Fitness Nutrition Forums

If You're Craving Potato Chips, Try These Healthier Alternatives

Put the chips down! Pick these up instead.

Fitday Editor

Would you believe that Americans spend more than $7 billion each year on potato chips? It appears that Pringles hit the nail right in the head with their slogan, “Once you pop, you can’t stop.” Unfortunately, it looks like we might need to stop if we care at all about our bodies. According to a recent Harvard study, potato chips have been found to be one of the leading foods contributing to weight gain.

How can we resist the deep-fried, salty allure of potato chips? For some, it is just a matter of willpower. For others, the temptation is just too strong! Luckily for us, we have quite a few options that are not only delicious, but nutritious too.


Yes, you heard me right. Popcorn is a fantastically healthy alternative to potato chips. However, it is important that you pop those delicious kernels of corn the right way or else your waistline may suffer. Most folks will buy the prepackaged bags of popcorn or pop individual kernels of corn in hot oil. While both of those methods will get the job done, they’re not particularly healthy.

Instead, try air-popping your popcorn kernels. This can be done using a specialized device that immerses the popcorn kernels within a cloud of hot air, producing beautifully golden, oil- and preservative-free popcorn. Just 1 oz. of kernels will yield approximately 3 cups of cooked popcorn. Guess what? You can eat the entire batch for around 110 calories!

Nuts & Seeds

They’re not just for squirrels and birds people! Nuts and seeds are not only healthy, but they’re just plain tasty, making them a great alternative to potato chips. Most people tend to shy away from nuts and seeds because they are particularly dense as far as calories go, but they have a lot of other good stuff in there to make up for it.

As for calories, you can expect between 130-200 calories per ounce, which is usually equivalent to a quarter-cup. While that may not seem like much, virtually every nut and seed in existence is loaded with fiber (which aids in digestion) and healthy fats. To put it simply, a handful of almonds will do more for your body than a handful of potato chips ever will.

Salty Snacks

I know what you’re thinking, and yes, potato chips could be considered a salty snack. However, I’m referring to the lower-sodium options that are significantly more nutritious to consume than a mound of potato chips. For the most part, we as humans crave salt. Our taste-buds are wired for it. As you know though, too much salt can lead to a wide array of health complications.

Instead of reaching for the chips, try reaching for something that is just a little salty, but still healthy. Foods such as olives (I recommend Kalamata olives for their sweet and salty taste), Kimchi, Edamame, and even “chips” made from dried seaweed. Although these are not potato chips, your brain may be tricked into feeling satiated.

Healthier Chips

There are a lot of chip manufacturers out there who are actually doing something to satisfy the demand for healthier chips. Instead of reaching for the Lay’s, try a handful Beanitos Better Cheddar Pinto Bean Chips. This brand of chips is made from pinto beans, safflower oil, brown rice, cheddar cheese, and a wealth of seasonings. While there is 140 calories and 7g of fat per serving (12 chips), the full-bodied flavor of Beanitos will give you a more satisfying feeling, meaning you will theoretically eat less.

You could also try chips that are made from vegetables. Manufacturers such as Just Pure Foods and Rhythm Superfoods, have built quite a reputation on their veggie chips. These are essentially just vegetables, such as kale or zucchini, which have been dried under low heat and lightly seasoned. They still give you that crunchy texture and salty taste that chip-lovers crave.

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