A potato chip seems like an innocent snack, right? It comes from something that’s natural, so it can’t be that bad. Well, a standard potato chip is actually not as innocent as it may seem. Not only are potato chips usually made by being deep fried in unhealthy oils, but they’re low in nutrients and high in fat and calories.
If you’re a regular chip eater, then you’ll benefit from replacing your traditional chips with healthier alternatives (trust, us, you’ll thank us later). Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives to potato chips that are still delicious, fun to eat and are actually good for you.
This article will share more about these healthy alternatives to potato chips and some reasons why you should consider making the swap.
Let’s Take A Look
Fruits and vegetables can be turned into chips – with less fat and more nutrients:
- Kale chips
- Apple slices with nut butter
- Baked zucchini chips
- Roasted chickpeas
- Baked banana chips
- Baked green bean chips
- Baked apple chips
- Roasted brussels sprouts
- Jicama slices with salsa
- Sweet potato chips
- Beet chips
- Cauliflower chips
- Carrot fries
Kale chips are made by baking kale until it becomes crispy. You can make kale chips yourself or purchase them already made. Kale actually retains its nutritional value after being made into chips, unlike traditional chips. Kale chips benefit the body because they contain fiber, antioxidants, vitamin A, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin C and potassium.
Apple Slices with Nut Butter
Apple slices with nut butter are a dietitian-approved snack that is healthy and satisfying. Prepare this snack by slicing up an apple and dipping it in some nut butter. Some popular nut butters include almond butter, peanut butter and cashew butter. An apple with nut butter is a whole food snack, meaning it isn’t packaged and processed like chips are (AKA it comes from real food).
Apples contain healthy carbs and fiber and nut butter has healthy fats and protein so this snack will not only satisfy you but give you energy as well. Apples are a healthy source of vitamin C, potassium and vitamin K. Nut butter varies depending on the type of nut it’s sourced from but it could contain vitamin E, folate, niacin, magnesium and zinc.
Baked Zucchini Chips
Baked zucchini chips can be made from scratch by baking a thinly sliced zucchini in the oven or they can be purchased pre-made. Zucchinis are filled with nutrients such as vitamin B6 and antioxidants. Vitamin B6 can help improve energy levels and regulate blood sugar and antioxidants provide immune support. When it comes to healthy chips, zucchini chips are a nutrient-dense whole-food alternative.
Roasted chickpeas are one of the healthier alternatives to chips that offer fat, fiber and protein. You can make your own or purchase a packaged version. This chip alternative offers the convenience of being available as a packaged snack, just like traditional chips are. If you want to make your own you can prep a big batch ahead of time so that you have them available for easy snacking. Simply roast some chickpeas in olive oil and store them at room temperature.
Baked Banana Chips
Banana chips are a sweet, crunchy snack that can be a great alternative to traditional chips. However, it is important to keep in mind that not all banana chips are created equal–some are made with added sugar and might even be fried. Look for baked banana chips with no added sugar for the healthiest option. Bananas are a great source of potassium and healthy carbs.
Baked Green Bean Chips
Green bean chips are an easy swap for standard potato chips since they can easily be purchased at most grocery stores. You can also make green bean chips from scratch by baking them in the oven or using an air fryer. These chips offer the health benefits of antioxidants, potassium and calcium.
Baked Apple Chips
Apple chips are a sweet and crunchy potato chip alternative. You can buy packaged apple chips at the grocery store but make sure to check the ingredient label since some are made with added sugar. Apples offer a variety of nutrients including vitamins A and C. They also have calcium, potassium and iron.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Let’s be honest, brussels sprouts are a polarizing snack—you either love them or you hate them. If you’re someone who finds this cruciferous vegetable appealing, try swapping out your chips for some roasted brussels sprouts instead. Brussels sprouts are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They can even help to protect you against cancer.
Jicama Slices with Salsa
You might have spotted the Jicama vegetable at your local grocery store and wondered what it was. Jicama is a large root vegetable with a thick brown skin. You can skin it, cut it up and eat it raw. Some people slice it thinly and use it as a replacement for tortillas. We recommend dipping it in some salsa or hummus for added flavor. It is similar in consistency to a potato and its flavor is a little bit sweet.
Sweet Potato Chips
You really can’t go wrong with sweet potato chips. They have the same appeal as standard chips (crunchy, a little salty) but they have an added sweetness and they’re even better for you. Sweet potato chips contain fiber and antioxidants and they’re high in carotene so they can support the immune system and benefit healthy vision.
Beets are a deeply colored root vegetable that offers the body a wide range of benefits, including a boost of nutrients such as fiber and folate and supporting heart health by helping to lower the blood pressure. You can make your own beet chips or purchase them packaged from your local grocery store. Be sure to check the ingredient label to ensure that they don’t have any harmful additives like sugar.
You can make your own cauliflower chips in an air fryer or oven by thinly slicing cauliflower and cooking it until it is crispy. You can also add some parmesan cheese and seasoning for extra flavor.
Thinly slice some carrots and bake them in the oven with some olive oil or avocado oil. They should come out crispy, similar to a french fry! Carrots are loaded with nutrients like potassium, antioxidants and beta-carotene.
Do Healthy Alternatives to Chips Have to Be Made From Scratch?
In order to have healthy chip alternatives, making them yourself is certainly a great option. Making healthy chip alternatives yourself is not only more cost-effective but it’s likely to be even healthier than opting for one of the packaged options. This is because you can know exactly what’s gone into the chips and use the healthiest ingredients when preparing them.
To be fair, we realize that not everyone has the time to make a chip alternative from scratch. The main reason most people eat snacks like chips is because they need a quick way to curb hunger. Luckily there are a lot of packaged snacks out there that are healthier than traditional chips. You can buy packaged versions of many of the snacks on this list.
We’d say it is always best to make your own but when you’re in a pinch, there is nothing wrong with grabbing a packaged chip alternative, such as store-bought beet chips or sweet potato chips. However, you should always check ingredient labels and look out for unhealthy added ingredients and high levels of sugar or unhealthy fats.
Why Are Traditional Chips Unhealthy?
Standard potato chips are high in calories and fat and they’re lacking in nutritional value. For this reason, eating standard potato chips regularly can make weight gain more likely and it may raise blood pressure and cholesterol levels. If you’re at high risk for these chronic conditions (or you already have one) it is probably best to steer clear of potato chips altogether. Even if you’re a healthy person, it is still important to only eat standard potato chips in moderation and choose a healthier alternative as often as you can.
An unhealthy snack here and there may not have a major impact on your health, but if you’re reaching for highly processed chips that are loaded with sodium and unsaturated fat on a regular basis, it’s probably time to switch up your snack choices. There are tons of healthy alternatives to standard chips that are made from whole foods and free from unhealthy ingredients.
Standard potato chips can raise blood pressure and make you more likely to develop certain chronic diseases. Incorporate a variety of healthy snacks into your diet to ensure that you’re getting plenty of nutrients while also keeping yourself fed. Save this blog post for reference next time you need inspiration for healthy snack recipes.