Not-So-Healthy Veggie Chips

If you crave salty foods, some options that seem healthier are not. Consumer Reports put chips to the test-and the results might surprise you.

Plenty of kids munch on veggie chips, often because well-intentioned parents think they are a healthier alternative to potato chips.

Not always so, say the experts at Consumer Reports, who evaluated 18 different chips. Five of the snacks, which call themselves veggie chips, are actually made from potato flour. And you might be quite surprised to learn they are not nutritionally superior to potato chips.

Erin Gudeux of Consumer Reports says, "They do have a dash of vegetable powder, which seems mostly to add color. But they have about as much fat and calories as potato chips, and a lot more sodium."

They also cost an average 30 percent more! These include Sensible Portions Garden Veggie Straws, Snyder's Eatsmart Naturals Garden Veggie Crisps, and Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Veggie Chips.

Consume Reports says a healthier alternative are chips made from sliced vegetables, like top-rated Terra Exotic Vegetable Chips. They're much lower in sodium and are made from real slices of root vegetables like sweet potato and parsnip.

Gudeux says, "Keep in mind, this is not crudite. They're still fried. They're loaded with fat and calories."

Chips made from beans offer a nutritional boost. Boulder Canyon Natural Foods Hummus Chips stood out in the taste tests.

Gudeux says, "And because they're made from chickpea flour, you get some protein and fiber, too."

Pair these with salsa to get a serving of vegetables without adding a lot of fat and calories.

When you have a salty itch that only potato chips will scratch-Consumer Reports says consider Lay's Classics-Top-rated potato chips in previous tests. And some consolation, potato chips on average have a lot less sodium than those potato-based vegetable chips!


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