Not-so-healthy veggie chips

Some winners, some losers

Published On: Feb 11 2013 06:28:28 AM EST   Updated On: Feb 11 2013 06:20:00 AM EST

Many people tackle their salt cravings with a bag of chips. But be careful what you choose. Some options that seem healthier are not always so, say the experts at Consumer Reports, who evaluated 18 different chips.

Five of the snacks are actually made from potato flour. And you might be quite surprised to learn they are not nutritionally superior to potato chips! They do have a dash of vegetable powder, which seems mostly to add color. But they have about as much fat and as many calories as potato chips, and a lot more sodium. They also cost an average 30 percent more! These include Sensible Portions Garden Veggie Straws, Eatsmart Naturals Garden Veggie Crisps, and Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value Veggie Chips.

Consumer Reports says a healthier alternative is chips made from sliced vegetables, like top-rated Terra Exotic Vegetable Chips. They are much lower in sodium and are made from real slices of root vegetables such as sweet potato and parsnip. Keep in mind, they’re still fried and loaded with fat and calories.

Chips made from beans offer a nutritional boost. Boulder Canyon Natural Foods Hummus Chips stood out in the taste tests. And because they are made from chickpea flour, you get some protein and fiber, too. Pair them with salsa to get a serving of vegetables without adding a lot of fat and calories.

When you have a salty itch that only potato chips will scratch, Consumer Reports says consider Lay’s Classics, the top-rated potato chips in previous tests. And take some consolation in the fact that potato chips on average have a lot less sodium than those potato-based vegetable chips!