Dietician Gaby McPherson says portion control is crucial for healthy eating chips
A Missouri-registered dietitian, Gaby McPherson, has analysed the nutritional content of a single-serving bag of baked and fried chips to determine if the lower-fat alternatives are healthier and her findings may just surprise you.
Baked chips have gained popularity as a healthier alternative to fatty, fried options, with food companies promoting them as a healthier option but McPherson’s findings, published her results Monday on the EatingWell website, suggest otherwise.
Allied Market Research estimates the baked chip market to reach $10.9 billion by 2031, with a value of $6.2 billion in 2021, The New York Post reported.
However, McPherson’s analysis suggests that fried potato chips may not be as unhealthy.
While the nutritionist says fried potato chips do have more calories and fat, she also determined that the differences between those chips and baked chips weren’t that significant.
A single-serving bag of fried chips has 149 calories, 10 grams of total fat, and 1 gram of saturated fat, while baked chips have 131 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 0.7 grams of saturated fat.
“Baked chips offer less fat overall than regular chips, making them only slightly lower in calories, which will have a minimal impact on your overall calorie intake for the day,” McPherson said.
Meanwhile, she found that baked chips generally have 25% more carbohydrates than their fried counterparts.
“More starches and sugars are added to baked chips for flavour and texture enhancement, which may account for the bump-up in carbs,” she explained.
Additionally, fried potato chips boast vitamins and minerals that are absent in baked chips.
“It turns out that regular chips provide more potassium (12% vs. 7% of your Daily Value in a typical serving) and vitamin C (24% vs. 0%) than baked chips, two beneficial nutrients,” McPherson wrote.
McPherson emphasizes that portion control is crucial for healthy eating chips, stating that consumers should not rely on salty snacks as a significant source of nutrients.
“Baked chips aren’t necessarily healthier for you than regular chips,” she concluded. “But both can be a part of a healthy eating routine. Choose your favourite and fully enjoy each crunchy bite.”