Potato chips just might be the king of junk food. They’re easy to eat, they’re portable, and they’re delicious… but they aren’t very healthy. You’re in luck, though: there are healthier chip and pretzel options out there that you can feel good about eating. By knowing what to look for, you’ll be able to select a healthy chip or pretzel option that doesn’t feel like cheating.
Look for the Right Claims
Don’t be fooled by chip brands that have claims like “50% less fat” or “no cholesterol” on the packaging. These types of chips might have lower fat levels, but they can still have as much saturated fat as normal chips. The best option is to look for packaging that has “kettle-cooked” or “small batch” on it — this means that the chips are fried in smaller batches and are cooked at a lower temperature, lowering fat and cholesterol levels without sacrificing any flavor.
Avoid Processed Additives
Many potato chips and pretzels (especially flavored versions) are filled with a lot of processed ingredients, like starch, gums, and emulsifying agents. Plus, these types of snacks are often high in sodium and sugar. Do your best to select chips and pretzels that aren’t loaded up with a lot of extra sugar, salt, additives, and flavoring — those will be your healthiest options.
Try Popular Potato Alternatives
Of course, there are many types of chips out there today that aren’t made from potatoes at all. Bean, chickpea, and rice chips are good options. There are also many vegetable and fruit chips, like kale chips, beet chips, or apple chips. As long as you can find an alternative chip that isn’t high in sodium or saturated fats, you’re in for a tasty treat that’s much healthier than your typical potato chip.
Snacking doesn’t have to be the unhealthiest part of your day. Replace those standard potato chips and pretzels with a healthier version, and you’ll satisfy those cravings without any guilt.