7 Healthier Snack Options for Chip Lovers Compared
Today, Healthy Snacking Options Abound for Chip Fans
With new cooking methods and alternative ingredients, there are more healthier snacking options than ever. For chip lovers, the days of wiping off greasy hands on your pants and feeling bloated after satisfying that mid-meal snack craving, can be over. The nearly endless healthy snack chip options for dieters and health-conscious consumers can be overwhelming, however.
In addition to the natural lure of salty foods, snack chips have another biological temptation. An Oxford University study on the relationship between taste and sound found that we unknowingly associate freshness with foods that make a lot of sound as we chew. The study found that this audial connection made these foods more attractive, and ultimately more difficult to stop once started eating.
What to Look for in a Healthy Snack Chip
Since it's difficult to put down a bag of chips (brands even dared us 'bet you can't eat just one!'), it's important to look beyond just the calories. Chips tend to be high in calories and fat, but low in protein. Protein is key in health snacks to ensure every crunch works towards satisfying cravings throughout the day. This is many types of snack chips fall short.
Another problem with "healthier" snack chips is that the benefits such as being a 'superfood', low-fat, or organic can be misleading. Studies have shown consumers automatically assume these terms make it healthier, but they may directly be causing us to overeat. One recent study found that people eating a snack labeled "organic" assumed it had 40% less calories than the exact same snack tried without a label. Chip ingredients such as kale, black bean and sweet potato may also give the impression it's the same as eating a healthy vegetable, when the label shows otherwise.
With snacking, our stomachs, ears, and emotions work against us. That's why it's important to use our eyes and hands to flip the bag over and dig deeper into label. Also, let's not forget the role of tastebuds! The ultimate healthy snack chip has the right combination of calories, fats, carbs and protein. Just as important, however, is that it must be tasty enough to be a regular go-to.
How Several Popular Snack Chips Stack Up
Let's compare several popular snack chips that target the health-conscious consumer. We'll use Regular Potato Chips as a baseline of a less-than-healthy option. What we found, surprisingly, was that many "healthier" snack chips are right beside them in calories and fat. The below table compares several of the key nutritional attributes for healthy snacking, including whether they are gluten free or vegan.
Snack Chip Nutrition Information* in a Standard 1 Ounce Serving
Snack Chip NameCaloriesTotal FatSodiumNet CarbsProteinGluten FreeVeganRegular
Potato Chips16010g170mg14g2gNoYesWonderSlim Sweet Hickory
Pea Protein Potato Chips1122.8g232mg11g8gYesYesWhole Grain Sweet and
Spicy BBQ Chips1406g135mg17g2gNoNoVegan Cheddar Flavored Kettle
Cooked Potato Chips1407g180mg16g2gYesYesCool Ranch Kale Chips1407g220mg9g6gYesYesBarbecue Popped Potato Chips1204g200mg19g2gYesNoSpicy Chili
Pepper Hummus Chips1305g300mg18g2gYesNoBlack Bean Honey
Chipotle BBQ Chips1407g165mg11g5gYesNoSweet Potato BBQ Chips1509g160mg13g1gYesNo
*information in the table was collected directly from official product websites at the date of this post. For the most accurate information, be sure to check the nutrition labels.
WonderSlim's Sweet Hickory Pea Protein Snack Chips showed very high rankings in the most number of key categories overall. This includes the having the lowest calories and fat content, plus one of the lowest net carbs totals in the list. Especially for those keeping an eye on the scale, the 112 calories per 1 ounce serving offers more snacking bang for the calorie buck. The WonderSlim snack chips also contain nearly 2.5 times more protein (8 grams/serving) than the overall average of the other chips. This helps keep hunger cravings between meals at bay, which is one of the most important roles of a healthy snack.
Barbecue Popped Potato Chips also finished near the top of the list with only 120 calories and 4g of fat a serving. Unfortunately, these also take the crown for the highest amount of net carbs and tie for the lowest protein total compared to other chips. The Spicy Chili Pepper Hummus Chips boasted a lower than the list's average calorie and fat count, but the compromise is the much higher amount of sodium and net carbs.
Sweet Potato Barbecue Chips had a surprisingly high 9 grams of fat, compared to the others.
Benefits of Pea Protein in Snack Chips
In addition to being comparatively very low in calorie and fat snack for a snack chip, WonderSlim's high 8 grams of protein uses a pea-based formulation. This plant-based protein is quickly growing in popularity. It gives WonderSlim's snack chips several potential, additional health benefits, such as:
- High in BCAAs: important in muscle building and repair. Studies show pea protein is as just as effective in muscle building as whey protein.
- More easily digested: pea protein is hypoallergenic and is ideal for those with dietary intolerances/sensitivities such as dairy, eggs, gluten, or soy. It's more readily absorbed in the body than animal-based proteins, which helps reduce the bloating feeling some experience. It's also an ideal protein choice for vegetarian or vegan diets.
- May keep you fuller, longer than whey protein: pea protein is slow-digesting, which may extend its ability to satisfy hunger cravings better than whey and egg. A 2011 study in Nutrition Journal found subjects consumed significantly less calories after consuming pea protein vs. whey protein 30 minutes prior to a meal.
- May help reduce blood pressure: pea protein is high in arginine, which studies have shown to keep blood vessels healthy.
Don't Forget About the Flavor
WonderSlim's new Pea Protein Potato Snack Chips not only boast many benefits from pea-based protein, but pass the all-important taste test. Developing the best tasting protein chip was a key goal in the formulation of the recipe. The pea protein snack chips are available in three incredible flavor options:
- Cool Ranch Pea Protein Snack Chips (Gluten Free)
- Salt & Vinegar Pea Protein Snack Chips (Vegan and Gluten Free)
- Sweet Hickory Pea Protein Snack Chips (Vegan and Gluten Free)
Or try them all with the variety pack. Buy them all online at Dietdirect.com