Are you trying to make healthy life choices? But can’t stop imagining that crunchy, rippled texture of sun chips melting in your mouth until you convince yourself that sun chips are not like regular chips, and you devour a whole bag of them!
Frito Lay advertises Sun chips to be a healthier version of regular packaged chips. But have you ever thought about how much of that is true? We have debunked the answer to are sun chips a healthy snack in the following text, so read on before your cravings get the best of you.
Fun Fact about Sun Chips
Did you know where the name sun chips came from? In the year 2008 when more and more people started prioritizing sustainability. Sun chips decided to target those consumers by making their production process more sustainable.
They installed a solar power plant to switch from coal-powered electricity that may be highly harmful to the environment and decided to reap the benefits of natural energy. This is how the name sun chips came in as the chips are made with the help of solar energy powered by the sun.
Now moving on from this appreciation-worthy act by Frito Lay, let’s discuss if sun chips that are good for the environment are good for your health or not?
Are Sun Chips A Healthy Snack?
Sun chips’ packaging includes statements such as “heart-healthy,” “no cholesterol,” “no preservatives,” “reduced fat,” and “made with whole grains.” But how much of it is accurate? Let’s look at the ingredients listed on the back of the chips to find out the answer.
The ingredients on the back of the original chips for a single serving (14-16 chips) read (The nutritional value may vary depending on the flavor):
- 140 calories
- No cholesterol
- 6 g of fat (0.5 saturated fat),
- 110 mg of sodium, 19 g of carbs,
- 2 g of sugar (all of which is added sugar)
- 2 g of fiber
- 2 g of protein
We discovered that there was not much difference between the contents in a one-ounce serving of another well-known chips brand that is not promoted as healthy. That chips had roughly:
- 160 calories, which was only 20 more than sun chips
- 10 gm of fat (1.5 gm saturated)
- 0% cholesterol
- 170 mg of sodium
- 1 gm of fiber
- 15 mg of carbs
- 2 grams of protein
- Less than 1 mg sugar (none of which was added sugar).
Did you know that sun chips are fried rather than baked? They contain more fiber than regular chips, but not by much. As you can see, the difference between conventional chips and sun chips is little.
Thus, after studying the ingredients of sun chips, it becomes evident that if consumed regularly. In large numbers, these healthy advertised chips can be very damaging to your health.
These chips made with artificial chemicals may cause health complications such as high blood pressure, allergic reactions (to ingredients), stomach problems, weight gain, and heart issues which is ironic as the chips are advertised to be heart healthy.
Anything in excess is harmful to your health, and snacks should never replace natural meals. Thus, a bag of sun chips once in a while is sufficient but don’t let these snacking habits become part of your daily routine.
Moreover, you can also find healthier alternatives to sun chips and make them at home. Here are a few healthy options of sun chips that will help you curb your cravings while not harming your health as much.
Healthy Alternatives to Packaged Chips
Here are a few must-try and easy-to-make recipes for delicious homemade chips.
These crispy tomato chips with olive oil will make the perfect evening snack.
- 2-3 Tomatoes
- Seasoning of choice (Garlic, cumin)
- Olive oil
- Set your oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit
- Cut up a few tomatoes into thin slices and place them inside your oven
- Season with a seasoning of your choice and drizzle some olive oil on top
- Let them bake for around 2 to 3 hours, and keep checking after every half hour to ensure they don’t burn
- Take the tomatoes out of the oven once you notice they have turned crispy and brownish
- Remove from the oven once done and set them aside to cool
Air Fried Cucumber Chips
These delicious and crunchy chips will blow your mind and leave you craving for more.
Salt and pepper
¼ cup of flour
- Set your air fryerto 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Thinly slice cucumbers and set aside
- Mix salt, pepper, and breadcrumbs and set them aside
- Whisk eggs and set aside
- Now, take each cucumber slice, dip it in the eggs, then in the bread crumbs and place them in the air fryer
- Cook for around 10 minutes, and don’t forget to flip each chip to the other side to ensure each side gets cooked evenly
- Take the chips out of the air fryer and set them aside to cool
- To serve, place a few chips on the plate along with a dip of your choice
Our Final Thoughts
So the short answer to are sun chips a healthy snack is that, even though sun chips may not be as healthy as they are advertised to be, they are not as bad if consumed in moderation. If you feel like snacking on them every once in a while, then go for it.
But if snacking on sun chips is a part of your daily routine, you might want to change that habit and switch to healthier alternatives mentioned above.
Head to the grocery store and get veggies like cucumbers and tomatoes to try out the healthy chips alternative mentioned above. You can always switch these recipes and try making chips out of different vegetables. If your kid loves sun chips, you can also mix these healthier chip versions with a few sun chips to trick them into eating the healthier version.