Veggie chips, shrimp crackers, oven baked or regular: Which potato chips are healthier?

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Veggie chips, shrimp crackers, oven baked or regular: Which potato chips are healthier?


Potato chips aren’t just a healthy snack, but some brands still like to define themselves as such. With ingredients like beets, lentils or carrots, it appeals to the healthy image of these products. But are these types of chips actually healthy?

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Why are potato chips unhealthy?

Although the main ingredient of the chips is not necessarily unhealthy, just think potatoes or vegetables, the problem lies in the preparation. The oil in which the chips are fried is heated to extreme temperatures. Thus vitamins, fiber and starch are destroyed. Intense heating of the starch in potato chips also produces acrylamide. If this substance is consumed in excessive quantities, it can be carcinogenic.

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In addition to the preparation method, there are a number of things that determine how healthy potato chips can be:
  • Quality of ingredients: Some types of chips contain more nutritious ingredients than others. Some contain healthy fats such as coconut oil. This type of fat remains stable at high temperatures and therefore does not oxidize, unlike unsaturated fats such as olive oil and sunflower oil.
  • Salt: Some types of potato chips contain less salt than others, and are therefore healthier.
  • Additives: If a bag of potato chips has a long list of ingredients, the majority are usually additives such as flavor enhancers. These materials are not healthy in any way. On the other hand, a bag of natural potato chips contains only three ingredients: potatoes, sunflower oil and salt.
  • Calories: Due to the high amount of oil, potato chips contain a high percentage of calories. Depending on the preparation method, there are also slight differences here.
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Are oven-baked vegetable chips and potato chips healthier?

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  • Vegetable chips: Potato chips made from vegetables may seem like a good alternative. But when you compare the nutritional values ​​of fried chickpeas, beets and carrots with those found in regular potato chips or paprika flakes, it is quite disappointing. The preparation method is crucial in determining how healthy or unhealthy the chips are in the end. Fried vegetables provide about the same number of calories as natural potato chips, and the difference in fats, sugars and salt is negligible. To make vegetable chips delicious, a lot of ingredients are added in the form of sugars and additives, while regular potato chips contain nothing more than potatoes, oil and salt. Natural chips are therefore somewhat healthier than vegetable chips.
  • Oven Baked: Potato chips baked in the oven instead of a deep fryer are less greasy. For example, if you compare Lay’s Natural Oven-Baked Potato Chips (13 grams of fat, of which 1.4 grams are saturated) with Lay’s Natural Oven-Baked Potato Chips (30 grams of fat, of which 3.2 grams are saturated), the oven-baked version does better. It also contains fewer calories.
  • Finally, shrimp crackers are made from tapioca flour and ground shrimp or dried fish. Shrimp crackers are fried just like potato chips. Shrimp crackers also contain a lot of fat, salt and flavor enhancers. So it is not a healthy alternative to chips.
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Last updated: September 2023

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Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

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