Written by Bridget Coila; Updated November 21, 2018
Chips are an inexpensive, tasty and easily available snack, but the toll they take on your body may not be worth the pleasure. While enjoying an occasional handful of chips won’t cause irreparable damage to someone consuming an otherwise healthy diet, the real dangers arise when you consume chips on a daily basis or regularly choose them over healthier options.
Chips are typically high in fat and calories, which can raise the risk of weight gain and obesity. One ounce of plain potato chips, or about 15 to 20 chips, contains about 10 grams of fat and 154 calories. A 2015 study in “Health Affairs” found that potatoes fried in oil (including chips) were among the foods most strongly linked to weight gain. Being overweight or obese raises the risk of diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer.
Frequent chip consumption can contribute to high cholesterol levels because of the amount and type of fat found in chips. Most chips are deep-fried, a process that creates trans fats, the most dangerous type. In addition, the oils used for frying chips are often saturated fats, which also contribute to high cholesterol levels. High levels of trans fats in the bloodstream are associated with high levels of LDL cholesterol and an increased risk of coronary heart disease. High levels of trans fat in the diet are correlated to high levels in the blood.
If you regularly include chips as part of your diet, you may not be consuming as many nutrients as you should. Chips are typically low in vitamins and minerals, and they tend to displace things in the diet that are higher in nutrients. Eating healthy snacks can help make up for any nutritional lack at meal times, so if you opt for chips instead of snacks with a high nutrient density, you won’t get this benefit.
High Blood Pressure
The sodium content in chips may negatively impact your cardiovascular health. A high intake of sodium can cause an increase in blood pressure, which can lead to stroke, heart failure, coronary heart disease and kidney disease. Potato chips generally have between 120 and 180 milligrams of sodium per ounce, and tortilla chips can have 105 to 160 milligrams of sodium per ounce. A bag of chips typically contains more than a single ounce, so many people consume more sodium than they realize when eating chips. According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, most people should limit their salt consumption to 2,300 milligrams per day, while individuals over 50, African-Americans and anyone with high blood pressure, kidney disease or diabetes should not consume more than 1,500 milligrams per day.
Baked potato chips and tortilla chips tend to be lower in calories and fat than fried chips, although they may still contain high sodium levels. Unsalted whole-wheat pretzels and air-popped popcorn are low-fat, low-calorie options that also provide extra fiber, making them better snack choices than chips. Other healthy alternatives include low-sodium, baked vegetable chips or apple chips.
Source/taken from: HEALTHY EATING. Written by Bridget Coila; Updated November 21, 2018