Veggie Chips: Are They Healthy?

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By: , – Toby Amidor, Food Network’s Healthy Eats
5/30/2012 10:00 AM   :  22 comments   :  13,819 Views

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These potato chip-alternatives have been cropping up on market shelves everywhere. But are veggie chips a healthier pick? Here's a look at the crunchy details.

YES?

Some of the more popular brands of veggie chips are much lower in sodium than traditional varieties. One ounce of Original Terra Chips contains 50 milligrams of sodium while an ounce (about 15 chips) of traditional potato chips contains over three times that amount (180 milligrams). The amount of salt, however isn't always lower in veggie chips. Some brands contain even more than potato chips and other snack foods.

Both potato and veggie chips usually contain 10 percent of your daily dose of vitamin C, but some varieties of veggie chips (like sweet potato) also contain 50 percent of your recommended amount of vitamin A. 

NO?

As for calories and fat, they're pretty much in the same ball park as regular potato chips. Calories range from about 125 to 160, while fat is about 10 to 11 grams per ounce. You can always find exceptions to the rule like in Good Health Natural Food Veggie Chips which have a bit less fat at 7 grams per ounce.

Veggie chips don't usually have a laundry list of unidentifiable ingredients, but neither do potato chips. Potatoes, oil and salt are typically the ingredients found in potato chips– veggie chips are no different except for the type of veggie used. The types of oil varies based on brand. Popular brands of veggie chips use canola, safflower or sunflower oil (or a combination of these oils). No matter which type of oil is used, they all contain 120 calories per tablespoon.

Don’t be duped by the the word "veggie" in their title. A serving of veggie chips isn’t a healthy substitute for fresh, frozen, or even canned veggies. One serving of veggies contains 25 calories and many vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals (plant chemicals that fight disease). Once the veggies are processed into chips, many of the vitamins and plant chemicals are destroyed. This leaves you with a food that’s much higher in calories and fat with fewer nutrients.

Click here for more information on veggie chips from Food Network.

More from Food Network:
What types of veggie chips do you like?

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Comments

  • 22
    I've tried them. I like the option of them. Sometimes I still get cravings for regular potato chips but now they're more of a treat. I don't think veggie chips are meant to replace vegetables, but they may help people who eat a lot of chips to at least have a lower sodium option. I think they're like everything else. Use it in moderation and always read the label. - 12/5/2013   8:52:17 AM
  • 21
    Not crazy about them. Like eating salted styrofoam. Have tried some, but I had old school hippy, veggie parents. I wasn't falling for the same vites/nutrition as a veggie. I'd rather eat the broccoli or tomato, rather than tasting a pop chip. Something unnatural about it. - 5/31/2012   11:23:56 PM
  • 20
    I take apples, slice them and dehydrator them. That takes care of the crunch craving. You can also get Apple chips at t he store but I dont know the cal and all that. Dryed tomatos are good too. - 5/31/2012   5:13:06 PM
  • 19
    I have tried the Terra Chips and they are delicious. I don't buy them often but I have to also add that my husband, who wouldn't know/eat a healthy food if it bit him in the nose also likes them. Since he has blood pressure issues it's nice to have a lower sodium option that he will eat. - 5/31/2012   12:01:28 PM
  • 18
    mostly too processed for my taste...but once in a while...oh so good! - 5/31/2012   11:20:12 AM
  • 17
    Not that I really eat chips anymore, but in past I was a big fan of blue corn chips. I figured blue corn would be a tad healthier than regular corn or potato chips. ;)

    Taro chips, now those are something I really enjoyed. - 5/31/2012   9:28:45 AM
  • 16
    Mmmm... Sweet potato chips! - 5/31/2012   8:32:50 AM
  • CHICA_BORICUA
    15
    love Smoothie King Veggie Chips, 1 bag, 1 oz. 130 calories. Those are the only one I indulge, otherwise I go natural. - 5/31/2012   7:02:45 AM
  • ANNEV2012
    14
    If your oven will set to 100F, or you have a dehydrator (Excaliber brand is best) you can make your own veggie chips.
    Par boil the veggies, dip in ice water to stop cooking process. Spread on cookie sheet or drying tray and place in oven or dehydrator. Dry until required crispness is achieved.
    You can add salt, pepper or herbs to taste if required. - 5/30/2012   10:35:37 PM
  • CRISSY2CUTE
    13
    I've never heard of veggie chips before this - 5/30/2012   1:57:03 PM
  • 12
    I enjoy the Terra brand veggie chips but eat them infrequently. If we are going camping or on a road trip they are a nice treat. - 5/30/2012   1:54:48 PM
  • 11
    I love vege chips! This was very informative. - 5/30/2012   1:16:54 PM
  • 10
    I am not a big chip person, but I'd recommend soy crisp for individuals looking for a "healthy" chip like option. Glenny's has various varieties that I like. I can get them locally, but you can also order them online. - 5/30/2012   1:15:17 PM
  • 9
    I had some dried endamame? chip like things once that were really good. I have no idea where to get them. This was something someone brought to a super bowl party. - 5/30/2012   1:02:39 PM
  • 8
    Sounds like a better choice are baked potato chips. A 1oz. serving has 120 calories, 2g fat, 135mg sodium and 2g fiber. But I'm not much of a chips person so I'd rather "spend" 120 calories on a low-fat frozen yogurt. - 5/30/2012   12:55:30 PM
  • 7
    I like veggie chips, but can't justify all that fat and salt for so little fiber or other nutrients. When I'm craving salty/crunchy things, I like some fresh-popped popcorn, and lately I've also gotten into eating dried, roasted seaweed - salty and crunchy, and low in calories and fat! - 5/30/2012   12:50:21 PM
  • 6
    good article didn;t know this - 5/30/2012   12:22:57 PM
  • 5
    Thanks for the recommendation for the healthier chip! That is my ultimate down fall is chips. Will definetely try these. Can you tell us where to find them? - 5/30/2012   12:20:17 PM
  • 4
    I'd be to frugal to spend money on them. - 5/30/2012   12:17:41 PM
  • 3
    I always assumed they were pretty much the same as regular potato chips--high in fat and sodium. I'd be interested in trying one of the "healthier" brands, like the one mentioned in the blog, Good Health Natural Food Veggie Chips...if I could find something with the potato chip crunch I love that came with the veggie goodness I need, I'd be in heaven! - 5/30/2012   11:37:00 AM
  • FIT2WIN4
    2
    It is a good way to include something crunchy once in a while if you are craving chips, but always read the nutritional label before making your choice. There are many good choices available. - 5/30/2012   10:32:53 AM
  • 1
    I have not tried them but I sure will, Thank you for the information about veggie chips. - 5/30/2012   10:23:39 AM

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