is that unpopped there are 2 grams of fat, but all the fat disappears when it's popped.

flex727
10-03-2007, 03:18 PM
There is no way that this bag is 14 cups. I'll buy 7, though.

The other strange thing is that unpopped there are 2 grams of fat, but all the fat disappears when it's popped.
That's because 2 divided by 7 < 0.5.

Acsenray
10-03-2007, 03:26 PM
That's because 2 divided by 7 < 0.5.

Wait, but that's only if the first column gives the figures for "1 cup" instead of "1 serving."

I'm so confused.

GrandWino
10-03-2007, 03:58 PM
Funny you should post this. I was shopping two nights ago and picked a box of this very popcorn. I looked at the nutritional table on the back, was just as confused as you - so I put it back and bought something else. Why they gotta make it so hard?! :)

flex727
10-03-2007, 04:01 PM
Wait, but that's only if the first column gives the figures for "1 cup" instead of "1 serving."

I'm so confused.
Why are you confused (other than as a result of the confusing answers you've been given so far in this thread)? In your OP you said there were 2 columns, one labeled 3 tbs unpopped and one labeled 1 cup popped. You also stated the label said 3 tbs unpopped = 7 cups popped. Therefore it is clear the the numbers in each of the columns should be different, and specifically column 2 should ~= 1/7th of column 1.

I think they intentionally make it a bit unclear because they wish to hide the enormous amount of fat and calories in a bag of this stuff.

flex727
10-03-2007, 04:06 PM
By the way, the answer to the OP is look at the first column and multiply by 2 (as stated by Q.E.D.). If you use the second column and multiply by 7, you've lost information due to roundoff error (e.g. the fat grams round to zero since there is less than 0.5).

Acsenray
10-03-2007, 04:07 PM
Where is the confusion?

Well, it seems I haven't been entirely clear. There are actually three columns. Like so --

Dietary Fiber 4 g
16%
3%

Column 2 is "3 tbsp Unpopped" and Column 3 is "1 Cup Popped."

So it isn't clear to me whether "4 g" is for 1 cup (1/7 of a bag) or 1 serving (half a bag).

Furthermore, if 3 tbsp unpopped = 1 cup popped, wouldn't the amount of fiber in each be the same percentage of recommended daily allowance?

flex727
10-03-2007, 04:13 PM
Well, it seems I haven't been entirely clear...
Oh, no, you were much clearer before. :D

I think 4 gms is for one serving (1/2 bag).

By the way, 1 cup popped is 1/14th of a bag, even if you think there's no way there's that much popcorn.

Acsenray
10-04-2007, 09:17 AM
Well, I sent in a question to ConAgra, and you guys are right -- 14 cups in a bag. So there it is.

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