The classic potato chip is getting a makeover to reveal a healthier side. This favorite snack now boasts veggies, whole grains, fiber, and protein. By: Holley Grainger, MS, RD
The CookingLight.com team never passes up a snack, so when charged to find the healthiest chips on the market, we rolled up our sleeves and began crunching. The variety of fried, baked, and “popped” options were endless as well as the ingredients used in these healthy chips. We saw (and tasted) chips made with everything from quinoa, chia seeds, and brown rice to chickpeas, black beans, lentils, and of course, the classic potato. After sampling dozens of options, we landed on our top ten. Do you have a favorite? We want to hear about it so we can add it to our snack repertoire.
Popchips reigned supreme as the favorite among our tasters with positive comments ranging from “best tasting” and “great crunch” to
“perfect portion size.” Neither baked nor fried, popchips “pop” a potato (thanks to a little heat, pressure, and magic) to
bring you this flavorful snack chip. Popchips’ philosophy is to keep everything natural so you’ll find no fake colors, flavors,
preservatives, hydrogenated oil, or msg in any of their products. Our tasters loved that these chips are a lighter and less
greasy version of the classic potato chip.
Serving size: 1oz/20 chips, 120 cals, 4g fat (0g sat fat), 0mg chol, 290mg sodium, 1g fiber, 1g protein
“Salty and satisfying,” “better than potato chips,” and “so flavorful they don’t even need dip,” were just a few of the praises
ringing out by our staffers when they tasted The Mediterranean Snack Food Company Baked Lentil Chips. It was a toss up between Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper and Cucumber Dill for our favorite flavor, but we all agreed that these
fiber-rich, low-fat chips were a hit. The serving size is whopping 22 chips, but we do warn to watch out for the relatively
high amount of sodium.
Serving size: 1oz/22 chips, 110 cals, 3g fat (0g sat fat), 0mg chol, 250mg sodium, 3g fiber, 4g protein
With ingredients like protein-packed quinoa, fiber-rich corn bran and brown rice, and omega-3-providing flax, it’s hard to
deny that Laurel Hill Multigrain Tortilla Chips are one of the healthiest chips around. Their sturdy and crispy texture made them an immediate staff favorite. The curved
shape of the chip makes it perfect for dipping in your favorite salsa or guacamole but they definitely hold their own as a
stand-alone snack. If you like the Multigrain, give the Sea Salt & Lime flavor a try.
Serving size: 1oz/8 chips, 140 cals, 6g fat (0.5g sat fat), 0mg chol, 80mg sodium, 3g fiber, 2g protein
It’s hard to beat an entire serving of vegetables in one ounce of chips, especially ones as delicious as Terra Sweet Potato Chips. While these root vegetable chips may have a higher calorie and fat content than the other chips we reviewed, we couldn’t
pass up the extremely low sodium content, just 10mg per serving. We also loved the ingredient list of sweet potatoes and oil
(either canola, safflower, and/or sunflower). The simplicity of these antioxidant-rich chips made them tops in our books.
Serving size: 1oz/17 chips, 160 cals, 11g fat (1g sat fat), 0mg chol, 10mg sodium, 3g fiber, 1g protein
If you’re looking for a laundry list of wholesome ingredients in one product, look no further than the Food Should Taste Good line of chips. Their Blue Corn Tortilla Chips feature a variety of grains like quinoa, blue corn, brown rice, and oats as
well as flax, sunflower, and sesame seeds. Our tasters loved the versatility of this low-sodium chip and recommended pairing
it with guacamole, fruit salsa, or hummus.
Serving size: 1oz/10 chips, 140 cals, 7g fat (0.5g sat fat), 0mg chol, 80mg sodium, 3g fiber, 2g protein
“Simply great tasting” is the slogan that Kettle Brand Baked Potato Chips use to describe their product, and we couldn’t agree more. We love that they keep the ingredient list short (just 3 ingredients:
potatoes, sea salt, and vegetable oil) and use no artificial ingredients. Another bonus is the hearty serving size of 20 thick-cut
potato chips as well as the 65% reduction in fat compared to traditional potato chips.
Serving size: 1oz/20 chips, 140 cals, 3g fat (0.5g sat fat), 0mg chol, 135mg sodium, 2g fiber, 2g protein
Beans are an excellent source of fiber, protein, and complex carbs, so when combined with brown rice and transformed into
a Beanitos chip, they made for a healthy and filling snack. With relatively the same amount of calories as a potato chip, this legume-based
snack has a satisfying crunch and crispy texture. Beanitos have 2½ times the protein of a traditional corn or potato chip
and fall lower on the glycemix index as well as being relatively low in sodium (ranges from 55mg to 150mg depending on the
flavor). Our staff chose the Chipotle BBQ (shown here with the Pinto Bean flavor) as their favorite saying it was “tasty with
Serving size: 1oz/10 chips, 140 cals, 7g fat (0.5g sat fat), 0mg chol, 150mg sodium, 5g fiber, 4g protein
“I always loved the taste of Sunchips and thought they were a tad healthier than regular chips, but I didn’t know they were such a great source of whole grains
and fiber,” one of our tasters commented. One serving of Sunchips supplies 18 grams of whole grains, more than one of the
three servings recommended daily, and 3 grams of fiber helping to reduce the risk of heart disease. Sunchips are also 30%
lower in total fat than traditional potato chips and have a subtly salty flavor while still maintaining a relatively low sodium
level. These multigrain chips are made with all-natural ingredients like whole corn, whole wheat, whole oat flower, rice flour,
and corn bran.
Serving size: 1oz/16 chips, 140 cals, 6g fat (1g sat fat), 0mg chol, 120mg sodium, 3g fiber, 2g protein
Boasting over 18 grams of whole grain per serving (38% of the recommended daily intake), Corazonas give you the “freedom to snack.” These tortilla chips use whole grain corn flour to boost the fiber and are infused with
all natural plant sterols to help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and fight heart disease. The FDA claims that “foods containing
at least 0.4g per serving of plant sterols, eaten twice a day with meals for a daily total intake of at least 0.8g, as part
of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.” One serving of these tortilla chips
provides 0.4g of plant sterols.
Serving size: 1oz/14 chips, 140 cals, 7g fat (0.5g sat fat), 0mg chol, 170mg sodium, 3g fiber, 2g protein
Light and airy, Humbles crispy hummus chips are delicious out of the bag, as a dipper, or topped on soups or salads. Made from chickpeas and other
all-natural ingredients, these baked chips have 60% less fat that regular potato chips and 3 grams of protein.
Serving size: 1oz, 120 cals, 4g fat (0g sat fat), 0mg chol, 135mg sodium, 1g fiber, 3g protein