The Best and Worst Movie Theater Picks
At a movie theater, villains don't lurk solely on the silver screen. You'll also find them at the food concession stand, under the guise of popcorn, soda, candy, and other yummy treats that show no mercy for your waistline. Not only are your choices for eating healthy at the movies extremely limited, but many of the portions have been super sized. So what can you eat, in case you can't bring your own snacks? Here's a list of the worst (they get two thumbs down) offenders, along with their healthier alternatives.
Popcorn is the worst culprit. Air popped popcorn without butter and salt is a healthy, low calorie snack, but the movie industry's overuse of coconut oil and artificial butter and flavoring have turned it into a diet disaster. A large tub with butter (20 cups!) contains 1,238 calories and 78 grams of fat. The smallest size without butter isn't a low cal choice, either: it contains 573 calories and 35 grams of fat and at 9 cups it's more than twice the serving one person should eat.
The better choice: If it's the salt you're craving, opt for a soft pretzel without cheese sauce. It may still be high in calories (483) but it delivers only 4.5 grams of fat.
A large serving of nachos (about 40 chips) with cheese has 1,101 belly busting calories and 59 grams of fat - as much as two Quarter Pounders (which at least contain real cheese.)
The better choice: Believe it or not, you're better off with a hot dog in a bun, which has 305 calories and 19 grams of fat. That's not exactly low in Weight Watchers points, but it has less than one-third of the calories and fat found in nachos, and it contains more protein.
Soda is just full of empty calories; a large Coca-Cola (2 pints) has 594 calories. Yes, you can have a diet soda, but studies say it's addictive and not beneficial as part of a healthy diet in the long run.