For the longest time I had a Blue Corn Tortilla fetish. I suppose my interest in them rubbed off on my family, as they seemed to have become a household staple. However, somewhere down the line, I stopped snacking on them, and my mom started picking up an “Organic” blue corn tortilla chip from Target.
There have definitely been many a time over the years, where I have grabbed a generous handful(s) of these chips, and because I assumed they were of the same quality as the ones I used to purchase, and because their ingredients are almost identical– I never stopped to think about the fact they are undoubtedly a VERY different species.
In my line of practice, I choose products based on ingredients, as opposed to analyzing calories, fat, sugar and carbs. In fact, all of those “things” are irrelevant, considering the body can digest, breakdown and assimilate, wholesome foods and ingredients, much more readily than it can synthetic, processed and hydrogenated ingredients (even the ones that are stated as being “low or no calories”). That being said, HOW something is prepared is just as important as the actual ingredients used.
Because I stopped picking up the chips at the market, I did not even stop to think about the chips that my family was indulging in. Instead, I silently applauded them for eating the organic blue corn tortilla chips, as opposed to the white potato chips, or white tortilla chips, that are so commonly found in the average household (and would have been found in ours).
Unless otherwise stated on the bag, Organic Blue Corn Chips are most likely: F-R-I-E-D.
Yes, the chip manufacturers may use “natural” and “organic” ingredients, but the actual act of heating any oil, organic, or not, to a temperature at which it is capable of cooking something, whether it be a french fry, or a tortilla chip, is just downright– unhealthy.
When an oil is heated to a high temperature, the original chemical structure of the fat is altered. When this occurs, it becomes difficult for the body to use as energy, let alone– process. It also provides absolutely no nutritional value. In other words, not only does the body struggle to breakdown the fat, but it brings nothing to table– just the fat.
That’s not all folks.
These heated fats are thought to be carcinogenic (cancer causing).
In addition, heated fats increase free radicals in the body. What are free-radicals? No, they are not the feminists in the Women’s Rights Movement, that burned their bras in the mid 1960′s…
Free radicals are unstable molecules that create inflammation in the body. If not counteracted by antioxidants, they can cause serious damage by irritating and breaking down the body’s tissue. This leads to complications such as, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory issues, allergies and of course, premature aging.
The beauty industry, has made millions on anti-aging products. In particular, this sector is notorious for offering expensive face creams that are advertised as being rich in “antioxidants” and said to reverse “free-radical damage.”
Our body produces antioxidants in order to counteract these dangerous free radicals, provided, that we nourish the body with the right foods. Vitamins A, C, E and other minerals, like selenium, are antioxidants. We can continue to spend thousands of dollars on “antioxidant-rich” face creams and treatments, but nothing will reverse the damage we are doing by “treating” ourselves to these damaging foods– aside from reducing and eliminating them from the diet (and increasing our intake of wholesome foods, which are naturally rich in antioxidants).
The real solution is: save your money on the well-marketed “Beauty in a Pretty Bottle” products, and instead invest in wholesome fruits and vegetables, high-quality grains (like Kamut and Quinoa) and yes… to spend that extra buck, or two, on BAKED blue corn tortilla chips, if you so fancy :)
How can you tell if a chip is baked or fried?
Well… generally speaking, a baked chip is going to want to boast that it is baked, so it will tell you somewhere (probably pretty loud and proud) on the packaging. A fried chip is going to want to accentuate the fact that it uses natural ingredients, or that it is organic.
Another tell tale sign is the fat content on the back of the product, entitled: Nutrition Facts. A baked chip, (especially one with as few ingredients as corn, oil, salt and lime), is going to be substantially lower in fat.
“Archer Farms,” Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips, are 7 grams of fat per serving (28 g), where as “Guiltless Gourmet”, All Natural Blue Corn Tortilla Chips are 3 grams of fat per serving (28 g).
~Have you ever been fooled into believing your snack was healthy? If so… what was it?