By: Kim Beavers Email
By: Kim Beavers Email

Chips are just basically NOT healthy. Chips have very few nutrients; most of the time contain fat and are usually loaded with salt. So even if the question is not how to choose the healthiest chips, most of us still want to know how to choose the least unhealthy chips. Here are some facts to help get you started.

Regular vs. Baked Chips:

Regular potato chips such as Lays, Kettle Cooked chips and Ruffles average about 150 calories per serving with 8 grams of fat and about 2g saturated fat.

Baked chips (potato or corn) average 120 calories per ounce with 3g total fat, and 0.5g saturated fat.
• Baked Lay’s
• Baked Ruffles
• Guiltless Gourmet corn chips (sometimes in the organic aisle)

Sun Chips seem like a healthy choice, but they're still not as good as the baked options. They offer less fat than traditional chips but more than the baked varieties. Unfortunately the sodium is fairly high in all but the unsalted chips, which may not pass the taste test.

The bottom line: A 1-ounce serving of any chip will not “hurt” you, and a baked or whole grain chip is not a health food. Choose the lowest fat, lowest sodium version of whatever chip you like, and remember a 1-ounce serving is about 12-20 chips. Portion control is your friend here.

Of interest: The term whole grain has been a nutrition buzz word for a couple years now, so you will see it on all sorts of product packages. However, most Doritos and Tostitos or tortilla chips are made of whole grain corn, so that is nothing new…again, a health food it does not make.

Homemade Baked Garlic-Cumin Tortilla Chips

These are definitely worth the effort!!!!!

6 corn tortillas
½ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. salt
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine seasonings in a small bowl. Spray each side of the tortillas with cooking spray and sprinkle evenly with the seasoning (one side only). Cut each tortilla into 6 wedges and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned (keep an eye on them as they burn quickly).
Serving size: 6 chips

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