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Baked Potato Chips: Are They Healthy?

By: , – Toby Amidor, Food Network’s Healthy Eats
7/25/2012 2:00 PM   :  33 comments   :  16,182 Views

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A health halo has been placed on baked chips while fried chips have been getting a bad rap. But are you really making a healthy choice when you toss a bag of baked chips into your shopping cart? Let’s take a closer look.



Yes?

One ounce (about 15 chips) of baked potato chips has 14% fewer calories (153 vs. 131), 50% less fat (10 grams vs. 5 grams) and 67% less saturated fat (3 grams vs. 1 gram) than traditional potato chips. If you’re looking at the calories and fat alone, then you would assume it was the healthier choice.

No?

There are other factors to consider when you look at the healthfulness of a particular food. Baked potato chips are actually much lower in vitamin C - they contain about 4 percent of your recommended daily dose per ounce as opposed to traditional potato chips with 10 percent.

Baked chips are also higher in sodium providing 257 milligrams per ounce (11 percent of your daily recommended amount) compared with 147 milligrams per ounce (6 percent of your daily recommended amount) in traditional chips. The added sodium accounts for the loss in flavor since the chips aren’t being fried.

Baked chips are also one of the highest sources acrylamides. This cancer-causing chemical forms when high-carb foods (like potatoes) are heated to high temperatures. The FDA found that baked potato chips contain about three times more acrylamides than traditional fried chips.

The last issue is with any salty snack is portion control. Mindlessly munching on a huge bag of baked or fried chips can mean loads of extra calories and fat.

Click here for more on baked potato chips from Food Network.


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Comments

  • CHERRYZMB60
    33
    I guess i won't be eating baked chips again. Thank you for the information because i was buying the baked. I guess i will be making my own oven baked from now on - 11/29/2013   11:51:36 PM
  • 32
    Baked chips are less addictive for me. I never go to the store and buy a big bag but when I go to subway (usually when traveling) I get a single serving bag to have that extra little side dish that someone mentioned. As I recall they are actually about 100 cal less than regular for a single serving bag.. I could get away with the extra 100 cal but the BIG thing is that the baked chips do not trigger my addictive eating pattern. While I'm on Subway, I want to say that I get a six inch double meat turkey. It is high in protein and very filling. - 11/9/2013   6:17:39 AM
  • 31
    So what do we do? What can I have with my little sandwich? I always need something to crunch at lunch.... - 8/7/2012   5:07:46 PM
  • 30
    I am just going to do portion size and leave it at that.
    I am not going to deprive myself of a few chips. - 7/31/2012   8:08:16 AM
  • 29
    I recently discovered "PopChips" at Fred Meyer (Kroger). They are baked and vegan except the sour cream or cheese variety. - 7/29/2012   3:29:22 PM
  • 28
    "real" chips are less processed - so i eat those, just fewer of them! - 7/28/2012   9:39:37 AM
  • 27
    Oh my this is truely my down fall! I do love my potatoe chips. I use to buy about 3 bags a week & eat most of them by the end of the week! I only buy a small bag now our 18 year old son loves them. So it is good if he eats them all before I get a handful. Maybe only once every 2 weeks will I do this now. Boy how I have changed. Ha ha - 7/27/2012   10:45:54 AM
  • OAKDALE41
    26
    I love chips. I have started eating the "Popcorner" and "chip-in" chips. Basically pressed popcorn. So good!! - 7/27/2012   7:46:20 AM
  • 25
    Now let's compare smacking my thumb with a 16 oz hammer or closing my fingers in a car door. Which is better for me?

    Hammer on my thumb leaves a nasty looking black thumb nail, but because of the pain involved, I have to stop what it was I was doing to curse. And the cursing itself may be heard to the neighbor's children and thus making my look bad in front of my neighbors. There is also the possiblilty that I may throw the hammer and put it through a plate glass window.

    Closing my hand in the car door will also result in blackened nails, but work is not necessarily interrupted. In fact usually I can put my hand out almost immediately. On at least one occasion, however, the door had been locked and the keys already safe stowed in the pocket matching the hand-in-the-door, so the hand was stuck until I could get someone's attention to come and unlock the car door for me. Also, I have broken fingers in a car door, but never with a 16 oz hammer.

    Bottom line? Neither option is really good for you.

    Next up? Falling down the steps vs. a stick in the eye. - 7/26/2012   2:11:24 PM
  • 24
    I've never cared much for chips. - 7/26/2012   1:45:21 PM
  • NINJA_SMOO
    23
    I mostly stopped eating white potatoes nearly a year ago and you know what? When I do eat them now... They're so boring! I don't miss them at all. Sometimes I do miss corn chips though (developed a corn allergy about the same time as I stopped eating potato - le sigh... ). - 7/26/2012   10:40:28 AM
  • 22
    Jaleemn: Thanks for the plug for Kettle Brand baked chips. Altho chips don't call to me, they're a staple on my husband's snack list. Both this article and your comment will help me decide what to buy next time they're on the list. - 7/26/2012   9:29:20 AM
  • 21
    I don't think anyone is eating potato chips as a source of vitamin C - and I agree with JALEEMN - the comparison comes down to which brands you choose. Baked can certainly be a better choice than fried if you are going to eat potato chips.
    - 7/26/2012   8:03:54 AM
  • 20
    Thanks Jaleemn for the suggestion. I LOVE my potato chips and when I've tried other alternatives, they just don't compare to Lays. I think I may just have to try Kettle brand. A lot of women crave sweets, I crave salty potato chips. - 7/26/2012   7:36:55 AM
  • CALMMAMA2
    19
    potion control - 7/26/2012   7:01:32 AM
  • TJMISIOLEK
    18
    Potato chips don't tempt me - pretzels on the other hand... - 7/26/2012   6:57:02 AM
  • MRE1956
    17
    Wow - I'm stunned about that chemical issue - would never have thought about that! Good thing I'm not a fan of chips in any form...... - 7/26/2012   3:59:43 AM
  • LORDRAIN1922
    16
    When it comes down to the absolute bottom line if I am craving chips I make my own pita bread chips. It is incredibly easy to do and I control what goes into them so I know per serving I am getting what I inteded to. Otherwise if the inner fat kid or what ever else you may have named it is CRAVING the good ol potato chip why not eat what you want? The most important thing in my opinion is you have to work off what eat. - 7/26/2012   12:55:47 AM
  • 15
    some of the chips just don't taste as good. Things have changed over the years. I have changed too cuz I get all bloated and never have before. - 7/26/2012   12:27:38 AM
  • 14
    I don't mind the special K cracker chips but nobody's been buying them lately - I know I should really cut back I think a piece of fruit or some vegetables are healthier. - 7/25/2012   10:45:52 PM
  • 13
    I love to indulge with chips maybe too much at times. I will try the Kettle brand as suggested by fellow sparker Jaleemn! Thanks for the interesting blog. - 7/25/2012   6:39:30 PM
  • 12
    I don't care for potato chips in any form, but I love tortilla chips. I make my own by buying healthy (whole wheat, multi grain, etc) tortillas. I cut them into wedges or wide strips, place them on a baking sheet sprayed with butter flavored spray, spray the tops of the chips, and bake them in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes, or until they are lightly golden. I don't salt mine, which is another plus for me, but you can flavor them any way you wish. Probably best to add flavoring right after the spray and before baking. - 7/25/2012   6:29:35 PM
  • 11
    We had vegetable gardens in our back yard for years because that was the best
    place for it, but I would put one in front if necessary. - 7/25/2012   4:47:26 PM
  • 10
    Where do you find the baked Kettle Chips? I believe I've only seen the regular ones. - 7/25/2012   4:43:44 PM
  • 9
    I like it when my husband, the worlds biggest chip eater, buys the Kettle brand. I don't feel quite so guilty indulging in those. - 7/25/2012   4:36:07 PM
  • 8
    Love the Kettle chips. If I eat a chip, this is my chip of choice! They're crunchy and they taste like a potato chip should! - 7/25/2012   4:16:15 PM
  • 7
    My DH is the chip eater in the family, with his high bp, chips are not something he nor I should be eating. I will look into the Kettle brand chips, see if he's willing to try them. Thanks! - 7/25/2012   4:11:09 PM
  • 6
    Cape Cod reduced fat chips are awesome. That is definitely the way to go for me. - 7/25/2012   3:46:50 PM
  • 5
    @Jaleemn - thanks for sharing that! I will look into Kettle Brand "baked" chips! - 7/25/2012   3:22:38 PM
  • MST917198
    4
    I agree with both Goriana and JALeeMN! On the rare occasion when I want to eat a chip, I want the real thing to satisfy that "craving". The fact that Kettle chips are a healthier alternative is the icing on the cake! (Note to self: I have just got to quit using food to describe good things!) Thank you both for posting your thoughts! - 7/25/2012   3:04:29 PM
  • 3
    I've been having a debate with myself about these kinds of 'treat' foods. I wonder if the little bit of fat that is missing is offset by other factors. For me, the biggest factor is taste. I'm just not sure saving 20 calories and a few grams of fat is worth it for a food I only eat occassionaly. I might rather be fully satisfied by the flavor and texture of this kind of food. - 7/25/2012   2:22:58 PM
  • JSTEPH7707
    2
    Sounds good - 7/25/2012   2:04:45 PM
  • 1
    If you compare Kettle Brand baked Sea Salt chips to Lays classic chips they have 40 fewer calories, are 30% lower in fat, lower in sodium by 35 mg, higher in potassium by 90 mg, 5% more vitamin C, 2% more iron. They do have 6 more carbs, not a biggie.

    Plus the ingredient list is short as they are just sliced potatoes just like Lays classic chips, not formed out of mashed processed potatoes.

    The biggest plus is they taste GREAT !

    Ingredients: Potatoes, vegetable oil (safflower and/or sunflower oil), sea salt

    I simply have to believe that Kettle brand baked sea salt chips are a much healthier alternative to traditional fried potato chips. - 7/25/2012   10:32:43 AM

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