The method of preparation gives popcorn its character. Both kettle corn and regular popcorn can be prepared using hot air or oil.
When it comes to calorie count, there isn’t much difference between oil-popped popcorn and popcorn that has been popped on air. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), each cup of air-popped popcorn counts 31 calories. In comparison, a cup of popcorn fried in oil contains 41 calories. However, cooking popcorn in oil has a significant impact on the fat content of the popcorn.
So, make sure to choose your cooking oil wisely, as you can obtain healthy fats from oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, walnut oil, or flaxseed oil.