20 years ago, you likely would’ve been hard-pressed to find another potato chip option at the grocery store other than regular potatoes along with a few flavors. But today, you can find popped, baked, fried, vegetable, and sweet potato options. Some companies claim that the switch to sweet potato chips and other non-white potato varieties is actually healthier — but just how much?
According to Shape, chips inherently don’t offer too much nutritional content. With no substantial protein, fiber, vitamins, or minerals, potato chips may offer the same lack of nutrients no matter the source. The outlet explains that even if your snack of choice comes from healthier optional like vegetables, sweet potatoes, or quinoa, the processing may take nutrients out of the final product. Indeed, when you compare the nutrition labels, you may notice that there isn’t much of a difference between regular potato chips and the sweet potato variety.
Be sure to check the ingredient label if you’re buying sweet potato chips, ensuring that the main ingredient is the potato itself, rather than additives like corn or starches of other kinds. The ingredient list is the perfect place to start when seeing how healthy or unhealthy your chip choices are.
Potatoes aren't as unhealthy as many deem them to be
While diet culture may have programmed many of us to fear carb-laden potatoes, these starches are actually chock full of nutrients. According to Healthline, this dinner-time staple contains loads of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Furthermore, sweet potatoes also offer a high amount of nutrients.
Verywell Fit explains that sweet potatoes contain high levels of Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and manganese. When you eat sweet potatoes in chip form, you’re still receiving at least some of these benefits. Another potential health benefit associated with making the switch from regular potatoes to sweet potatoes is reportedly a reduced risk of hypertension, the outlet notes. However, the study cited didn’t include results on switching your chip preference.
Overall, it appears that potato chips may not be the ultimate enemy after all. As long as you aren’t depending on them for your full amount of minerals, having them on hand as a snack may deliver small amounts of various nutrients. As previously suggested, make sure to check the ingredient list and nutrition label to look out for items you can’t pronounce to keep your choice as nutrient-dense as possible.
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