Movie theaters and big tubs of buttery, salty popcorn. They are a classic combination. Unfortunately, they’re also a combination that’s horrible for your waistline. Traditionally, going out to the movies meant unhealthy snacks like buttery popcorn and bags of candy. Unhealthy foods are not your only option though. Here’s a look at healthier alternatives to movie theater snacks.
Cut out the butter and salt. If you must have your movie popcorn, try getting it without any added butter or salt. Popcorn itself is not actually so bad for you. It’s all the toppings that make it so unhealthy.
Swap candy for dried fruit or nuts. Next time you go to the movie theater, swap the bag of candy for some dried fruit or nuts. Dried fruit can be high in sugar as it is so condensed (eating a handful of raisins is the equivalent of eating a whole bag of grapes). However, it’s still better than eating a bag of candy. Rather than getting refined white sugar, you are getting natural sugars. Also, dried fruits are low in fat and generally high in fiber.
Similarly, nuts are high in fat. Unlike chocolate or other junk that you would normally buy at the movie theater, though, they are also high in protein and other nutrients. Also, they have “healthy fats” that won’t clog up your arteries the way that some fats will.
Watch what you drink. It’s easy to consume loads of empty calories in drinks. If you go to the movies and order a large soda, you are drinking in a huge amount of sugar. If you order the diet alternative, you’re getting artificial sweeteners that are known carcinogens. Go for healthier choices, like juice or–even better–water.
Some cinemas offer more healthy choices than others. Near me, The Screen, in Winchester, Hampshire, England, is the best for healthy snack options. This cinema offers the standard sweets and ice cream tubs that you would expect (in the UK at least–unlike in America, it’s standard to serve ice cream at movie theaters here). Even in their sweets, though, they have offerings like “yoghurt covered edamame”.
For drinks, you have plenty of healthier choices. Rather than ordering a soft drink, why not order one of the Screen’s much healthier offerings, like herbal tea or sparkling mineral water? They also have an extensive beer and wine list, but you’re healthier choice would be to stick with the non-alcoholic options.
The Screen in Winchester also has some savoury snacks to choose from, like nuts and wasabi peas. My favourite choice, though, is to go with a deli selection. You can watch a movie in style at the Screen by ordering “Olympia pitted kalamata and green olives with diced feta, sun dried tomatoes, and basil” (costs £4.50). This gives you a fairly healthy mini meal as opposed to junk food that will still leave you hungry.
Although it is easy to eat junk at the cinema, there are healthier options available.