Posts Tagged ‘unhealthy chips’

While we are on the subject of chips, and healthy snacks… one of you sent in a great question regarding a particular brand.

Jennifer writes:

“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–

White potatoes are assimilated into the body like white flour.

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).

Simply Delicious Pumpkin Pie Mashed Potatoes. Recipe!

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?

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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.

Notice that the fried chips, that have been drenched in oil, are darker than the baked variety...


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 :)

Battle of the baked vs. fried...

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).

If you find that the healthier version is a bit drier? No worries… Try it with a one of these guacamole recipes, or whip up my “guacamole for avocado haters“, recipe.


~Have you ever been fooled into believing your snack was healthy?  If so… what was it?

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