Best chips to eat on a diet

Contents

These Are the Healthiest Chips You Can Eat

What’s your go-to snack food? Pizza? Dark chocolate? Potato chips? It’s hard to not want it when you know it’s bad and off-limits from your diet. Completely depriving yourself of the good things in life is just mean. Is it possible to eat healthy and still enjoy your favorite sweet and salty snacks? Absolutely. Sometimes, knowing which snacks are healthiest can help you cut back on salt and sugar without quitting altogether.

If chips are the one snack food you can’t live without, you’re in luck. Not all chips are manufactured equally. Many are baked, or fried in slightly healthier oils. Some aren’t even technically made from potatoes. Here are the healthiest ones you’ll find (and love).

1. Lay’s Oven Baked Original Potato Chips

These are the most basic chips ever — and that’s what makes them great. | iStock.com/Kwangmoozaa

Lay’s Oven Baked Original potato chips are among the healthiest potato chips Frito-Lay has to offer. They’re baked instead of fried, cutting their total fat content from 10 grams (Lay’s Classic chips) to 3.5 grams (baked version). Without any added flavors, these chips also only have 160 milligrams of sodium per 17-chip serving. Lay’s Classic chips, by contrast, have 170 milligrams per 15 chips. Keep in mind that even original baked chips have 22 grams of carbs per serving, so eating the whole bag in one sitting is still a terrible idea. Don’t do it. A handful is plenty.

Next: Baked chips are even better when there’s no vegetable oil involved.

2. Kettle Brand Olive Oil Baked Potato Chips

These chips only have four ingredients: potatoes, olive oil, sea salt, and natural flavoring. | iStock.com/Julia_Sudnitskaya

Some brands go one step further when baking their chips — they season them with olive oil. You can enjoy approximately 20 Kettle Brand Olive Oil Baked Potato Chips for just 120 calories. In the process, you’ll also get only 135 milligrams of sodium, and 3 grams of total fat. Of the 21 grams of carbs in each serving of chips, none come from sugar. Kettle Brand’s regular Sea Salt Potato Chips, which are fried, contain 150 calories, and 9 grams of fat per serving. Olive oil chips aren’t perfect, but they definitely have the crunch and taste you’re looking for without the excess calories and fat.

Next: These multigrain chips are actually made with real whole grains.

3. SunChips Original Multigrain Snacks

Whole grains are the friendliest grains. | iStock.com/vm2002

You sometimes have to be careful when food labels use words like “multigrain.” In this case — though certainly not in all cases — SunChips actually makes these corn-based chips with 100% whole grains. Their Original Multigrain Snacks are fairly healthy at 140 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 110 milligrams of sodium per 16 chips. The biggest difference between the original and more fun flavors is the amount of salt. The original chips are the healthiest of the bunch. Look carefully if this brand’s Veggie Harvest chips catch your eye — they’re actually less healthy than the multigrain variety.

Next: Have you ever eaten a chip made from a sweet potato? You should.

4. Popchips Sweet Potato

No frying is necessary. | iStock.com/jenifoto

Popchips don’t fry their potatoes — and they don’t make them with anything artificial, either. These chips are crunchy, salty, and about as healthy as a potato chip can get. Their sweet potato chips are a mix of sweet potatoes, rice flour, sunflower oil, and seasonings like sea salt, sweet potato flour, and a small amount of sugar. They’re just 120 calories per serving (22 chips). There are also only 4 total grams of fat and 100 milligrams of sodium per ounce. There are plenty of Popchips flavors to choose from, but this is the healthiest on the list.

Next: Scoopable chips are literally better for your health.

5. Tostitos Oven Baked Scoops!

Did you know there are two people sharing a chip and bowl of salsa in the Tostitos logo? | iStock.com/cobraphoto

There’s nothing better than a chip shaped for optimal dipping. Tostitos Oven Baked Scoops! are just as exciting as their name implies — and they’re healthy, too. Sixteen chips only cost you 120 total calories and 3 grams of fat. Their sodium content is a little high — 140 milligrams — but you could choose a far less healthy chip. There are minimal ingredients — just corn, vegetable oil, and salt — meaning there’s nothing all too terrible hiding in there. Pair these chips with a homemade salsa or guacamole dip to keep things healthy.

Next: Are reduced-fat chips healthier than full-fat chips?

6. Wise Kettle Cooked Original (Reduced-Fat) Potato Chips

Normally, reducing the fat content of a snack is a red flag — but not in this case. | iStock.com/HaywardGaude

Wise, like many other snack brands, does their best to season their chips with the healthiest ingredients possible. Their Kettle Cooked Original chips have just three ingredients — potatoes, vegetable oil, and salt. No added flavorings or preservatives, especially since it’s the plain variety. Still, 19 chips give out 130 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 110 milligrams of sodium. The vegetable oil is what raises the fat content so high, but the extremely low salt content — at least for chips — almost makes up for that. Surprisingly, buying the reduced-fat version doesn’t add on any extra ingredients or unwanted nutrients.

Next: Is there such thing as a blue potato?

7. Terra Chips Blues

These chips aren’t colored artificially — blue potatoes actually exist. And they’re delicious. | iStock.com/bjphotographs

Never judge a food by its color — unless that color is artificial. Not all colorful chips are manufactured to look that way — especially those made with blue potatoes. Native to South America, they’re healthy, flavorful, and full of antioxidants — making them the perfect base for a potato chip. Terra Chips Blues don’t just look good, they’re good for you, too. A 1-ounce serving yields just 130 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 115 milligrams of sodium. Once again, these chips are even healthier than the vegetable-based snacks Terra has to offer.

Next: They technically aren’t made from potatoes, but these chips are still worth snacking on.

8. Saffron Road Cucumber Oil Baked Lentil Chips

Lentil chips are high in protein and lower in fat. | iStock.com/seramo

Saffron Road sets out to create meals and snacks made with healthy ingredients. Their Cucumber Oil Baked Lentil Chips are exactly what they sound like — chips made from beans instead of corn or wheat flour, baked, and seasoned with a number of ingredients (including cucumber powder). These chips are just 120 calories per serving, with only 3 total grams of fat. They have 180 milligrams of sodium per ounce, which is a little high compared to the rest of the chips on this list. However, unlike most other chips, you’ll get 4 grams of protein when you eat these. There are certainly perks to making chips out of beans instead of potatoes.

Next: You might be able to get more protein by eating more chips. Sort of.

9. Beanitos White Bean Skinny Dippers

Not hungry for a potato chip? Try a chip made from a bean. | iStock.com/bhofack2

Like Saffron Road, Beanitos makes chips out of beans — except that’s all they do. Their white bean chips are packed with protein at 4 grams per ounce. They’ll also only give you 120 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 150 milligrams of sodium per serving. These chips are also much lower in carbs than most other chips at just 16 grams — and 4 of those come from fiber alone. If you’re following a gluten-free diet, or don’t want to put GMOs anywhere near your mouth, Beanitos might be the perfect snack brand for you.

Next: There’s a company that makes chips out of quinoa, and they’re in it for your benefit.

10. Simply 7 Quinoa Chips

Try them — they’re gluten-free! | iStock.com/JKB_Stock

Not sure how you feel about chips made from beans? How about chips made out of quinoa? Simply 7’s Quinoa Chips are made with quinoa flour, which is an excellent grain alternative for anyone who’s interested. These chips offer 140 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 240 milligrams of sodium per serving. That’s a lot of sodium, but we’re just assuming you’re not going to eat the whole bag in one go here (try not to). If quinoa chips don’t do it for you, they also make hummus, kale, and organic veggie varieties. Just be careful which flavors you choose. Though it’s not as fun, plain/original is almost always the safest option.

Next: Chips fried in olive oil are a little bit healthier, it turns out.

11. Good Health Avocado Oil Potato Chips

These chips are fried in avocado oil instead of vegetable oil. | iStock.com/Fudio

One of the simplest ways to boost potato chips nutrition is to fry them in a healthy oil. That’s what Good Health does with their avocado oil-based chips. The Sea Salt flavor contains only 140 calories, 7 grams of fat (though only 1 gram of saturated fat), and just 45 milligrams of sodium per ounce — the lowest amount of salt per serving on this list. Like olive oil, avocado oil is a slightly healthier alternative to vegetable oil — and it’s only one of three ingredients in these chips. You can buy and consume a single-serving bag knowing you’ve made the right choice.

Next: You never have to say no to your favorite type of chip ever again.

12. Ruffles Oven Baked Original

Somehow, chips with ridges also taste better than chips without ridges. There’s no scientific proof, though. | iStock.com/bhofack2

Everyone knows chips with ridges are better for dipping. As long as you pick the right dip, you’re good to go. Ruffles original baked chips are healthier than their fried friends — and the other flavors in their group. Twelve chips only yields 120 calories, 3 grams of fat, and 135 milligrams of sodium. Ruffles original fried chips have 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 160 milligrams of sodium per ounce. You can still eat your favorite type of chip without overloading your system with too much fat and salt. Oven-baked chips win again.

Next: You’ve heard of blue potatoes. Now meet another food you didn’t know grew blue.

13. Garden of Eatin’ Blue Corn Tortilla Chips

Blue corn chips taste even better with salsa. | iStock.com/bonchan

Today you learned blue potatoes exist. Surprise! Blue corn is also a thing, and it’s what Garden of Eatin’ uses to make their Blue Corn Tortilla Chips. These chips are 140 calories per ounce. Though they have 7 grams of fat, only a very small amount of that fat is saturated (0.5 grams). You’ll also only take in 60 milligrams of sodium per serving, which is basically unheard of in the chip world. Chips and salsa doesn’t get much better than this.

Next: There’s one type of Pringles that’s not as terrible as the rest.

14. Pringles Reduced Fat Original

Less fat is almost never a downside when it comes to chips. | iStock.com/eskaylim

You probably didn’t expect to find a Pringles product on a list of not-so-terrible-for-you snacks. To prove to you not all Pringles are out to stress your heart out, let’s compare the reduced-fat version to the original. Reduced-fat Pringles offer 140 calories, 7 total grams of fat (only 2 grams saturated), and 135 milligrams of sodium per 17 chips. The original, full-fat version offers 150 calories, 9 grams of fat (2.5 saturated), and 150 milligrams of sodium per 16-chip serving. They’re not much better — but at least they’re trying their best to make the most addicting chips in the world a little less awful.

Next: Sometimes the health of a chip all depends on the seasoning.

15. Good Health Kettle Style Olive Oil Potato Chips

Healthier chips won’t reduce your temptation to eat half the bag, but at least try to resist. | iStock.com/GooDween123

Kettle chips made with olive oil are usually as healthy as it gets. Good Health’s Olive Oil Rosemary chips are no exception. At just 140 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 45 milligrams of sodium per serving, they’re high in good fat, low in carbs — and they taste like rosemary. Chips seasoned with herbs and spices are naturally lower in sodium, which makes these chips the perfect snack when you’re craving something crunchy.

Read more: Bad Foods! 6 Processed Foods to Avoid at All Costs

Finding it hard to imagine a “healthy” chip? That’s understandable! It’s no surprise that potato chips don’t have a superfood reputation. But it’s possible to indulge responsibly with a healthier brand. You’ll want to check the nutrition facts for something with the highest fiber and protein, but the lowest saturated fats and sodium.

Just look at the labels in the grocery store, or pick up our dietitian-recommended brands for a healthier crunch.

Our Top 5 Healthy Chips

Bare Veggie Chips

Bare Veggie Chips are made from carrot, sweet potato or beet, which makes them high in fiber. Simply, these chips contain a short ingredient list. It’s about as unpretentious as you can get! Nutritionally, they pack 3-4 grams of protein per serving. Look for flavors such as BBQ sweet potato, ranch carrot and salt and vinegar beet.

Your bag of chips might be half-full—here’s why each bag has so much air.

Saffron Road Baked Lentil Chips

One smart way to improve the nutritional quality of your chips is to swap out the main ingredient for pulses. (Here’s why we’re crazy about pulses!) Lentils are super high in fiber and protein, so these healthy chips naturally boast these nutrients, too. Saffron Road Baked Lentil Chips have only 3 grams of fat per serving (with NONE from saturated fats) and clever flavors to choose from—like cucumber dill, cracked pepper, Moroccan barbecue and sea salt.

Eat Your Vegetables Chips

Thanks to an amazing mixture of vegetables (carrot, sweet potato, kale, spinach, broccoli, tomato, beet, shiitake mushrooms and red and black beans), you almost can’t go wrong with these tasty chips. The power-packed veggies make Eat Your Vegetables Chips high in vitamins, which no other chip can claim. In one serving, you’ll get 30% of your daily vitamin C and 25% of vitamin A, not to mention 10% of vitamins D, E and B6.

Beanitos White or Black Bean Chips

Pulses are the beauty of these delish healthy chips, too. Beanitos White or Black Bean Chips have only 130 calories per serving with 4 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein and 6.5 grams of healthy fats. The white bean-based flavors include sweet chili and sour cream and garden fresh salsa. The Skinny Dippers variety contain 6% of your daily iron needs in a low-calorie serving. They’re all gluten and corn free, if food sensitivity is an issue for you.

Baked Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream Potato Chips

So you really want a good old-fashioned potato chip? Choosing these baked Cheddar and Sour Cream Potato Chips saves a ton of fat and calories when compared to your traditional potato chips. In other words, they’re flavor-packed without the guilt. You could also make your own microwave potato chips with heart-healthy olive oil.

The Least-Healthy Choices

Chili Cheese Fritos

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a snack chip higher in sodium. With 270 mg of sodium per serving, this equates to the amount in a slice of processed cheese. These salty snacks have virtually no fiber, but 10 grams of fat per serving, more than in a McDonald’s hamburger. Skip these chips for a healthier choice.

Cheetos

Nope, these aren’t a good substitute for high-calcium cheese! Rather, with 10 grams of fat and almost no fiber, they’re really nothing more than empty calorie bombs. The baked version is a healthier choice, however.

Kettle Brand Potato Chips

With a huge variety of flavors on the market, these crunchy, savory chips are quickly flying off the shelf. But the sea salt variety is a fat bomb with 14 grams per serving, more than a whole tablespoon of butter. The jalapeno flavor contains 180 mg of sodium and the pepperoncini 170 mg of sodium, so this chip can quickly bust your sodium budget.

Psst…Here’s why potato chips are so addictive.

Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream Potato Chips

The fried Cheddar and Sour Cream Potato Chips make the unhealthy list, with 10 grams of fat and 180 mg of sodium per serving. Stick to the baked version (on the healthy list above!) for the same flavor without the guilt.

When you’re in the snack aisle, take a sec to read the nutrition facts and ingredients to find the healthy chip choices. Don’t forget to pair your chips with fresh vegetables and dip or some fresh fruit kabobs!

More Healthy Apps for Your Party 1 / 37

Roasted Beetroot and Garlic Hummus

This tasty beetroot hummus is the prettiest pink snack I’ve ever seen. The healthy recipe is handy to make in large batches and keep in the fridge for lunches and snacks throughout the week. —Elizabeth Worndl, Toronto, Ontario Get Recipe

Peachy Jalapeno Guacamole

Fresh jalapenos and summer-ripe peaches give this creamy guacamole so much flavor. It’s got a little kick, but I love that it’s not so spicy it burns off my taste buds! —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia Get Recipe

Sweet Pea Pesto Crostini

I made a healthier spin on my favorite celebrity chef’s recipe by subbing in vegetable broth for some of the oil and going easy on the cheese. To top crostini, use this recipe for a pastelike pesto. For use on pasta, add more broth for a saucelike consistency. —Amber Massey, Argyle, Texas Get Recipe

Apple-Nut Blue Cheese Tartlets

These tasty appetizers look and taste gourmet, but they’re easy to make and have loads of blue cheese flavor. The phyllo shells and filling can be made in advance—just fill the cups and warm them in the oven before serving. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho Get Recipe

Mini Zucchini Pizzas

This simple snack recipe is the perfect, low-carb way to satisfy your pizza cravings. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen Get Recipe

Ginger Pork Lettuce Wraps

When I make Asian-spiced lettuce wraps with lean ground pork, I remind my family they’re meant to be an appetizer—but maybe I should just call it supper. —Mary Kisinger, Medicine Hat, Alberta Get Recipe

Crunchy Peanut Butter Apple Dip

My mom got this peanut butter dip recipe from a neighbor years ago. She always made it for us kids in the fall when apples were in season. Now I make it for my children. —Juli Meyers, Hinesville, Georgia Get Recipe

Smoked Salmon New Potatoes

Give twice-baked potatoes a rest this year and try these stuffed spuds. Smoked salmon and cream cheese blended with lemon juice and dill are simply piped into small red potatoes. Leftovers are even good with eggs for breakfast. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen Get Recipe

Flank Steak Crostini

This recipe is perfect for gatherings, holidays, or as a special Sunday football snack. My kids love it and so do my friends and family. You can substitute butter for the olive oil, or any kind of steak for the flank steak. —Donna Evaro, Casper, Wyoming Get Recipe

Fresh Corn & Avocado Dip

I alter my sister’s dip recipe by adding finely chopped jalapeno for a little heat. It’s a different way of serving corn as a dip that can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until serving. —Pat Roberts, Thornton, Ontario Get Recipe

Zesty Marinated Shrimp

These easy shrimp look impressive on a buffet table and taste even better! The zesty sauce has a wonderful spicy citrus flavor. I especially like this recipe because I can prepare it ahead of time. —Mary Jane Guest, Alamosa, Colorado Get Recipe

BBQ Chicken Pizza Roll-Up

These slices make a fab, filling snack with loads of sweet and tangy flavor. —Tracey Birch, Queen Creek, Arizona Get Recipe

Baked Pot Stickers with Dipping Sauce

Twisting these wonton wrappers like little candies makes them fuss-free, and the dipping sauce is packed with sweet heat. —Taylor Marsh, Algona, Iowa Get Recipe

Crab Phyllo Cups

I always like a little extra chili sauce on top of these easy snacks. If you’re out of crab, try them with water-packed tuna. —Johnna Johnson, Scottsdale, Arizona Get Recipe

Roasted Eggplant Spread

Black pepper and garlic perk up this out-of-the-ordinary spread that hits the spot on a crisp cracker or toasted bread slice. —Barbara McCalley, Allison Park, Pennsylvania. Get Recipe

Spicy Shrimp Salsa

Radishes add a wonderful crunch to this colorful salsa that is also great over grilled fish. There’s just enough jalapeno to give flavor without much of the heat. —Mary Beth Relyea, Canastota, New York Get Recipe

Layered Hummus Dip

My love for Greece inspired this fast, easy Mediterranean dip. It’s great for parties and a delicious way to include garden-fresh veggies on your menu. —Cheryl Snavely, Hagerstown, Maryland Get Recipe

Southwest Egg Rolls

Moderately crispy with a rich and creamy filling, these semi-spicy appetizers taste like they’ve been fried. —Danielle Booth, Minneapolis, Minnesota Get Recipe

Strawberry Tomato Salsa

Here’s a sweet and tangy salsa that’s miles away from the spicy version people expect. Serve it as an appetizer with tortilla chips for scooping, or make it part of the main event and spoon it over chicken or pork. —Amy Hinkle, Topeka, Kansas Get Recipe

California Sushi Rolls

This tastes as good as any restaurant or store-bought California roll. Plus, it’s one of the easiest sushi recipes to make! For best results, do use the sushi rice to ensure the right sticky consistency. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen Get Recipe

Tzatziki Shrimp Cucumber Rounds

I created this recipe with what I had on hand one night, and now it’s one of my husband’s favorites! The bacon-wrapped shrimp, garlicky sauce and burst of cool cuke flavor make this a crowd pleaser. —Shannon Rose Trelease, East Hampton, New York Get Recipe

Yogurt & Honey Fruit Cups

This tasty combo of fresh fruit and creamy orange-kissed yogurt is guaranteed to disappear fast. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Get Recipe

Roast Beef Aioli Bundles

Don’t let these dainty bundles fool you. They’re so perfectly balanced, everyone will gobble them up! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen Get Recipe

Double-Nut Stuffed Figs

We have a family member that has diabetes, so dessert can get tricky. These sweet, nutritious stuffed figs keep us all happy. —Bob Bailey, Columbus, Ohio Get Recipe

Fresh from the Garden Wraps

We moved into a house with a garden that needed tending. Using the herbs we found, we made these fresh-tastic wraps for our first dinner there. —Chris Bugher, Asheville, North Carolina Get Recipe

Greek Veggie Tartlets

This recipe started out as a salad, which I re-created after a trip to Greece. When my husband suggested I serve the mixture in phyllo cups, it became my most requested appetizer! —Radelle Knappenberger, Oviedo, Florida Get Recipe

Pork Satay

Cilantro layers on the freshness, while the sesame oil and Thai chili sauce add Asian flavors that pair perfectly with peanut butter. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen Get Recipe

Game Day Miniature Peppers

My mom used to make the family stuffed peppers using ground meat and white rice. I changed it up to be healthier using ground turkey and brown rice. Your version may be with pork, beans, or the stuff that dreams are made of. —Rose Muccio, Lowell, Massachusetts Get Recipe

Chunky Mango Guacamole

When serving a crowd, double or quadruple this guacamole. The onion, tomato and mango can be chopped in advance. Add avocado just before serving. —Diana Nienberg, McComb, Ohio Get Recipe

Makeover Stuffed Potato Appetizers

We barely noticed the difference in this lightened-up version of our favorite dish. We tried it with friends and loved it. —Sonya Labbe, West Hollywood, California Get Recipe

Crispy Baked Wontons

These quick, versatile wontons are great for a savory snack or paired with a bowl of soothing soup on a cold day. I usually make a large batch, freeze half on a floured baking sheet, then store in an airtight container. —Brianna Shade, Beaverton, Oregon Get Recipe

Yogurt Dill Dip

Every person who tries this dip wants to know what makes it taste special. The secret is the blend of yogurt, sour cream and mayo. —Krisann Durnford, Muskego, Wisconsin Get Recipe

Zucchini Pico de Gallo Salsa

I love veggies and fresh ingredients this time of year. I make big bowls of this salsa, which we eat with pretty much everything in the summer when tomatoes are bountiful. My kids love it, though I leave out the jalapeno when making it for them. —Amy Gattuso, Madison Heights, Michigan Get Recipe

“Broccomole” Dip

For a snack that’s very much like guacamole but without the avocados, which are high in fat, try this dip. I grow and freeze broccoli, so this recipe is convenient to make. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin Get Recipe

Homemade Guacamole

Ever wondered how to make guacamole? Just whip together this delicious blend of your favorite fresh ingredients.—Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas Get Recipe

Asparagus Bruschetta

For a light bite, Elaine Sweet created these pretty appetizers. “I really like asparagus, so I’m always trying it in different things,” says the Dallas, Texas reader. “This is a delicious twist on traditional bruschetta.” Get Recipe

Easy Buffalo Chicken Dip

Everyone will simply devour this savory and delicious dip with shredded chicken throughout. The spicy kick makes it a perfect football-watching food, and the recipe always brings raves. —Janice Foltz, Hershey, Pennsylvania Get Recipe

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Pin

17shares

We’ve all been there. That moment when the thought of a flavor-packed, crunch-inducing potato chip seems unavoidable. That craving that catches you totally off guard and usually unprotected. But if you’re trying to eat clean and healthy, what’s a potato chip-craving person to do? Here are my ideas for what to eat when you’re craving chips.

This isn’t an all-inclusive list that will be a perfect fit for everyone. That would be impossible. But if you are wanting to break the chip habit and try getting your crunch from healthier options, this list might give you some ideas.

I know that chip cravings can be intense. I had them a lot myself in the beginning and occasionally, I do enjoy chips <gasp!!>. But I choose to buy healthier versions. You won’t catch me with a bag of Doritos these days. I make my own, or I find something else to eat.

But keep in mind the 80/20 rule. You have to make room for life to happen and if that means a bag of chips in your future, then don’t beat yourself up. It’s what you do the majority of the time that counts. So enjoy those chips, but then continue with clean eating.

However, if you really don’t want to walk that fine line, there are definitely other options.

First of all, think about why you want it. Is it the crunch? The flavor? Are you actually hungry? Are you bored? Trying to distract yourself from something you’d rather not be doing?

Cravings are often emotional. But if you can rule that out, then here are some alternatives to try.

What To Eat When You’re Craving Chips:

If you’re craving chips, there are lots of healthy alternatives. Here are some of them:

  1. Apples
  2. Carrots
  3. Celery (maybe with nut butter?)
  4. Nuts
  5. Roasted Chickpeas (these are GREAT!)
  6. Organic popcorn
  7. Seeds
  8. Granola
  9. Trail mix
  10. Raw sugar snap peas
  11. Homemade organic corn or sprouted grain tortilla chips
  12. Whole grain pretzels (read ingredients!)
  13. Cucumber slices with salsa
  14. Toast
  15. Whole grain crackers or brown rice crackers

Are ‘Healthy Chips’ Really Healthy? 5 Popular Options Examined

Read More >>

Even if a food is downright terrible for you, the label on the box will often try to convince you that it’s healthy. Like putting a “made with real fruit” label on a box of fruit snacks, even though they contain only a small fraction of legitimate produce.

One of the biggest food trends of the last few years has been “healthy chips.” Nearly everyone loves chips, but traditional potato or corn chips are notoriously unhealthy. As more people become concerned with what they are putting into their bodies, old-fashioned chips don’t fit into their diets. That’s why a large number of companies have produced some sort of “healthy chips,” which claim to be nutritionally superior to traditional chips but still taste great.

Are these so-called healthy chips really good for you? Or are they another example of deceptive marketing? STACK looked at five types to learn whether they are really fit for jocks.

1. Baked Chips

Lay’s OvenBaked Original Chips nutrition info: 120 calories, 2g fat, 0g saturated fat, 135mg sodium, 23g carbohydrates, 2g protein, 8 ingredients

Unlike traditional potato chips, “baked chips” are baked instead of fried, which supposedly makes them healthier. Baked chips are often significantly lower in fat than their fried counterparts, which can quickly convince someone they’re a smarter choice.

If you’re looking for a chip lower in calories and fat than traditional potato chips, baked chips do fit the bill. A serving of Lay’s OvenBaked Original chips contains 40 fewer calories and 8 fewer grams of fat than Classic Lay’s Chips. However, baked chips are similarly low in vitamins and minerals—which means they cannot compare to a piece of produce as a healthy snack. They’re also higher in carbs than traditional chips. Lay’s Baked chips have 8 more grams of carbs than Classic Lay’s. Furthermore, baked chips have been found to be significantly higher than traditional fried chips in acrylamide, a potential cancer causing substance. Although the evidence of acrylamide’s cancer-causing properties is not conclusive, the FDA has advised consumers to monitor their consumption.

Bottom line: baked chips are less unhealthy than traditional chips, but they certainly aren’t healthy. And if you’re buying baked varieties of highly seasoned snacks, such as Flaming Hot Cheetos, the nutrition facts are worse and the ingredient list is especially lengthy.

2. Veggie Chips

Snyder’s Eatsmart Garden Veggie Crisps nutrition info: 140 calories, 6g fat, .5g saturated fat, 150mg sodium, 18g carbohydrates, 1g protein, 9 ingredients

Veggie Chips. They have got to be healthy, right? They’re made with real vegetables! Veggie chip packaging does everything possible to convince you that they are a healthy option. The word “veggie” alone carries a lot of weight, but you can also expect to see words like “natural,” together with pictures of produce and natural scenery. As it turns out, munching veggie chips is no match for actually eating broccoli (or spinach, tomatoes, etc.). Veggie chips are a classic case of a food that sounds too good to be true—because it is. Although veggie crisps use a wider variety of vegetables than classic potato chips, they aren’t much better in terms of nutrition. Snyder’s Eatsmart Garden Veggie Crisps have only 10 fewer calories than Snyder’s Original Potato Chips and are actually higher in sodium and carbs.

To be fair, they’re lower in saturated fat and are certified Non-GMO (containing no genetically modified organisms). Always look for the Non-GMO certified logo if you want to avoid GMO products.)

But perhaps the biggest issue with veggie chips is that they contain nowhere near the amount of vitamins and minerals one expects from vegetables. For example, a single raw leaf of spinach contains 18 percent of your daily vitamin A; and a wedge of raw tomato contains 7 percent of your daily vitamin C. In contrast, Snyder’s Eatsmart Garden Veggie Crisps contain 0 percent vitamin A and vitamin C, despite their packaging claiming “tomato & spinach” front and center.

This is common for veggie chips, and it’s due to both their cooking process and the fact that they don’t actually contain a whole lot of real vegetables. Veggie chips are basically nothing more than thinly disguised potato chips. If you think you’ll get a ton of useful vitamins from a veggie chip, be sure to check the nutrition facts to find out how healthy they truly are.

3. Popped Chips

Popchips Sea Salt Potato nutrition info: 120 calories, 4g fat, 0g saturated fat, 190mg sodium, 19g carbohydrates, 1g protein, 8 ingredients

Besides frying and baking, “popping” is another way to prepare chip snacks. Popping is a cooking technique that uses high pressure and heat to create a light, airy chip. Like baked chips, popped chips are marketed as healthier than regular potato chips. Popchips are the best known brand on the market. The basic nutrition facts of Popchips represent a definite improvement over traditional chips. Compared to Original Pringles, for example, Popchips are significantly lower in calories, fat and saturated fat. They’re also certified GMO-free, which is great.

Those are big pluses, but popped chips are still essentially made mostly of potatoes and salt. They can only be relatively healthy—no matter how they’re prepared. They barely have any fiber and protein, and they have nearly no vitamins or minerals. Are they better than regular potato chips? Sure. But a lot of other snacks have more to offer than popped chips.

4. Sun Chips

SunChips Garden Salsa nutrition info: 140 calories, 6g fat, 1g saturated fat, 150mg sodium, 18g carbs, 2g protein, roughly 25 ingredients

SunChips have been around a long time, and they’ve always been marketed as a healthier option than traditional potato chips. The name “SunChips” sounds all-natural and eco-friendly, and SunChips sell themselves as “multigrain snacks.”

But SunChips are a classic example of an unhealthy snack using marketing to hide its real nutrition. In 2013, Frito-Lay was sued for falsely claiming “made with All NATURAL ingredients” on SunChips packaging. On Frito-Lay’s website, SunChips packaging no longer contains that claim. In reality, SunChips are made with GMO ingredients. Furthermore, it was recently discovered that 100 percent of the corn used in SunChips was a GMO variety; and that SunChips also contain glyphosate, a.k.a. RoundUp, a weedkiller that’s been linked to cancer.

And for all of this, SunChips aren’t even much better than Doritos. A serving of Garden Salsa SunChips has the same amount of calories and saturated fat and more carbs as a serving of Nacho Cheese Doritos. Both are super low in vitamins and minerals, as well.

5. Brown Rice, Black Bean, Quinoa, Etc. Chips

Lundberg Rice Chips Sea Salt (made with brown rice) nutritional info: 140 calories, 6g fat, .5g saturated fat, 110mg sodium, 19g carbohydrates, 2g protein, 8 ingredients

Beanitos Black Bean Chips Sea Salt nutritional info: 140 calories, 7g fat, .5g saturated fat, 50mg sodium, 15g carbohydrates, 4g protein, roughly 6 ingredients

Simply 7 Quinoa Chips Sea Salt nutritional info: 140 calories, 6g fat, .5g saturated fat, 260mg sodium, 12g carbohydrates, 9g protein, roughly 7 ingredients

A wide range of chips stand out for one or two unique ingredients—usually items known to be healthy, like beans, quinoa, brown rice, etc. Consumers naturally assumes if said healthy food is in the chip, the chip is a smart choice.

Many of these chips do have advantages over traditional chips. For example, chips made with quinoa or black beans are often higher in protein than traditional chips. However, most chips of this type do not contain the benefits one expects from their primary ingredient. For example, basic quinoa contains high amounts of iron and fiber, whereas the quinoa chips listed above have no iron or fiber. The refining or cooking process often strips many of the benefits from these healthy ingredients, so a chip can never live up to the real thing. Obviously, if you opt for some of the more heavily seasoned options, you’ll get a longer ingredient list and worse nutrition facts.

Bottom line: eating the actual healthy ingredients in these chips is more beneficial than eating the chips that contain them. Black bean chips are not better for you than a serving of black beans. True, many of these chips are healthier than traditional chips, but we can’t say they’re outright healthy.

The Verdict

Lots of chips present themselves as healthy options. Many do have great qualities. Some are lower in fat and calories than traditional chips. Some are higher in protein or fiber. Some use higher quality ingredients. But there’s only so much you can do to improve the nutritional profile of a chip. Even when producers include superfood ingredients like quinoa, the cooking process strips them of most of their nutritional benefits.

No matter what the front of the bag says, no chip is truly healthy. You can certainly enjoy chips on occasion, but you’re better off sticking with healthier snacks such as produce, nuts and whole foods.

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Chips and dip go with the Super Bowl like Tom Brady and the Patriots (sorry, Eagles fans). But while chips are obviously delicious, they’re generally fried, covered in salt, and have high amounts of saturated fats. Meanwhile, better-for-you chip alternatives often leave a lot to be desired in the flavor department. What’s a girl to do?

When shopping for a legit healthy chip, Jessica Perez, R.D., says you should ensure both the saturated fat and salt content don’t exceed 5 percent of your recommended daily value. “Manufacturers tend to increase sodium content to add to the flavor you lose when you reduce the fat,” Perez says.

Related: Shalane Flanagan Says Her Super Bowl Commercial With Chris Pratt Revealed He’s ‘Definitely Not A Runner’

Learn what to look for on a nutrition label:

​ ​

It’s also a good idea to look for chips that are baked, not fried, says Deborah Orlick Levy, R.D., Carrington Farms health and nutrition consultant. “Also, look for chips that have very few ingredients, all pronounceable, and ideally with ingredients like flax or chia,” she says. This way, you can sneak in extra fiber, omega-3s, and other essential nutrients along with your dip and guac.

Here are the healthiest chips available right now that are actually delicious—and nutritionist-approved:

Wickedly Prime

Corn has developed a bad rep for cropping up in most processed foods, but Karen Ansel, R.D.N., makes a case for sneaking it into your diet in its purest form. “I’m not a huge chip person but if I am going to have chips, they’re going to be corn chips so I can at least score a serving of whole grains.” She looks for varieties like this one that have decent amounts of fiber and a short ingredient list.

Related: Photographic Proof That Soda Seriously Messes with Your Body

Wickedly Prime Organic Tortilla Chips, Thick & Stone-Ground Yellow Corn, $3.00, Amazon

SHOP

Beanitos

Get a leg up with legumes. Elizabeth Prendergast, R.D.N., says bean-derived chips are a great alternative to potato chips since they’re lower in saturated fat and come with a healthy dose of fiber and protein. “By adding protein and fiber to your snack choices, it can lead to you feeling more satisfied since it takes longer to digest than the simple carbohydrates found in potato chips,” she says.

Beanitos Hint Of Lime, $3.00, Amazon

SHOP

Trader Joe’s

Beets’ deep red pigment means they’re packed with antioxidants—a major win. Ansel says beet chips like these are often dehydrated instead of fried, which means they’re made with very little or no oil at all. Bonus points if they’re peppered with disease-fighting spices like turmeric or garlic.

Related: The 8 Best Things to Buy at Trader Joe’s, According to Nutritionists

Trader Joe’s Just Beets Dehydrated Beet Snacks, $3.00, Trader Joe’s stores

SHOP

Jica Chips

You can consider jicama the new, low-carb potato substitute on the block. “It’s kind of sweet in flavor, like a cross between an apple and potato—but some brands add spice blends to make them more savory than sweet,” Perez says. Jicama is also packed with fiber and vitamin C.

Related: Is An Air Fryer Really Better For You Than A Regular Fryer?

Jica Chips Sea Salt (pack of 8), $26.00, Amazon

SHOP

Mary’s Gone Crackers

Flax seed, the overlooked relatives of chia seeds, are packed with nutrients like omega-3s. And their fiber count can help with constipation. That’s why Orlick-Levy likes to swap flax crackers and chips for traditional corn and potato chips. These ones are also baked and low in sodium—what’s not to like?

Mary’s Gone Crackers Original (pack of 2), $18.00, Amazon

SHOP

Marissa Miller Marissa Miller has spent a decade editing and reporting on women’s health issues from an intersectional lens with a focus on peer-reviewed nutrition, fitness trends, mental health, skincare, reproductive rights and beyond.

The Healthiest Potato Chips You Can Buy When Those Salty, Crunchy Cravings Strike

Unsplash/Jessic To’oto’o

Let’s be honest — when we aren’t craving all things sweet, sugary and chocolate-laden, we’re dreaming of the perfect balance of saltiness and crunchiness. And, obviously, the best snack suited for these hankerings is the potato chip. The classic American snack comes in all sorts of flavors and styles these days, but the bulk of them are far from healthy. So we dug through nutrition label after nutrition label to determine which chips are the best options for those trying to stay nutritionally balanced.

We ranked the 14 healthiest potato chips below based on certain nutrition label criteria. First, we had to be able to recognize every ingredient — no exceptions. Next, we wanted a healthy balance of calories, fat and sodium so they served as legitimate snacks rather than just upping our cravings for more food. Each chip on this list has less than 200 calories, 9 grams of total fat, 2 grams of saturated fat and 200 milligrams of sodium per serving. Also, if a brand offered a reduced fat version of their chips, we tried to give you two options from them — one classic and one reduced fat — to spice up the flavor variety a bit. Get ready to snack happy, friends!

1. Deep River Snacks — 50% Reduced Fat Kettle Cooked Potato Chips

Calories: 130
Total Fat: 5 grams
Saturated Fat: 0 grams
Sodium: 95 milligrams

The top spot goes to these super crunchy chips from Deep River Snacks. The fat content is on point and the sodium is surprisingly low for such a tasty potato chip.

Unsplash/Emiliano Vittoriosi

2. Cape Cod — 40% Less Fat Original Potato Chips

Calories: 140
Total Fat: 6 grams
Saturated Fat: 0.5 grams
Sodium: 85 milligrams

Cape Cod easily snags second place with its reduced fat classic chip. It has more fat than our winner, but it also has less sodium. So we suggest grabbing a bag depending on which nutrient balance is more important for your personal health goals.

3. Good Health — Olive Oil Rosemary Kettle Potato Chips

Calories: 140
Total Fat: 7 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 gram
Sodium: 45 milligrams

These sneaky chips have the lowest sodium count on this list, and it doesn’t negatively impact the flavor. All of that olive oil and rosemary makes for a dang good snack if you ask us — and they’re worth that extra gram of fat.

4. Terra Chips — Sweets Medley With Avocado Oil

Calories: 140
Total Fat: 6 grams
Saturated Fat: 0.5 grams
Sodium: 105 milligrams

Most Terra chips go the alternative route, playing with all sorts of root veggies to up their health content. But since we stuck to bonafide potato chips for this list, it was the Sweets Medley (AKA sweet potato chips) made with avocado oil than won out for the brand. Check out that low sodium, too!

5. Popchips — Sea Salt Potato Chips

Calories: 120
Total Fat: 4 grams
Saturated Fat: 0 grams
Sodium: 190 milligrams

You might expect Popchips to rank higher on the list because they’re baked, but their sodium is the highest on this list. Conversely, they do have the lowest calorie count and fat content. So, in the end, it’s all a matter of balance and which nutrient is more important to you.

6. Wise Kettle Cooked — Original 40% Reduced Fat Potato Chips

Calories: 130
Total Fat: 6 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 gram
Sodium: 110 milligrams

We consider Wise to be the dark horse brand on this list, easily snagging a spot in the top 50 percent with its on-point fat content and low sodium. Plus, they’re a kettle-cooked option, so anyone who loves extra crunch will be totally into these guys.

7. Lay’s Kettle Cooked — 40% Less Fat Jalepeño Cheddar Potato Chips

Calories: 130
Total Fat: 5 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 gram
Sodium: 120 milligrams

The Frito Lay chip giant makes its debut in the seventh spot on our list with these super flavorful chips. We love that a chip veering from your standard sea salt variety hit our list this high, keeping both fat and sodium within very reasonable limits.

Wikimedia Commons

8. Kettle Brand — Tropical Salsa Avocado Oil Potato Chips

Calories: 130
Total Fat: 6 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 gram
Sodium: 120 milligrams

Kettle Brand has plenty of loyal fans — and with good reason. These uniquely flavored chips are just one of many on their roster, and you won’t feel worse for the wear after snacking on a small bowl of them. Bring on the island vibes!

9. Popchips Ridges — Cheddar & Sour Cream Potato Chips

Calories: 120
Total Fat: 5 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 gram
Sodium: 190 milligrams

Our flavor-packed pick from Popchips sits a little lower on our list due to that higher sodium content again. Otherwise, we have very few health concerns about these baked chips that pack all the seasoning possible into every single ridge.

10. Kettle Brand — Sea Salt 40% Less Fat Potato Chips

Calories: 130
Total Fat: 6 grams
Saturated Fat: 0.5 grams
Sodium: 160 milligrams

Interestingly, Kettle Brand’s reduced fat version ranks lower than our pick of its classic chip with a flavor twist, but that’s mainly due to the boost of sodium that comes along with them. So again, pick and choose your battles. Do you care more about fat or do you care more about salt? If a little sodium doesn’t scare you, then you’re good here.

Wikimedia Commons

11. Simply Ruffles — Sea Salted Reduced Fat Potato Chips

Calories: 140
Total Fat: 7 grams
Saturated Fat: 0.5 grams
Sodium: 160 milligrams

Who doesn’t love a crispy bowl of Ruffles full of all those beautiful golden ridges? Well, the reduced fat version from Frito Lay makes our healthy options list fairly easily, remaining within our fat ranges and keeping that sodium below 200 milligrams. We suggest dunking these in your favorite dip rather than their classic counterpart.

12. Lay’s Kettle Cooked — Maui Onion Potato Chips

Calories: 150
Total Fat: 8 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 gram
Sodium: 115 milligrams

Lay’s gets a second spot on our list with its kettled cooked Maui onion flavor. While it has the highest fat content on our list, it has one of the lower sodium counts, which we found super surprising for a flavor like Maui onion.

13. Cape Cod Infused Fresh Mediterranean Potato Chips

Calories: 150
Total Fat: 8 grams
Saturated Fat: 0.5 grams
Sodium: 130 milligrams

This artisanal line from Cape Cod sneaks into our list with its pure ingredients, reasonable sodium count and fat content that hits just under our benchmark. Full of fresh, herbal flavors, we’re pretty pleased that we can consider these guys a healthier pick.

PxHere

14. Deep River Snacks — Sour Cream & Onion Krinkle Cut Potato Chips

Calories: 140
Total Fat: 8 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 gram
Sodium: 130 milligrams

Last but not least, our friends at Deep River Snacks deliver a crinkle-cut, boldly-flavored chip that meets our nutritional criteria, which is nothing short of a miracle. The fat content is the highest on our list, but the sodium is well below our goal and they just soothe our cravings in every way. Mmm.

RELATED

6 Frozen Pizzas That Taste Amazing And Aren’t Horrible For You

These Are The Healthiest Snack Bars Ranked From Best To Worst

11 Healthy Cereals That Don’t Suck

HealthiGuide

Take a walk down the chips aisle at the grocery store, and you face an intimidating amount of snack food choices. With so many products on the market, it can be difficult to find the best bang for your buck. Fortunately, we’ve done the hard research for you: here are our 15 favorite chips, ranked from worst to best based on a combination of value, healthiness and, of course, deliciousness.

15. Frito’s Chili Cheese Flavored Corn Chips

(credit Frtio Lay)

Possibly one of the most sinister snack foods ever concocted, Frito’s Chili Cheese Flavored Corn Chips are one of the saltiest, fattiest and overall unhealthiest chips on the planet. With a heart-stopping 270mg of sodium and 10g of fat per 1oz serving, it’s safe to say that these chips should not be a staple in anyone’s diet. To top it off, these chips also use caramel coloring which has been tied to certain carcinogens in animals. Our advice to you: eat at your own risk.

14. Ruffles Cheddar & Sour Cream

(credit Frtio Lay)

Cashing in on the chip and dip all-in-one trend, Ruffles has given the world their Cheddar & Sour Cream chips. These salty (seriously, very salty) snacks pack a flavor wallop that leave your fingertips orange. Though they are absolutely delicious, did we mention their salty? With a whopping 180mg of sodium per 1oz serving, these chips are best enjoyed in small doses. Considering that high sodium levels are one of the leading causes of high blood pressure, we’ve left Ruffles Cheddar & Sour Cream toward the bottom of our list.

13. Lay’s Classic Potato Chips

(credit Frtio Lay)

Probably one of the most iconic snacks in the world, Lay’s potato chips have been greasing up fingertips for generations. While they boast that you can never stop at just one, you may want to consider limiting your intake of these to one serving. With 10g of fat and 170mg of sodium per serving, you’re getting well over your daily recommended value. Though these classic potato chips are a mainstay at parties, most cardiologists would rather see this greasy, salty snack food by the wayside.

12. Lay’s Sour Cream & Onion

(credit Frtio Lay)

In terms of health benefits, Lay’s Sour Cream & Onion rank about the same as their original counterparts. However, given that you get a little extra flavor for your buck, we decide to place these chips slightly higher on our list. They are by no means a healthier option: 10g of fat and 160mg of sodium. If you’re trying to regulate blood pressure or cut sodium out of your diet, these, like the previous snacks in our list, should be avoided like a case of the flu.

11. Terra Sweet Potato Chips (No Salt Added)

(credit Terra)

Here’s the first snack on our list that makes an effort to cut down the obscenely high levels of sodium found in most chips. With just 10mg of sodium, these are by far some of the least salty snacks on the market. This chips won’t exactly slim you down, however. They pack 11g of fat, including 1g of saturated fat, into every 1oz serving. That’s actually more than the Frito’s! Nevertheless, we think that Terra Sweet Potato Chips offer a more naturally tasty snacking experience with less grease and less salt.

10. Pringles Sour Cream & Onion

(credit Pringles)

Pringles may have reinvented the proverbial wheel of potato chip packaging, but they have many of the same unhealthy qualities as their traditional counterparts. They rank slightly higher for both their value and lower calorie count. However, they also pump MSG into their recipe. Though no health concerns can be directly correlated to the consumption of MSG, many suspect that the flavoring is tied to headaches, flushes, sweating and more. Or, perhaps those symptoms are simply a result of getting your hand stuck in the canister reaching for that last chip.

9. Lay’s Kettle Cooked Potato Chips

(credit Frtio Lay)

Kettle cooked potato chips are a crunchy, savory flavor experience that most people can’t get enough of. Lay’s kettle chips are no exception. In terms of nutritional value, they fare slightly better than their deep-fried brethren, clocking in at 160 calories with 9g of fat and relatively reasonable 90mg of sodium. We should mention that these chips are by no means a way of trimming off pounds; but, as far as chips cooked with oil are concerned, Lay’s Kettle Cooked Potato Chips are definitely a healthier alternative.

8. Kettle Brand Sea Salt & Vinegar Potato Chips

(credit Kettle Brand)

Like Lay’s Kettle Cooked chips, Kettle Brand also offers these satisfyingly crunchy and flavorful snacks, but in a wider variety of flavors. One of our favorites is the sea salt and vinegar chip. In terms of health benefits, there are none. In fact, these are less healthy than Lay’s, but we think the taste makes up for that. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more flavorful, full-bodied, tangy snack than these sea salt and vinegar chips. But with 210mg of sodium, your cardiovascular system will also be hard pressed if you munch too many of these.

7. Doritos Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips

(credit Frtio Lay)

Our list of delicious chips and snacks would be remiss without the zesty, cheesy, nacho-y tortilla chips from Doritos. While Doritos Nacho Cheese chips have as much sodium as they do flavor, they are relatively low in fat at just 8g. Plus each serving packs 2g of protein, which is actually a nutrient you want. However, our old friend MSG rears its head again. But let’s just pretend that we’re getting headaches for another reason.

6. Tostitos Original Tortilla Chips

(credit Frtio Lay)

Tostitos Original Tortilla Chips are the go-to choice for many people. Not only are they the perfect crunchy, salty counterpart to spicy salsa, but comparatively low in the things that are bad for you. Each serving has only 7g of fat, 115mg of sodium, 2g of protein and no added sugar. Granted, they don’t have the nutritional benefits of an avocado; but as far as chips go, are a much healthier choice.

5. Sun Chips French Onion 100% Whole Grain Chips

(credit Frito Lay)

Sun Chips have done an excellent job incorporating 100% whole grains into a delicious crunchy treat. In fact, nutritionists recommend whole grains for their natural fiber and minerals. While the French onion flavor does add some unwanted calories and sodium to the mix, these chips, nevertheless, remain a healthier option. With only 6g of fat in a large 1oz serving, Sun Chips are a smarter choice for those looking to stay trim. Plus, you receive the added benefit of whole grains, offering 2g of fiber and 2g of protein to each serving.

4. Ruffles Oven Baked Cheddar & Sour Cream Potato Chips

(credit Frito Lay)

We were shocked when we saw the difference in fat content between original Ruffles Cheddar & Sour Cream chips and the baked version. With just 3.5g of fat per serving, Ruffles Oven Bake Cheddar & Sour Cream potato chips contain 65 percent less fat. The sodium count, unfortunately, is up there at 240mg. These should be avoided by those who have a heart-healthy conscious diet. Again, certainly not a health food, but a better option nonetheless that’s packed with flavor.

3. Popchips Sea Salt Potato Chips

(credit Pop Chips)

Popchips are a relatively recent addition to the snack industry, and they have taken a unique approach to making an old-time favorite. Their method of pressure cooking potato chips creates these interesting, crunchy, puffy potato bites that are irresistible. The preparation method also reduces the amount of fat produced. Plus, the oil they use consists of healthy monounsaturated fats with absolutely no saturated fats. Unfortunately, they do have a fondness for sodium. But in terms of keeping the pounds off, these chips are your best bet.

2. Tostitos Oven Baked Scoops

(credit Frito Lay)

We return to Tostitos for the number-two spot on our list with their Oven Baked Scoops. These perfect salsa-scooping, guac-topping dip vessels make for ideal finger food. The fat content is limited to 3g per serving with just .5g of saturated fat. The sodium level is lower than most chips, at 140mg, making these a smarter choice for your cardio health. Plus, did we mention how awesome these chips are for dipping? Seriously, it’s like they were made for dipping.

(credit Frito Lay)

Finally, the top crunchy snack on our countdown, of course, belongs to the classic Lay’s potato chip–in its baked form. Somehow Lay’s has managed to create the perfect balance between delicious, salty flavor and health consciousness. These chips boast 80 percent less fat (only 2g) than their fried counterparts and contain 0g saturated fat. And with just 135mg of sodium, these are certainly some of the less salty snacks of the bunch. Simple and classic, when it comes to the best, most sensible snack food, Lay’s Oven Baked potato chips meets all the criteria.

The Best and Worst Packaged Chips for Your Health

Finding it hard to imagine a “healthy” chip? That’s understandable! It’s no surprise that potato chips don’t have a superfood reputation. But it’s possible to indulge responsibly with a healthier brand. You’ll want to check the nutrition facts for something with the highest fiber and protein, but the lowest saturated fats and sodium.

Just look at the labels in the grocery store, or pick up our dietitian-recommended brands for a healthier crunch.

Bare Veggie Chips are made from carrot, sweet potato or beet, which makes them high in fiber. Simply, these chips contain a short ingredient list. It’s about as unpretentious as you can get! Nutritionally, they pack 3-4 grams of protein per serving. Look for flavors such as BBQ sweet potato, ranch carrot and salt and vinegar beet.

Your bag of chips might be half-full—here’s why each bag has so much air.

One smart way to improve the nutritional quality of your chips is to swap out the main ingredient for pulses. (Here’s why we’re crazy about pulses!) Lentils are super high in fiber and protein, so these healthy chips naturally boast these nutrients, too. Saffron Road Baked Lentil Chips have only 3 grams of fat per serving (with NONE from saturated fats) and clever flavors to choose from—like cucumber dill, cracked pepper, Moroccan barbecue and sea salt.

Thanks to an amazing mixture of vegetables (carrot, sweet potato, kale, spinach, broccoli, tomato, beet, shiitake mushrooms and red and black beans), you almost can’t go wrong with these tasty chips. The power-packed veggies make Eat Your Vegetables Chips high in vitamins, which no other chip can claim. In one serving, you’ll get 30% of your daily vitamin C and 25% of vitamin A, not to mention 10% of vitamins D, E and B6.

Pulses are the beauty of these delish healthy chips, too. Beanitos White or Black Bean Chips have only 130 calories per serving with 4 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein and 6.5 grams of healthy fats. The white bean-based flavors include sweet chili and sour cream and garden fresh salsa. The Skinny Dippers variety contain 6% of your daily iron needs in a low-calorie serving. They’re all gluten and corn free, if food sensitivity is an issue for you.

So you really want a good old-fashioned potato chip? Choosing these baked Cheddar and Sour Cream Potato Chips saves a ton of fat and calories when compared to your traditional potato chips. In other words, they’re flavor-packed without the guilt. You could also make your own microwave potato chips with heart-healthy olive oil.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a snack chip higher in sodium. With 270 mg of sodium per serving, this equates to the amount in a slice of processed cheese. These salty snacks have virtually no fiber, but 10 grams of fat per serving, more than in a McDonald’s hamburger. Skip these chips for a healthier choice.

Nope, these aren’t a good substitute for high-calcium cheese! Rather, with 10 grams of fat and almost no fiber, they’re really nothing more than empty calorie bombs. The baked version is a healthier choice, however.

With a huge variety of flavors on the market, these crunchy, savory chips are quickly flying off the shelf. But the sea salt variety is a fat bomb with 14 grams per serving, more than a whole tablespoon of butter. The jalapeno flavor contains 180 mg of sodium and the pepperoncini 170 mg of sodium, so this chip can quickly bust your sodium budget.

Psst…Here’s why potato chips are so addictive.

The fried Cheddar and Sour Cream Potato Chips make the unhealthy list, with 10 grams of fat and 180 mg of sodium per serving. Stick to the baked version (on the healthy list above!) for the same flavor without the guilt.

When you’re in the snack aisle, take a sec to read the nutrition facts and ingredients to find the healthy chip choices. Don’t forget to pair your chips with fresh vegetables and dip or some fresh fruit kabobs!

Grrrrowwwl. What do you when your stomach starts complaining midway through the afternoon or just before bed? Before you visit the vending machine or scour your fridge, you may want to scan the list below.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

We asked our dietitians to name the seven worst snacks for tiding you over between meals. Here’s how they voted:

1. Any baked chips

“They’re highly processed and often so low in fat that you can consume large quantities without ever feeling full! This can increase blood sugar and cause an insulin surge, promoting fat storage,” says Kylene Bogden, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD.

2. Rice cakes

“You think you can eat a lot amount of them since they’re lower in calories,” says Laura Jeffers, MEd, RD, LD. “But rice cakes are often artificially flavored and are really just a carb with little to no nutrition. I recommend a small serving of ½ cup of brown rice instead. It’s much more nutritious and satisfying — and has way less calories, in the end.”

3. Pretzels

“They are a nutrient “zero” and do nothing but put your insulin and blood sugar on a roller coaster,” says Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD. “This, in turn, makes you more hungry.”

4. Potato chips

“Potato chips lack any significant nutritional value, therefore are empty calories in my book,” says Kate Patton, MEd, RD, CSSD, LD. “ They are high in fat, and low in fiber and protein.”

5. Veggie sticks or straws

“They’re like a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” says Anna Taylor, MS, RD, LD. “People think these heavily processed snacks are healthy. But veggie sticks and straws lack fiber and protein, and are practically devoid of nutrients. They may be a bit lower in fat than chips, but why not just eat the real thing — dip raw bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, and grape tomatoes in hummus.”

6. Store-bought smoothies

“Home-made smoothies can be power-packed with nutrients,” says Jennifer Willoughby, RD, CSP, LD. “But grab-and-go smoothies, even from your best local smoothie shop or grocery store, are often jam-packed with added sugar (often, from fruit juice) and calories. You can run up 300-700 calories with this quick “snack,” which won’t keep you feeling full like a good snack should!”

7. Granola/cereal bars

“These are often disguised as ‘healthy candy bars’ and can contain large amounts of sugar with very little protein and fiber,” says Julia Zumpano, RD, LD. “Be aware of ingredients, and read the nutrient label.”

Related: 7 Diet Foods That Kill Your Diet

35 of Your Favorite Chips — Ranked!

You licked your fingers after digging into multiple different bags of Lay’s, and found the best chips according to your taste buds. But then came Pringles, Bugles, and Doritos, completely confusing the whole concept of what a chip was. Instead of potatoes or corn fried in oil and sprinkled with salt, these creatures were made from weird ingredients, and shaped in weird ways, and they tasted like…well, not food exactly.

And it only got more complicated from there. Now the world of chips is like World of Warcraft, with more characters and subplots than your mind can comprehend. You’ve got your Sun Chips, your pita chips, your Cheetos. You’ve got chips made out of beans, lentils, kale, quinoa, even crickets. Some of them even have the temerity to claim to be a health food that can help you lose weight.

But which chips are which? And are any of them actually good for you? The staff of Eat This, Not That decided to get their fingers greasy and dip right into the fray to rank the top 35 chips in America, taking each into our food lab.

RELATED VIDEO: The Healthiest Snacks at the Vending Machine

35

FROM BEST TO WORST…

These are primarily ranked based on calories, fat, and sodium. But fiber, sugar, caloric “bang for your buck” and quality of ingredients was also considered, especially when we needed to decipher between two bags that looked nearly identical.

35

Lay’s Oven Baked Potato Crisps, Original

1 oz (about 18 chips): 120 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated), 135 mg sodium, 23 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugars, 2 g protein

Coming in at our top ranking spot, Lay’s Oven Baked Potato Crisps may add unnecessary sugar, but other than that, they’re low in calories and sodium and have a simple list of ingredients. Also a plus: These chips are baked, not fried, so they have 65% less fat than regular potato chips, deeming this bag one of our healthier snacks.

34

Tostitos Oven Baked Scoops

1 oz (about 16 chips): 120 calories, 3 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 140 mg sodium, 22 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 2 g protein

Also jumping on the baked bandwagon is another of Frito-Lay’s most popular snacks, Tostitos Scoops. This baked version has more than 50% less fat than its fried counterpart, with no loss of flavor. Pair a small handful with a diet soda for a just sinful-enough snack.

33

Popchips Potato Chips, Sea Salt

1 oz (about 23 chips): 120 calories, 3.5g fat (0 g saturated), 200 mg sodium, 20 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 1 g sugars, 3 g protein

Popchips’ unique method of heating their potatoes in a pressurized chamber, gives the circular chips their trademark shape. They’re coated with oleic oils, healthy monounsaturated fats which can help reduce appetite and promote weight loss. And bonus: Harvard Medical School found that this particular type of fat boosts memory.

32

Popchips Potato Chips, Cheddar and Sour Cream

1 oz (about 22 chips): 120 calories, 4 g fat (0.5 g saturated) 190 mg sodium, 18 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 2 g protein

Popchips’ commitment to real ingredients is a plus when it comes to flavor. Instead of adding petroleum-based dyes like Yellow 6 or Yellow 5 Lake (we’re looking at you, #31…), the company uses natural colors from annatto, turmeric, and paprika oleoresin. Plus, a serving size is 22 chips — double the number of other varieties.

31

Ruffles, Oven Baked Cheddar & Sour Cream

1 oz serving (about 11 chips): 120 calories, 3.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 240 mg sodium, 21 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 2 g protein

Low in fat because they’re are oven baked, these chips still have some questionable ingredients like MSG, the additive that makes everything taste more appetizing but blocks the message to the brain that you’ve eaten enough. But because their calorie count is relatively low, we won’t stop you from grabbing a handful.

30

Popchips, Barbeque Potato

1 oz serving (about 20 chips): 120 calories, 4 g fat (0 g saturated) fat, 200 mg sodium, 18 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 2 g protein

There’s a reason Popchips rank so highly: They’re low in calories, with no fake flavors. Next time you’re hankering for smoky BBQ, grab a bag of these—not one whose ingredients include “chicken flavor.” And when this tasty snack leaves you feeling thirsty, wash it down with a glass of detox water!

29

TERRA Chips, Blues

1 oz (15 chips): 130 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated), 115 mg sodium, 19 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 1 g sugars, 2 g protein

Nuttier and packed with more antioxidants compared to their yellow counterparts, these three- to five-ingredient potato chips are super-low in sodium, but loaded with fat, thanks to the addition of canola, safflower and sunflower oils.

28

SunChips Multigrain Chips, Sweet & Spicy BBQ

1 oz serving (about 15 chips): 140 calories, 6 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 135 mg sodium, 19 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 2 g protein

We love SunChips because they’re 100% whole grain, which means they contain a full serving or more of whole grain in each helping and that ALL the grains—whole corn, whole wheat and whole oat flour—are whole grain. Whole grains contain all three parts of the grain (bran, germ, and endosperm), which make them nutrient-rich, fiber-filling, and appetite-suppressing.

27

Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Tortilla Chips

1 oz serving (about 10 chips): 140 calories, 7 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 80 mg sodium, 18 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 2 g protein

These chips earn some points for using superfood ingredients like quinoa and flax seeds. Plus, they’re lower in saturated fat than many other varieties. However, we were less than thrilled to see the addition of sugar here. Typically, there’s only added sugar in BBQ varieties. You know the drill: added sugars are addicting and can cause weight gain and even make you sick.

26

Simply Ruffles, Sea Salted

1 oz (about 15 chips): 140 calories, 7 g fat (0.5 g saturated),160 mg sodium, 17 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 2 g protein

We like that these contain no sugar. But we couldn’t rank them higher because of their relatively high sodium and fat. At least you can munch on 15 chips without emptying your calorie and carb banks.

25

Simply 7 Quinoa Chips, Sea Salt

1 oz: 140 calories, 6 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 330 mg sodium, 19 g carbs, <1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 1 g protein

If there’s one word to describe these Simply 7 Quinoa Chips, it’s salty. They’re sky-high in sodium and have barely any fiber, especially for something made with quinoa.

24

SunChips Multigrain Chips, French Onion

1 oz serving (about 15 chips): 140 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 140 mg sodium, 18 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugars, 2 g protein

Throwing French Onion into the mix moves SunChips down a few ranks. This version contains half a gram more of saturated fat, automatically giving it a demerit and 5 more milligrams of sodium. But at the same time, it actually contains one less gram of carbs and sugar. If this is your preferred chip, stick to the serving size.

23

SunChips Multigrain Chips, Garden Salsa

1 oz serving (about 15 chips): 140 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated fat) 150 mg sodium, 18 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 2 g protein

According to SunChips, “Garden Salsa” is kind of like a cheesy nacho. Tomato powder and jalapeño spices combine to form the salsa on the chip, while a cheddar-romano cheese mix tops it all off, and makes it all a little saltier.

22

Tostitos Tortilla Chips, Original

1 oz (about 7 chips): 140 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated), 115 mg sodium, 19 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 2 g protein

The original triangle-shaped tortilla chips were a way to make use of rejected misshapen tortillas. However, factory owners soon discovered that they were popular with customers and decided to sell them in individual bags. Today, they remain one of the most popular chips for dipping and incorporating in entrees. Tostitos Original might be the most popular brand, but with their sodium and fat count, there are better choices.

21

Good Health Kettle Style Olive Oil Potato Chips

1 oz (about 14 chips): 150 calories, 8 g fat (1 g saturated), 65 mg sodium, 16 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 0 g sugars, 2 g protein

Inspired by the Mediterranean diet, these chips are rich in heart-healthy fats, low in sodium and contain no sugar. Plus, they’re made with three simple ingredients: potatoes, olive oil and salt. The right kinds of fats, like olive oil, help quash hunger, maximize your metabolism and speed nutrients through your body.

20

Garden of Eatin’ Corn Tortilla Chips, Sesame Blues

1 oz (about 9 chips): 150 calories, 8 g fat (1 g saturated), 90 mg sodium, 16 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 3 g protein

Made from organic blue corn, sea salt, sunflower oil, and sesame seeds, these tortilla chips provide a complexity of texture and flavor. They’re low in sodium and have a bit of fiber and protein.

19

Doritos Tortilla Chips, Nacho Cheese

1 oz (about 11 chips): 140 calories, 8 g fat (1 g saturated), 210 mg sodium, 16 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 2 g protein

Tread carefully in the land of nacho cheese. The popular chip was specially designed so that no single flavor overpowers another. And when foods lack a dominant flavor, people are less apt to feel full and eat more, say researchers. But that’s not the only piece of bad news: One of the first ingredients is MSG. We had to rank these lower on this list, despite the fact that they contain fewer calories than a number of their competitors.

18

Lay’s Kettle Cooked Lattice Cut Chips, Aged Cheddar & Black Pepper

1 oz serving (about 13 chips): 150 calories, 8 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 135 mg sodium, 17 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 2 g protein

Although the lattice cut of this snack means there’s slightly less chip to devour, Lay’s still manages to pack in a whopping 8 grams of fat. Its one redeeming quality? It relies on pepper, garlic and onion powder—not salt—to provide its signature flavor, which keeps the sodium count on the low end of the spectrum.

17

Kettle Brand Potato Chips, Jalapeño

1 oz serving (about 13 chips): 150 calories, 8 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 170 mg sodium, 16 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugars, 2 g protein

Jalapeño peppers do more than just heat up your mouth. In fact, Canadian researchers found that men who ate spicy appetizers consumed 200 fewer calories at later meals than those that did not. So although these aren’t ETNT’s #1 chip choice, they may save you calories later on.

16

Kettle Brand Potato Chips, Sea Salt

1 oz serving (about 13 chips): 150 calories, 9 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 115 mg sodium, 16 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 0 g sugars, 2 g protein

When deciding between Kettle Brand’s Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper or Sea Salt varieties, choose the latter. They’re lower in sodium and contain just three ingredients and no added sugars. However, each one-ounce serving dishes up 9 grams of fat.

15

Kettle Brand Krinkle Cut Potato Chips, Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper

1 oz serving (about 9 chips): 150 calories, 9 g fat (1 g saturated fat) 170 mg sodium, 16 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 2 g protein

If you prefer ridges in your chips, Kettle Brand’s Krinkle Cuts are thick, crispy and good for dipping. Just be careful what you dip into. These guys have a considerable amount of fat and sodium on their own.

14

Kettle Brand Potato Chips, Sea Salt & Vinegar

1 oz serving (about 13 chips): 150 calories, 9 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 210 mg sodium, 16 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 0 g sugars, 2 g protein

Sea Salt and Vinegar chips don’t differ that much from previous two Kettle varieties, aside from their sodium content. In fact, they actually contain no sugar. Nonetheless, if salt is a concern for you, opt for a different chip. Extremely salty foods can cause water retention and dehydration.

13

Pringles Original

1 oz serving (approx. 16 chips): 150 calories, 9 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 150 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, >1 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 1 g protein

“Once you pop, you can’t stop” was Pringles original slogan, and a marketing phrase has never rung so true. Not only are these crisps downright addicting, they’ve been splashed with soybean oil, a fat that may increase appetite and slow the rate at which the body burns fat, causing you to pack on the pounds. In fact, researchers have gone so far as to say that when it comes to weight gain, soybean oil may be far worse than sugar, the food world’s current problem child. Shocking, right? Aside from staying away from these chips, there are plenty of other weight loss tricks you haven’t tried.

12

Lay’s Kettle Cooked Potato Chips, Original

1 oz (about 16 chips): 160 calories, 9 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 90 mg sodium, 16 g carbs, 1 g fiber, <1 g sugars, 2 g protein

Made with potatoes, sunflower, corn and/or canola oil and sea salt, these chips are surprisingly low in sodium. However, they also contain 9 grams of fat, so limit yourself to one serving.

11

Food Should Taste Good Chips, Kettle Cooked Original Sweet Potato

1 oz (about 14 chips): 160 calories, 9 g fat (1 g saturated), 95 mg sodium, 18 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 4 g sugars, 1 g protein

Sweet potatoes add a delicious twist to the traditional potato chip, but they also boost the sugar count. Combined with sunflower oil and sea salt, 14 of these kettle baked crisps cost 160 calories, 9 grams of fat, 18 grams of carbs and 4 grams of sugar.

10

Pringles Sour Cream & Onion

1 oz serving (approx. 15 chips): 150 calories, 9 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 180 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugars, 1 g protein

The use of soybean oil and MSG drops the rank of these Pringles. MSG increases appetite by blocking the message to the brain that you’ve eaten your fill—hello, abdominal fat!

9

Herr’s Ketchup Flavored Potato Chips

1 oz: 150 calories, 10 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 300 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 2 g protein

If you’re one of those people who put ketchup on literally everything, you’re probably tempted to indulge in these chips. But proceed with caution. Combining two salty items can only produce one result: sky-high sodium and fat. One serving contains 10 grams of fat and 300 milligrams of sodium—talk about an unhealthy snack!

8

TERRA, Sweet Potato, No Salt Added

1 oz serving (about 17 chips): 160 calories, 11 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 10 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 1 g protein

These no-added-salt contain 3 more grams of fat than Lay’s version, but are lower in sodium by a whopping 85 milligrams! In the chip world, 10 milligrams of sodium per serving is unheard of. However, Lay’s outranked them due to their fat and calorie content.

7

Lay’s Potato Chips, Barbecue

1 oz (about 15 chips): 160 calories, 10 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 150 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 2 g sugars, 2 g protein

These are an American favorite, especially for the male population. They’re not the worst chip on this list in calories or sodium, but they do still contain 10 grams of fat. If six-pack abs are in your sights, these chips are not your friend.

6

Lay’s Sour Cream and Onion

1 oz serving (about 17 chips): 160 calories, 10 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 160 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 1 g fiber, < 1 g sugar, 2 g protein

The nutritional profile of these and Ruffles’ Original are about the same. However, if you go for volume, you can eat more five more of these chips. Plus, they contain fewer calories, fat, and sodium.

5

Ruffles Original

1 oz (about 12 chips): 160 calories, 10 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 160 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 1 g fiber, <1 g sugars, 2 g protein

Lay’s Sour Cream and Onion outrank these Classic Ruffles nutritionally, and although these may have a more pleasing texture, they’re not worth the eye-popping fat content. (Trivia: Ruffles was originally created to mimic the ruffles in fabric during the late 1950s. Its design was supposed to prevent breakage.)

4

Lay’s Potato Chips, Classic

1 oz serving (about 15 chips): 160 calories, 10 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat) 170 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 1 g fiber, < 1 g sugar, 2 g protein

These are so salty and oily, you’ll find a coating on both your fingers and tongue after just one. They outrank the chips below because you can consume more for the same caloric cost (15 chips vs 10). But we don’t recommend it.

3

Ruffles Deep Ridged, Bacon & Cheddar Loaded Potato Skins

1 oz (about 10 chips): 160 calories, 10 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 170 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugars, 2 g protein

Ruffles’ complex flavors are simply junky. In eating 10 measly chips, you’ll cash out 160 calories, 10 grams of fat and 170 milligrams of sodium.

2

Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream

1 oz serving (about 11 chips): 160 calories, 10 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 180 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 2 g protein

Similar to the Potato Skin version above, these Ruffles rank second-to-worst by a mere 10 milligrams of sodium. But sodium counts big time. For every extra gram of salt you eat in a day—that’s a mere ⅕ of a teaspoon, or about what you’ll find in one of those tiny salt packets from the soup shop—your risk of obesity climbs by 25 percent, according to a study at Queen Mary University in London. Researchers speculate that sodium alters our metabolism, changing the way we absorb fat.

AND THE #1 WORST CHIPS ARE…Fritos Corn Chips, Chili Cheese

1 oz (about 31 chips): 160 calories, 10 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 270 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 2 g protein

One serving of these Fritos costs you 10 grams of fat and 270 milligrams of sodium, both diet demons. They’re also made with caramel coloring, which is often found in soft drinks (one of the unhealthiest foods on the planet), has been proven to cause cancer in animals and is a possible carcinogen in humans, a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study found. If the possibility of absorbing more fat doesn’t scare you, an increased risk of cancer should.

Get the New Book!

Want to lose 10, 20, even 30 pounds—all without dieting?! Get your copy of Eat This, Not That: The Best (& Worst) Foods in America!, and learn how to indulge smarter and lose weight fast!

Potato Chips Are the Healthiest ‘Unhealthy’ Snack

How do they stack up against candy?

Potato chips own candy, duh! Let’s look at Skittles or Starburst. Unlike potato chips, they have no dietary fiber, protein, or potassium. What do they have? Sugar and corn syrup, and lots of it. A cup of Skittles has 76g — or 15 teaspoons (!) of sugar. These candies basically have no nutritional value, according to dietitian Molly Kimball. “Almost always, the traditional versions of fruity candy have sugar, corn syrup, and artificial colors and food dyes,” Kimball says. “All the stuff we don’t want is in Skittles, Starburst, and stuff.”

What about that acrylamide thing?

A few years back, researchers noticed French fries and potato chips contained a substance called acrylamide, a carcinogen. But it turns out that’s probably not a big deal, as , and acrylamide is present in many other foods.

Now let’s be clear — we are not advocating for the practice of polishing of an entire Costco-sized bag of chips while you lounge on the couch all day. Potato chips should not be among your dietary staples — we’re simply saying that, as satisfying genuine indulgences go, you could do a lot worse than a reasonably sized portion of potato chips. Enjoy them in moderation (yes, it’s possible!), as part of a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins… because you already knew anything fried shouldn’t count as a dietary staple, right? Right?

Welcome to Drunk on Chips. I’m a potato lover whose potato-loving father always kept our snack cabinet stocked with a carefully curated collection of chips. Here, I give you an honest review of a specific bag.

The Setup

I never thought I’d say this, but good God, I’ve been eating too many chips lately. As I type this, I’m staring at two empty bags just to the left of my keyboard—one five ounce bag I took down just minutes ago, and one I finished last week but have been saving. I am legitimately concerned about my health. I can’t stop. And I know I won’t stop.

That’s why the second bag, the one I’ve been saving, is Good Health Avocado Oil Kettle Style Potato Chips, which are cooked in 100 percent avocado oil. The front of the bag tells me to “Enjoy Being Good.”

I like being good. So when these sea salt chips came across my desk—along with barbecue, jalapeño, and lime ranch flavors—I thought maybe I’d found a healthy solution to the addiction that both plagues my body and fills my heart with love.

I was wrong on the solution front. But these chips are still pretty damn good.

The Assessment

The lime ranch flavor was…interesting. They had a citrusy sourness to them that’s intriguing, but I’ll give ’em a five-ounce cap. I don’t think I’d take down a whole family size of these. However, the sea salt, jalapeño, and barbecue flavors were spot on.

They don’t taste any different than other kettle-cooked potato chips I’ve had. That’s a good thing. So what, exactly, is healthy about them? I flipped the bag over and compared it to another one I had nearby.

Shameless Plug: Esquire’s May issue is on newsstands now. Ben Boskovich

A quick scan and you’ll realize there is only one big difference in the nutrition facts: These Good Health chips have far less sodium than any other chip in my cabinet—around three times less in this particular instance—but I’m fairly certain the only way you’ll experience the benefits is by sticking to the serving size, which no American chip eater has done, ever. Lay’s wasn’t messing around when it said, “Bet you can’t have just one.” No one has ever accomplished that feat, and if they have, they are lying.

Buy ‘Em!

Bottom line: Good Health is making a damn good chip, but if you’re eating enough chips to make yourself think, “I probably should try to find a healthier way to get my fix,” it’s probably a lost cause anyway.

Some Tasting Notes

Getty Images

Size: Below average. Not a ton of big boys in here but that’s okay, keep reading.

Crunch: Solid! I liken them to Zapp’s crunch, and that makes sense, because Good Health Natural Products is a subsidiary of Utz Quality Foods, which also makes Zapp’s.

Seasoning: The sea salt chips are impressive because there’s nothing to them. Three ingredients, that’s it. Potatoes, avocado oil, and sea salt. There’s no lack of flavor here, but you can’t taste avocado—the avocado oil provides a nice smoothness.

Aftertaste: They pack a crunch, and many of these chips are curled up, so be careful with the roof of your mouth. The lack of additives, though, leaves no destruction. Good health!

Some Pairings

Getty Images

Pairing One: IDK, some kind of greek yogurt dip? What is a healthy dip? Usually I just say something about a hot dog here.

Pairing Two: A nice, long run. You know what is a dietary solution? Running off the 750 calories you just ate. (That’s a whole five-ounce bag’s worth of cals, there.)

Pairing Three: A woke-ass party. The only thing better than your story about unfollowing Kanye is bringing a healthy snack everyone can be fooled into feeling good about.

More Chips Ben Boskovich Ben Boskovich is the Deputy Editor of Esquire, where he also writes about style.

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *