Naturally “gluten-free,” organic ground corn offers a fun and salty crunch for my snacking audience. Clearly “health food” companies have picked up on corn’s “health forward” crunchy popularity– there could be an aisle devoted to corn-based chip brands and their varieties. (I cannot believe how many new bags fill the shelves, even after my last passionate post on chips).
But buyer beware:
Regardless of whether a chip is marketed as:
- Heated with “expeller pressed _______ oil”.
- High in protein
- Loaded with Omegas
- Contains heart healthy flaxseeds
- Made with Whole Grains
- White corn
- Red grain corn
- Blue Corn
You want to keep heated oils to a minimum ALWAYS. Unless a chip is clearly labeled as baked, it is most likely fried. When a oil is heated, the molecular structure is altered and it will increase free radical formation in the body (a.k.a. speed up aging and create an environment for disease). Altering the molecular structure of a fat stresses the body. Heating any fat makes the digestive process sluggish– a whole problem in itself.
When you are eating something from a package:
- First, look at the ingredients (What are they? Do you recognize their origin? Unless it is a spice, less is more).
- Then check out the Nutrition Facts label. Do not be fooled by “healthy” add-ins. Flax seeds should be eaten in their raw form for greatest benefit. In fact, seeds should always be stored in a cool place to prevent from going rancid. Who cares if a grain is sprouted if it is fried? It defeats the purpose!
- When it comes to CORN– organic is always, always, always preferred. Corn is one of the most genetically modified crops there are. Genetic modification is not natural and may be detrimental to our health.
So how can you quickly determine the “health” of your favorite corn tortilla chips?
- Less heated oil is always better.
- FRIED foods (especially of the corn variety) will always contain more oil per serving.
- A normal serving of chips is generally 28 grams. The amount of actual chips you get in this serving will vary by brand and variety. Chips will range from 3 grams of fat to 8+ grams of fat.
If the serving of chips is above 3 grams… raise your eyebrows.
Want to really check out the oil content in the fried chips you are eating?
Put those crunchy babies in a brown paper bag overnight.
Watch as the oil seeps into the bag.
Get in the know. Marketing is grand and can make corn tortilla chips, sweet potato chips and taro chips seem like health foods… but be sure to check that fat content. Fried. Fried. Fried = Weight gain, sluggish digestion, imperfect skin, low energy, etc.
P.S. I like Guiltless Gourmet’s Baked Yellow and Blue Corn varieties…
What are your thoughts on corn and other “healthy” chip varieties? Do you have favorites? Thoughts? Concerns?