6

votes

Potato chips, a healthy snack ?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 21, 2010 at 7:28 PM

My sister bought a bag of chips today and refusing it furiously I was interesteed what kind of nutrition value does this "evil of food" hold. I was expecting crazy Omega 6 content but in reality ...

http://www.lorenz-snackworld.de/content/en/04consumer_dialogue/_nutrition_information_100g.php?noFlash=1

Example: Crunchips Asia Thai Sweet Chili 535 kcal, Protein 6g
Carbohydrates 49 g, of which sugars 3,3 Fat 35g, of which saturated 3,2 g (9%), monounsaturated 29 g (82%), polyunsaturated 3,2 g (9%)
Fiber 4,3g
Salt 0,7 g

I mean, potato chips which I presume is deep fried in sunflower oil has only 3g of polyunsaturated fat and 30g of monounsaturated. My only explanation would be this Wiki quote

"Early in the 21st century, a mid-oleic strain marketed as Nu-Sun was introduced as an improved frying oil that would have a low level of saturated fat, but would not require hydrogenation."

Mid linoleic sunflower oil has at least 69% linoleic acid.

My question is, is chips according to the given nutrition info more or less harmless ? Medium - high carb content aside.

EDIT: Maybe I wasn't clear enough. I'm not trying to pass chips as a healthy snack but I don't think it's that evil either. Honestly I'm very very surprised about the fat composition.

828429fe885f42968c0519d5b84cec40

(608)

on December 01, 2011
at 05:12 AM

I suppose one could argue its better than Doritos.

4ef807f4b8ed54ce8835f6f02f312e12

(65)

on October 24, 2011
at 03:35 PM

if you live near central PA you might find Goods or Grandma Utz. both of wich are cooked in lard.

A64ed062eb5e2c3407122fcf16c5de6b

(715)

on August 25, 2011
at 09:28 PM

I usually cook potatoes in a bunch and put leftovers in the fridge. Apparently this converts some of the starch to a slower-to-digest starch. I then slice & fry them in lard with thyme or rosemary and of course salt&pepper - so yummy!

06f46afda9ee3ca7f0070a3caa294a91

(305)

on April 28, 2011
at 03:08 PM

i know im probably in the wrong.. but i love these chips. ive been telling myself that the avo oil is what makes it paleo. i try not to over do it.. but they make the bag "relatively" small so it can easily be gone in a few sittings. please tell me it's okay???

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on April 26, 2011
at 11:54 PM

In nature, you will never (or rarely) find that much fat with carbohydrates, so I'd avoid it.

Ab566019baa884ec9e3327c108586ff8

(1055)

on April 26, 2011
at 07:16 PM

They were at my local health food store on sale for $1.99 a bag (reg 3.29) so I got a bag of the sea salt. They tasted just like your standard kettle chips (very crunchy) - totally yummy and tasted very "illegal". Bag gone way too quick of course. I have another bag hidden away for a movie night

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on April 26, 2011
at 06:07 PM

Ooh, what store? They might be a good option for those salty craving PMS days.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on April 26, 2011
at 04:57 PM

I was thinking to myself that if they used high oleic sunflower oil (very little PUFA) and used some good ingredients like sweet potatoes and sea salt and no more I would have no problem polishing off a bag of those. But the ones you have are deathly. Linoleic acid is to be avoided in those amounts if we don't want to go down the downward spiral of inflammatory death.

A329ac44674ac574d29d05e70e9a1f2f

(60)

on April 14, 2011
at 07:28 AM

Difficult to ascertain how processed and refined this is, unless you have some info Chris? You'd think the process in this case would be fairly simple. Just because it comes out of a packet doesn't necessarily means it's bad for you as a rule (though as a general principle it works). I think Ikco is trying to start a discussion here, which regardless of outcome, does not deserved to be shut down with blanket rules.

286a4ff7c362241c5c4b020df4972212

(1288)

on October 21, 2010
at 02:48 AM

And that's what it is all about!

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on July 24, 2010
at 11:34 AM

Stephen: Please do share more here (http://paleohacks.com/questions/4494/is-using-a-microwave-harmful-to-the-foods-being-cooked-in-it)

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 23, 2010
at 08:43 PM

Won't it be awesome if it were true though? If only.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on July 23, 2010
at 07:03 PM

Microwave, bad.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on July 22, 2010
at 08:59 PM

ha, that explains a very glutened camping trip i had a few months ago with no gluten in sight. i rescind my endorsement.

Cbf9ad6e645dc8d655259658fc972e58

(321)

on July 22, 2010
at 06:43 PM

I know Utz now makes a big show of claiming to be GF, but they were kind of notorious for being not-so-clean in the celiac forums for awhile. Personally, as one with celiac, if I were forced to choose between Doritos and an Utz product I'd have to go with one of the GF Doritos flavors, which are absolutely bad on any number of counts but have never yet left me feeling "glutened".

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on July 22, 2010
at 06:13 PM

'Better than cake' should be our new standard of health, Melissa. hehe :)

D339c39d94d65460e28128174845f423

(821)

on July 22, 2010
at 02:15 PM

The Israeli subsidiary of Frito-Lay just came out with a potato chip fried in olive oil, for a small price increase. I was tempted, but but didn't bite.

35a9207254408c6907f7082640c7bfaa

(822)

on July 22, 2010
at 08:33 AM

Wikipedia is a good place to start, "RELATION TO CANCER: The propensity for polyunsaturated fats to oxidize is another possible risk factor. This leads to the generation of free radicals and eventually to rancidity..." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyunsaturated_fat

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on July 22, 2010
at 07:45 AM

So you are suggesting that part of the fats in the chips may be oxidized ?

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on July 22, 2010
at 07:43 AM

Eva, it only says 3,2 g of polyunsaturated fat.

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on July 21, 2010
at 10:53 PM

You're kidding right? This is a highly refined and processed food, it is not paleo at all.

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14 Answers

9
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on July 21, 2010
at 07:42 PM

My understanding is even without hydro, you still have oxidation issues, as well as the more processed your food is the greater the insulin response.

High carb , highly processed food should be avoided regardless of oil quality in my opinion

The bodies response to chronic insulin elevation is significantly detrimental to our long term health

Edit: found this great anti-processed explanation :

"Starch digestion is also influenced by how the starch is packed in the food. When food is whole, or in its natural state, marcromolecules are folded together, and starch can be encased in protein or fiber or other large molecules that must be digested before the starch itself becomes available for digestion. The result of this packaging, again, is to slow down the absorption of the individual sugar units from the starch, and to provide extended, sustained energy for a longer-term, moderate rise in blood sugar after a meal. In contrast, processed foods have removed this complex interaction. In processing, the macromolecules are initially pulled apart from each other, then added back separately. The result is starch that is more accessible for quick digestion and absorption, and causes quicker, higher rises in blood sugar, looking more like a disaccharide than a starch. Therefore, people with blood sugar control concerns, such as hypoglycemia, insulin resistance or diabetes can benefit from eating whole foods and avoiding high-starch, processed foods."

5
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 22, 2010
at 01:29 PM

So others have dealt with the polyunsaturated fat issue, which is bad news, though there are several brands of chips fried in mostly monounsaturated oils (high oliec sunflower oil) and you can make your own with lard or coconut oil.

For me, the biggest worry is a carcinogen called Acrylamide, which is present in high amounts in fried potatoes.

As cheats go, duck fat fries or avocado oil kettle chips are certainly better than cake, but we can't pretend they are a health food.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on July 22, 2010
at 06:13 PM

'Better than cake' should be our new standard of health, Melissa. hehe :)

5
35a9207254408c6907f7082640c7bfaa

(822)

on July 21, 2010
at 08:22 PM

The companies that make potato chips keep frying spuds in the same oil over and over until it has all soaked into the chips. They don't throw any of it out.

Nevermind the fact that you shouldn't be frying with mono/poly-unsat oils in the first place, having bubbled oxygen thru them at high temp for that long you can guess how highly oxidized those fats are before they ever even get out of the bag.

So, no. Not harmless.

EDIT: Oxidation increases the load on your body's antioxidant systems and probably leads to cancer in the long run.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on July 22, 2010
at 07:45 AM

So you are suggesting that part of the fats in the chips may be oxidized ?

35a9207254408c6907f7082640c7bfaa

(822)

on July 22, 2010
at 08:33 AM

Wikipedia is a good place to start, "RELATION TO CANCER: The propensity for polyunsaturated fats to oxidize is another possible risk factor. This leads to the generation of free radicals and eventually to rancidity..." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyunsaturated_fat

D339c39d94d65460e28128174845f423

(821)

on July 22, 2010
at 02:15 PM

The Israeli subsidiary of Frito-Lay just came out with a potato chip fried in olive oil, for a small price increase. I was tempted, but but didn't bite.

4
95ab15c8ef50ff0daf87ccbdd52cd3b8

(2384)

on July 21, 2010
at 11:27 PM

I wouldn't trust that oil, period.

If you really want fried potatoes, make 'em yourself at home with beef tallow. They'll be 10 times better than anything you can buy (healthwise and flavorwise) and it's enough work (and makes enough of a mess) that you'll only do it occasionally.

3
52cae90a114ca8f0404948e2b7ccb7ef

(1595)

on July 23, 2010
at 06:23 PM

I suggest you make your own fried potato treats. When I do, I cube a potato, microwave the cubes on a paper towel until they are partially cooked, then fry them in some paleo approved fat until they reach desired level of crispiness.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on July 24, 2010
at 11:34 AM

Stephen: Please do share more here (http://paleohacks.com/questions/4494/is-using-a-microwave-harmful-to-the-foods-being-cooked-in-it)

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on July 23, 2010
at 07:03 PM

Microwave, bad.

A64ed062eb5e2c3407122fcf16c5de6b

(715)

on August 25, 2011
at 09:28 PM

I usually cook potatoes in a bunch and put leftovers in the fridge. Apparently this converts some of the starch to a slower-to-digest starch. I then slice & fry them in lard with thyme or rosemary and of course salt&pepper - so yummy!

2
947b190e4cb0f4e0356b959d6fa7b50a

(55)

on July 26, 2010
at 02:47 AM

Potato chips spike my blood glucose, which normally stays nicely in the 80-95 range. A handful of chips is all it takes to spike it 25 or more points.

286a4ff7c362241c5c4b020df4972212

(1288)

on October 21, 2010
at 02:48 AM

And that's what it is all about!

2
E91c7030cac0156b339c878afb5a9517

(225)

on July 23, 2010
at 03:53 PM

How about this? http://www.mrsmays.com/product_details_mrsmays.html?indx=16

Sweet potato and taro chips fried in palm oil. YOu can buy it at Costco, Albertson's, Ralphs, etc...

I've seen some variety pack chips at various asian market that are fried in palm or coconut oil. My favorite is jackfruit fried using palm oil. mmmmmhhh

2
691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on July 22, 2010
at 06:09 PM

Not that I am saying it's super paleo but Grandma Utz's Handcooked Potato Chips are fried in Lard. The basic ingredients are Potatoes, Lard and salt.

I think there is a THBQ preservative in there tho as the last and final ingredient which would send most of us to make our own.

Eating potato chips is not a good part of any health and longevity diet, but if you were forced to choose between Doritos and Utz Lard Chips I'd go for the lard chips. (They are also gluten free...)

Cbf9ad6e645dc8d655259658fc972e58

(321)

on July 22, 2010
at 06:43 PM

I know Utz now makes a big show of claiming to be GF, but they were kind of notorious for being not-so-clean in the celiac forums for awhile. Personally, as one with celiac, if I were forced to choose between Doritos and an Utz product I'd have to go with one of the GF Doritos flavors, which are absolutely bad on any number of counts but have never yet left me feeling "glutened".

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on July 22, 2010
at 08:59 PM

ha, that explains a very glutened camping trip i had a few months ago with no gluten in sight. i rescind my endorsement.

2
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on July 21, 2010
at 11:31 PM

I don't see any omega3/6 info on the link. Neither do I see ingredient listings to allow us to guess those. Besides, I am not looking for a low level of saturated fat. Standard paleo attitude is that saturated fat is probably better for you than most other kinds of fat.

The prob with chips is that not only is unhealthy rancid oil used (as others have stated), and not only does it boost insulin levels with its carbiness, but also it has minimal if any nutrient value. Plus they are addictive for many people so you end up eating a lot of them, calories which take the place of healthier foods. They are basically empty calories taking up space in your diet, spiking your blood sugar and adding poisons to your diet.

I don't think a few chips are likely to be serious threat to most consumers, but a few chips typically lead to a lot of chips. My very trim young female coworker got in the habit of eating chips at work. Over the months, she was eating them every day. She began to experiment with different tasty varieties, different spices, cheetos, etc. She ate less lunch cuz she wasn't hungry. After a while, she was sometimes not even hungry for dinner cuz she was snacking on chips and cookies all day. A number of us who are trying to eat healthy including another paleo eater, occasionally nagged her to lower the intake. She said she tried to stop eating them but she got cravings for them and went back to them. Then she switched to cookies thinking they were healthier. I had to assure her they were just as bad if not worse. Her mother has really bad diabetes but she thinks she will be fine because she is not fat (yet). She assured me she will quit if she starts to get fat. Of course, by then she may be really far along on the way to illness.

IN fact another coworker who is very trim and thin happens to have raging diabetes with unstable and unpredictable swings of high and low blood sugars. She is so bad that several times, she has passed out from hypoglycemia. One time, she fell and knocked out several front teeth. ANother time, she fell and broke her arm. Both of these incidents happened within one year. This same woman snacks all day on 'low sugar' cookies and chips made with tons of flour and fructose because she thinks they are healthy for her diabetes.

These two may be extreme examples, but I think things like that happen to a lot of people. If everyone just ate a few unhealthy things once in a while, then I don't think it would be a big problem, but most people eat a lot of crap, not just a little, and over time, the negative effects on health really build up. -Eva

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on July 22, 2010
at 07:43 AM

Eva, it only says 3,2 g of polyunsaturated fat.

2
15d23403fb836f2b506f4f3ad2c03356

(1219)

on July 21, 2010
at 08:34 PM

linoleic = omega 6. oleic = mono

I think you might be thinking of high oleic sunflower oil or peanut oil, as some versions of these engineered oils have only 5-7% omega 6 PUFA.

1
6d69b9d6a4913823db9096f6d229f668

on April 26, 2011
at 04:21 PM

Potatoes are healthy in moderation, but doesn't deep frying denature the proteins and lose most of the vitamins of the potatoes? I would rather eat baked or boiled potatoes with lots of butter than go for chips.

0
03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on April 26, 2011
at 06:27 PM

We often have homemade potato chips with breakfasts in the morning. While the bacon is cooking, I slice up a potato in the thinnest setting on my vegetable slicer. Take the bacon out, and put a layer of tater slices in the hot bacon grease. Sprinkle a little salt on them, turn over when they start to brown around the edges, and take out when they're done to your liking. Takes 30-60 seconds per batch, and one medium potato usually makes two batches in a 12" cast iron skillet. Just enough to add a crispy treat to breakfast and a few carbs for energy, and there's no bag full of them around to gorge on.

A major weakness of mine has long been Pik-Nik shoestring potatoes. I assumed I'd never be able to eat them again, but they're improving slightly. It appears they come in two types now: regular, or "0 trans fat and gluten free". (Oddly enough, both use sea salt.) The oils in the "0 trans fat" ones are cottonseed oil, palm olein oil, and safflower oil. Clearly not good, but I was surprised to see any palm oil at all in there. Definitely better than all the chips cooked in straight corn or soybean oil.

According to the labels, the better ones have 11g fat per serving, 5g of which is saturated (so I guess there's more palm oil there than just a few drops for appearance's sake). The originals have 10g of fat, 3g saturated and 5g trans fat. Sad thing is, there are probably people buying the originals because they have less total and saturated fat, willingly eating 5g of trans fat to cut saturated by 2g.

Again, I'm not suggesting these are proper food, but it's a move in the right direction. Maybe someday we'll be able to stop at a convenience store and grab a bag of chips fried in nothing but saturated fat, without having to hunt for the health-nut aisle. We'll still have to worry about oils being reused too long and things like that, but they might be acceptable on rare occasions when you're in a pinch.

4ef807f4b8ed54ce8835f6f02f312e12

(65)

on October 24, 2011
at 03:35 PM

if you live near central PA you might find Goods or Grandma Utz. both of wich are cooked in lard.

0
03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

on April 26, 2011
at 06:04 PM

I've been wondering the same thing lately myself, after recently upping my carbs a bit and feeling a lot better because of it. Good quality chips in homemade mayo dip seemed like a delightful snack.

I got some organic olive oil-fried chips on Amazon which seemed like the lesser of the evils, plus there are a variety of chips that Whole Foods sells from http://www.inkacrops.com/inkamarket.htm fried in "palm olein".

0
Ab566019baa884ec9e3327c108586ff8

(1055)

on April 26, 2011
at 05:10 PM

saw these at the store the other day - thoughts?

avocado oil chips

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on April 26, 2011
at 06:07 PM

Ooh, what store? They might be a good option for those salty craving PMS days.

Ab566019baa884ec9e3327c108586ff8

(1055)

on April 26, 2011
at 07:16 PM

They were at my local health food store on sale for $1.99 a bag (reg 3.29) so I got a bag of the sea salt. They tasted just like your standard kettle chips (very crunchy) - totally yummy and tasted very "illegal". Bag gone way too quick of course. I have another bag hidden away for a movie night

06f46afda9ee3ca7f0070a3caa294a91

(305)

on April 28, 2011
at 03:08 PM

i know im probably in the wrong.. but i love these chips. ive been telling myself that the avo oil is what makes it paleo. i try not to over do it.. but they make the bag "relatively" small so it can easily be gone in a few sittings. please tell me it's okay???

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