While we are on the subject of chips, and healthy snacks… one of you sent in a great question regarding a particular brand.
“Have you ever heard of PopChips and what do you think of them? They are not baked or fried, but popped. Are they actually healthier?”
Jennifer, Great question! While I love the fact that popchips are not fried… I did take a peak at the ingredients and here is what I found:
The base of these chips are potato flour and potato starch (and rice flour). Considering these chips are white, I am guessing that they are talking about your regular ol’ white potato–
What do I mean?
It is not news these days, that Whole Grain products are praised over their villainous counterparts- the white bread. White bread has a bad rap because white flour shoots blood sugar levels up, sky high, only to then send them plummeting down. (In other words it will give the body an instant sugar fix, and then leave us tired, and reaching for more).
Similar to white flour, (and table sugar, for that matter), white potatoes can have a quick impact on the body’s glycemic index… and will be quickly converted to sugar, which is then more readily converted to fat. High quality grains, like Kamut and Quinoa, sprouted grain products, (like those made my Ezekiel), and sweet potatoes, do not have the same affect on blood sugar.
~ ~Sub in this delicious Pumpkin Pie Mashed Potato recipe for that bowl of traditional mashed potatoes~ ~
While white potatoes are further up the hierarchy than white flour, which has been bleached and stripped of its nutrients, there is also an issue with inorganic white potatoes being ridden with chemicals. According to Jeff Moyer, chair of the National Organic Standards board, “root vegetables absorb herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides,” that are present in the soil. Moyer goes on to say that an inorganic potato will not sprout because it is literally sprayed and treated with chemicals about 3+ times. “I’ve talked to potato growers who say point-blank they would never eat the potatoes they sell.” — (Prevention magazine, Nov. 09, pg 82).
Well gee, I sure want to go eat a white potato now.
Let’s get back on track.
I would agree that baked (or popped, rather) white, potato chips, like popchips, are “better” for you than:
- a blue corn tortilla chip, that has been drenched in oil, and fried,
- and I would agree that these chips are a “better” option than the traditional potato chip
- they are certainly more healthful than french fries, too!
However, the even better option would be to go for a baked blue corn tortilla chip, like the Guiltless Gourmet blue corn chips, featured in the previous article.
Baked Blue Corn Tortilla Chips, by Guiltless Gourmet, have a miniscule amount of ingredients. All of which, I might add, I recognize. Ingredients consist of: stone ground organic blue corn, expeller pressed canola (or safflower, or sunflower) oil, salt and lime. That is roughly 4 ingredients.
While the original popchips do not contain an overabundance of ingredients, I am not a huge fan of the white potato (as we have already established). In addition, the other flavors contain ingredients like: lactose, buttermilk powder, sugar, sodium caseinate, whey, sugar, malic acid… etc. etc. While these ingredients may be “naturally” derived, they are not easily digestible.
(This does not mean that all products by Guiltless Gourmet are readily digestible either. It seems to me that any chip with a “flavor,” is going to have an immense amount of unneeded ingredients that complicates digestion).
Stay tuned for tips on how to pick the healthiest “chip” or snack at the market…
~ What are your tips for picking healthy snacks? What are you favorites? Making anything special for Super Bowl Sunday?