No matter what your flavor preferences are, there’s a chip out there for you. From the sweet-and-savory standby barbeque to simple sea salt, as well as the straight-up odd flavors, like crab and seaweed. There’s an abundance of flavors to choose from, making chips an ideal snack for many people, although they might not always be the healthiest.
It’s fairly common knowledge that if you’re looking for a healthy snack, then potato chips and other crunchy snacks, which are typically deep-fried and packed with fat and sodium, aren’t going to be the right call, but some chips are far worse than others. Here are our picks for some of the worst chips to buy right now.
It’s pretty obvious that when you combine chips and one of the fast-food chain Wendy’s more unhealthy burgers, you’re not in for a nutritionally-balanced snack. Pringles Baconator, its mashup with Wendy’s bacon-filled burger, is high in calories, sodium, and saturated fat, all of which can lead to health problems if you regularly consume the chips.
“These chips are very high in both saturated fat and sodium, two harmful ingredients that in excess can increase the risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease,” says Melissa Mitri, a registered dietitian at Fin vs Fin.
Mitri adds that in addition to being high in things that can lead to bad health, there’s almost no nutritional value from the chips, so there’s no good coming from them either.
“These chips also provide very little in terms of nutrition and do not offer any particular health benefits,” Mitri says. “Steer clear of these chips and if you have them, stick to just a small handful.”
Combining chips with ranch dressing is never going to be a healthy option, and Doritos Cool Ranch chips are no exception.
“Doritos are one of the worst types of chips to consume,” says Trista Best, a registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements. “They are made with artificial colors and flavors along with refined carbs. This form of carb causes a rapid increase in glucose, which increases the body’s fat-storing rate.”
Best says that it’s not just Cool Ranch that you should avoid, but all flavors of Doritos are just as nutritionally lacking. if you’re determined to eat some Doritos, the most nutrition-minded version of the chips are varieties that are made from whole grains or baked.
“This brand of chips is one that is easy to snack mindlessly due to their various flavors,” Best says. “When eating chips, if you must, it is best to opt for whole grain and baked options or to eat them pre-portioned.”
Cheetos Puffs don’t just puff up the chip size, but they’ve also inflated the amount of fat, sodium, and carbs in a serving of the chips, making it one of the more unhealthy chips available at a supermarket.
“This calorie-laden snack will blow your diet in just a few bites,” Mitri says. “They pack a whopping 130 calories in just 13 pieces, which for most of us is a portion all too easy to eat. They also are higher in sodium than most other chip snacks, containing 270 mg in one serving.”
Even though there is a serving size, Mitri says that Cheetos can be addicting, leading consumers to eat way more than the outlined serving size.