Whenever my salt cravings hit, I immediately reach for a bag of potato chips. I enjoy the chips’ salty flavor and crispy texture, but I’ll be the first to admit it’s not the healthiest option. I’ve been looking to snack smarter as of late and have wondered if baked potato chips are really that much healthier than fried ones. One registered dietitian offers two key reasons why they might not be the most nutritious snack to munch on.
Are baked potato chips healthy?
Seeing the word “baked” on any store bought food item, especially potato chips, gives a lot of us reason to sigh in relief because we associate the word with “healthy.” However, registered dietitian Trista Best, RD, spoke to SheFinds about why baked potato chips aren’t as healthy as we think. “This healthy snack is a good replacement for fried versions, but they are still highly processed and made with questionable ingredients,” she said.
A popular chip brand like Lay’s offers baked potato crisps that are advertised as containing 65 percent less fat than traditional fried versions. But, this “healthier” option is also made with additional ingredients including corn oil, soy lecithin, and sugar — making them a heavily processed food. Consuming processed foods has been linked to memory loss and even an acceleration of the aging process.
“The fact that they [store bought baked potato chips] are low in fat also makes it easy to consume them in large quantities at one sitting,” Best added. “A rapid increase in glucose [levels] will occur and this increases the body’s fat-storing rate.”
To sum it up, baked potato chips are a healthier swap for the fried variety. However, baked potato chips from the store may still contain extra ingredients that diminish their nutritional value.
Despite this news, you don’t have to do away with potato chips forever! In fact, it’s quicker, cheaper, and healthier to make them at home using your trusty microwave or air fryer. Plus, you’ll know the exact ingredients that the chips are made with; you need only potatoes and your favorite seasonings to recreate this store bought snack staple.
I’ll definitely stick to making tasty and crunchy potato chips at home when those snack cravings strike. This will help me save on calories and a trip to the store — a win-win!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First for Women.