Are Veggie Chips Nutritious?

Question:  Are those ‘store bought’ veggie chips more nutritious than potato chips? 

Answer:  Usually not, veggie chips are high in calories and sodium, and they contain almost as much fat as regular potato chips.   Veggie chips aren’t much healthier than potato chips.

Most manufacturers of veggie chips claim that their products are made with fresh vegetables.  However, most of these snacks are actually made from potato or corn flour and small amounts of vegetable powder / puree which seems mostly to add color.

They are not nutritionally superior to potato chips.  Also, labels reveal that veggie chips contain high amounts of calories, salt and fats, and little else that is beneficial to health.  They usually cost more, too.  However, there are some veggie chip products that do provide some benefits.  Read the Nutrition Facts label on the package.

Typical Veggie Chip Nutrition – per 28 grams of product:

Description Amount % of recommended daily consumption
Calories 120 (36 from fat)
Carbohydrates 19 grams 6%
Sodium 250 milligrams 10%
Total Fat 4.0 grams 6%
Saturated Fat 0.5 grams 3%
Fiber 1.0 gram 4%
Protein 1.0 gram  

Vitamins A and C – Raw vegetables are great sources of vitamins A and C.  However,most veggie chips contain minimal vitamins or minerals, just a small amount of iron. Vitamins are lost during the process of making the veggie chips.

To make veggie chips, whole vegetables are converted to vegetable powder or puree, then this powder / puree is fried to produce veggie chips.  But little of this vegetable powder or puree remains in the final product.

Calcium and Iron – Most veggie chips do not provide any calcium.

Fiber – Fiber is present in in low amounts.  Most veggie chips contain 1 or 2 grams of fiber.

There are certain veggie chip products, such as Terra Exotic Vegetable Chips that contain small amounts of vitamins A and C and are made from slices of vegetables such as sweet potato and parsnip; Terra vegetable chips have 3 grams fiber.  They are much lower in sodium and are made from real slices of root vegetables such as sweet potato and parsnip. They are fried though.

For lower calorie and fat content, the best options are veggie chips from Robert’s American Gourmet and baked veggie chips.  For low-sodium chips go for Terra veggie chips or salt-free veggie chips

Make your own healthy veggie chips at home.  Chop kale and toss it with a small amount of olive oil and sea salt, pop it in the oven and bake until crispy.  More recipes appear in the blog below.

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