Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

January 22, 2022
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Healthy chips? Too good to be true?

Snack-food companies have joined the quest for health. In case you haven’t noticed, “chippie” has evolved and the chip aisle seriously expanded. You now find chips that are baked, with no trans fats, made from vegetables, organic and gourmet. But are any of these healthier? And for a diehard chip lover, can a new chip compete with the real deep-fried sodium-packed thing? Here are some of the newer chips out there.


Flat Earth Baked Veggie and Fruit Crisps Made with potato flour, rice flour and one half serving of veggies and fruits per portion, these crisps contain more nutrients than chips made from potatoes. The new flavours are fun, though tasters who enjoyed the savory veggie crisps outnumbered those who liked the sweeter fruit ones. Since these chips are baked, they contain about half the fat of regular chips. Great taste and half the fat.


Pringles Select Upscale taste and packaging without claiming to be healthier, except for being free of trans fat. Taste and texture are exactly like a regular potato chip, except that it doesn’t leave an oily feel on the fingers. The new flavours are interesting, but may not appeal to every chip lover. They contain almost the same amount of fat and calories as other chips and, despite being trans-fat free, they actually come with more saturated fat, which is the type we should avoid. They taste good, but don’t expect any nutritional benefits.


Terra Exotic Vegetable Chips Our tasters found the Original variety a bit blander than regular chips and nutritionally they don’t differ much from regular potato chips. Remember that when reading labels to look at the portion size. Terra Chips gives information for a 28-gram portion, while other brands gives it for a 50-gram serving. Originally the brainchild of two New York City chefs, the Terra brand now boasts 25 different varieties. The Exotic Vegetable Chips Original recipe are made from a variety of root vegetables, including sweet potatoes, parsnips, bataba, taro, and yucca. Terra also makes potato chips, but from naturally blue potatoes. While these do provide the same nutrients, they’re snacks and not meant to replace vegetables and fruit in the diet. Unlike real veggies, they come with all the calories and fat of a regular chip. Terra also has a line of no-added-salt potato chips, which is great for people who need to manage their sodium.


President’s Choice Blue Menu Flaxseed Tortilla Chips The Spicy corn chip really hits the spot if that’s what you’re craving. The interesting ingredient here is fibre: a whopping six grams per serving — excellent! While other companies make a high-fibre tortilla chip, this chip has the highest. Hopefully this translates to feeling full and eating less later because all the calories of a regular chip are there.


Baked! Lay’s A chip lover’s dream: the Baked! Original has same taste as regular Lay’s with less calories and fat. In a 50-gram portion (a small bag), you save 15.5 grams of total fat. And they contain less sodium. Lay’s has a range of baked chips including BBQ, Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream, Doritos Nacho Cheese and baked Tostitos Scoops. Great taste for half the calories and fat.


Portions are everything: when you can, buy the new 100-calorie portioned containers. If that’s not available, take a 50-gram bag. If you can only find a big bag, then put your chips in a fruit-salad bowl or an 8-ounce (1 cup / 250 ml) ramekin and put the bag away. Then go enjoy your snack. A little bit of fun can go a long way.

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.