In the world of health and nutrition, most of the time baking food is better than frying. Frying uses oil or butter – added fat. Baking does not. This notion, however, does not apply to all things.
Consider potato chips. I know, potato chips don’t belong in a healthy diet. But who can eat just one? Right? Let’s put aside the debate about to eat or not to eat, and focus on the quality of the subject.
Potato chips are traditionally a fried food. The potato chip first came to be in 1853. George Crum, the hotel chef at Sarasota Springs, decided to rectify soggy fried potatoes. He sliced the potatoes as thin as possible and fried them until crisp. Patrons loved them.
Fast forward to today and you have potato chips in grocery stores, convenience stores, sandwich shops, membership clubs – just about everywhere your little heart desires. They’re salted, flavored, crinkled, and sweetened. Some are fried. Some are baked. Which kind do you choose?
Beware! Just because a chip label says “baked” doesn’t mean it’s better. Lay’s® classic chips are made with potatoes, vegetable oil, and salt. Simple, basic good taste. And 160 calories per serving. Their baked potato chips are really called “Potato Crisps” and they’re made from dried potatoes, corn starch, sugar, corn oil, salt, soy lecithin, and sugar. Only 120 calories per serving. So the question is do you want more calories and a bit more fat or fewer calories and a bit more sugar?
With some digging you can find less fattening chips. Kettle® makes a baked variety that sounds healthier than the Lays brand with 120 calories per serving. Or try branching out to different kinds of chips. Terra® claims “a full serving of vegetables in every ounce” on their Original chips bag. Their chips are cooked only in expeller pressed oils (no chemicals) and include taro, sweet potato, yucca, batata, parsnip, and ruby taro. They carry a variety of flavors and spices to whet your appetite.
So if you’re going to eat chips – and why not every once in a while? – be sure to check your labels and eat something good.
See our Healthy Substitutions Page for some more information and other healthy ideas.
Have you resolved to improve time management or budget management? Check out our Easy Weekly Meals books. They help you to save time, money, and eat a healthy diet, too.