Greatist-Approved Groceries

For our Greatist­-Approved Groceries series, we’re narrowing down the tens of thousands of products out there to the ones we think are worth buying so you can get in and out of the store faster. (Past lists have included the best beef jerky, ice cream, and nut butter.) With the help of Elizabeth Jarrard, R.D., we came up with a set of standards to figure out what is best. Every item must:

  • Contain only recognizable ingredients
  • Have no artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners (stevia and monk fruit are OK)
  • Never list sugar as the first ingredient
  • Have a reasonable serving size
  • Taste absolutely amazing
  • Cost a reasonable price

In addition, the popcorn selections below have no more than 200 mg of sodium and 5 grams of sugar per serving, avoid hydrogenated oils (which can increase risk of heart diesease, cancer, and diabetes), and ideally use only eight ingredients or less.

As we’re sure you’ve experienced, most “healthy” popcorns are still chock-full of ingredients you can’t pronounce, sky-high in sodium, or taste so bland you’d rather eat salted cardboard. Which is why you should try these options instead.

Editor’s note: Popcorn is listed in no particular order.

BoomChickaPop - Best PopcornsShare on Pinterest

Boomchickapop Lightly Sweet

This company may have started in a small Minnesota garage as a family project, but there’s nothing tiny about the flavor it packs. Vegan, non-­GMO, and made with only four ingredients, it’s flavorful and just the right amount of sweet (without being bad for you). $4.49 for 5 ounces

SexyPop - Best PopcornsShare on Pinterest

Sexy Pop Nantucket Salted

Don’t let the name deter you: Sexy Pop is delightfully uncomplicated—like a good first date. Butterfly popcorn, sunflower oil, and sea salt is all it takes to transport you straight to the New England seaside. $4.25 for 4.5 ounces

Quinn Popcorn - Best PopcornsShare on Pinterest

Quinn Popcorn Kale and Sea Salt

Kale-mania meets popcorn. This “munchable superfood” is the perfect blend of sweet and salty and uses only clean ingredients, like organic kale. Plus, with the company’s farm­-to-­bag policy, you can see exactly what went into each bag, so you know exactly where your food is coming from. $9.99 for two 4.3 ounce bags

Skinny Pop - Best PopcornsShare on Pinterest

Skinny Pop Black Pepper

It’s so addicting you’ll be tempted to eat the whole bag. A smattering of salt and pepper (seriously, that’s it besides the popcorn and sunflower oil) keep this bag simple and healthy while still packing a major punch in the flavor department. $3.49 for 4.4 ounces

Best Popcorns That Are HealthyShare on Pinterest

Pipcorn Truffle

If you’re a truffle lover (and who isn’t?), you’ll go crazy for this one. Like truffle fries only way healthier, this popcorn has all that rich flavor without any added junk. Founded by a brother-sister duo, the company pops its mini popcorn in small batches and flavors each one by hand. $4.99 for 4 ounces

Earth Balance - Best PopcornShare on Pinterest

Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Flavor

The buttery snack that’s perfect for everyone—even vegans! Unlike many vegan products, however, this popcorn keeps it simple but delicious with only a few ingredients (sunflower oil, salt, and natural flavoring). $3.99 for 6 ounces

Rocky Mountain - Best PopcornsShare on Pinterest

Rocky Mountain Popcorn White Cheddar

While this popcorn does contain 11 ingredients, it’s still less than the majority of cheese popcorns on the market. Plus, it uses non-­GMO kernels and natural ingredients. We love the flavorful pop of white cheddar you get with every bite. $24 for 12 3-ounce bags (Editor’s note: This popcorn bends our rules in part because it includes disodium phosphate, which is a chemical that keeps cheese from clumping (gross). However, we felt our list would be incomplete without the inclusion of one cheesy popcorn, and this was the healthiest found.)

Tiny but Mighty - Best PopcornsShare on Pinterest

Tiny But Mighty Butter

Made from an ancient heirloom variety of corn grown on owners’ Gene and Lynn Mealhows family farm, this popcorn is truly unique and tasty. Made with only canola oil, salt, and butter flavor, it’s the corn that makes this bag a new favorite. $3.99 for 5 ounces

Best Popcorns That Are HealthyShare on Pinterest

Quinn Parmesan and Rosemary

Not your typical bag of microwave popcorn, this one features that perfect Parmesan flavor (plus a dash of rosemary) without all of those ingredients that are so bad for your body. The Quinn team is all about food being delicious​ and​ full of clean ingredients. We have to agree. $4.99 for 7 ounces

Best Popcorns That Are HealthyShare on Pinterest

Quinn​ Vermont Maple and Sea Salt

The sweet-and-salty mix of maple and sea salt make this a feast for the tastebuds. With only four basic ingredients, we guarantee you’ll never turn your nose up at microwave popcorn again. $4.99 for 7 ounces

Organic 365 - Best PopcornShare on Pinterest

365 Organic Microwave Light Butter

For the traditional popcorn lover. Simple and lightly buttered, this one will remind you of Friday nights at the theater—minus the gross fake flavorings. Plus, it’s all organic, and the ingredients are about as simple as you can get. $2.69 for 9 ounces

Newman's Own - Best PopcornsShare on Pinterest

Newman’s Own Organic Butter

When you hear Newman’s Own, you typically think salad dressing. But Newman knows what’s up when it comes to popcorn too. Pop this buttery bad boy in the microwave and you’re good to go. $3.99 for 3.3 ounces

Best Popcorns That Are HealthyShare on Pinterest

Black Jewel Kettle

If savory’s not your pop of choice, Black Jewel’s basic kettle popcorn is sweet but not sickeningly so (thanks to stevia). Made from a proprietary strain of black kernel popcorn from Illinois, it pops snow white and practically free of hulls. $3.99 for 10.5 ounces