Half-Popped and All Right

Half-Popped and All RightThe Natural Products Expo West trade show wrapped earlier this week. Four massive convention halls in Anaheim, CA were packed to the brim with every imaginable type of health food – many of which, ironically, were highly processed, refined, and pretty far-removed from anything “natural”.

As I made the rounds of trade show booths housing coconut-water hawkers and protein bar pushers, one product stood out: Halfpops.

Halfpops are “partially-popped, fully-delicious” popcorn kernels air-popped in Seattle, WA. As the company’s literature says, “It’s just what it sounds like, half-popped popcorn”, and perhaps even more accurately, “The Idea Everybody Had!”

Like most dietitians, I love popcorn. Popcorn is a whole grain, full of fiber, and makes an excellent snack. For those looking to lose weight, popcorn is a great way to fill up – without filling out (provided you don’t pop it in gobs of fat and salt it to death!)

And even though I once broke a crown on popcorn kernels five hours after my dental insurance plan expired, my favorite part of eating popcorn is still the half-popped crunchy kernels you get at the bottom of the bowl.

Through methods involving “super secret tinkering”, the “snacking scientists” at Halfpops have perfected the half-popped popcorn kernel. Halfpops are perfectly crunchy, exquisitely seasoned, and as the company states, “fully-delicious”.

Halfpops come in 2 flavors: Aged White Cheddar and Butter & Pure Ocean Sea Salt. Both are gluten-free and nut-free, contain no artificial flavors, hydrogenated oils, corn syrup, or preservatives.

A one ounce serving – which is a surprisingly large amount of half-popped kernels – contains:

  • 130 calories
  • 5-6 grams fat (<1 g saturated fat)
  • 250-260 mg sodium
  • 3 g dietary fiber
  • 3 g protein

While the sodium is certainly higher than you might find in some other packaged snacks, no matter where you fall on the sodium spectrum, you have to admit you need some salt on a good popcorn snack!

So while this product may be a sometimes snack when it comes to sodium, the 3 grams of naturally occurring fiber make Halfpops my handsdown winner from Expo West 2013.

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