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Many people are turning to a popular snack with the crispiness and saltiness of a regular potato chip but made from several types of vegetables. Whether it’s the shape or the striking color of root vegetables, veggie chips are presented as the ideal blend of taste and nutrition. The packaging often advertises all of the “healthy stuff” in each serving. It seems too good to be true, and in fact, chips that claim to contain a variety of vegetable ingredients aren’t any healthier than the average potato chip.
Most veggie chips found in the supermarket are only made with approximately 60-70 percent produce. While they have slightly fewer calories than potato chips, they actually have a significant amount of sodium, fat, and carbs. Many people are tricked into thinking they are eating significant amounts of beets, zucchini, or spinach, when in reality, most brands only use a combination of potato starch, tomato paste, oil, salt, spinach powder, and beetroot powder for color. Foods that are advertised as healthy are often consumed in higher quantities, but veggie chips should be treated as another guilty pleasure and enjoyed in moderate 1-ounce servings.
Veggie chips should not be considered as a substitute for vegetables, because they lose most of their nutritional benefits when they are dehydrated and processed as vegetable powders to add natural, vibrant colors to the chip. Any process that exposes food to a high level of heat, oxygen, or light causes a significant loss in water-soluble vitamins and other nutrients. If you really have a craving for chips that could actually be considered a healthy alternative, DIY baked veggie chips with minimal oil are a great option compared to munching on the packaged versions.