Apple chips must be healthy. After all, they’re made of fruit? Right? Not so fast. Find out what you need to know before reaching for that bag of apple chips.
Who doesn’t enjoy the crisp salty taste of a potato chip? Most people realize that potato chips aren’t the healthiest snack around and try to avoid devouring the whole bag at one time. Some people – in hopes of finding a crunchy snack they can really indulge in – look for “healthier” alternatives such as veggie and whole grain chips. One type of snack chip that’s growing in popularity is apple chips. In the minds of many consumers the apple chip is a healthier alternative to the potato chip. Or is it? Are apple chips really healthy?
Calories, Carbs, and Fat
An ounce of apple chips has around 130 calories which is slightly lower than potato chips which have around 160 calories. Most brands are also slightly lower in fat when compared to potato chips. When choosing any kind of chip, it’s important to look at the oil they were fried in. Some apple chip makers such as Seneca use canola oil which is a healthier option than many of the other oils used to make snack chips. Surprisingly, apple chips are usually higher in carbs than potato chips. This is because most apple chips have added sugar to give the chips a sweeter flavor. If you buy them, make sure they don’t use high fructose corn syrup and that they’re free of hydrogenated oils.
Vitamins and Minerals
Sodium content will vary per brand, but apple chips are usually significantly lower in sodium than potato chips. Seneca brand apple chips have less than 30 milligrams of sodium – a refreshing change from most snack foods. Apple chips are also a better source of vitamin C than potato chips.
The Bottom Line
Apple chips have a slight edge over potato chips when it comes to health. If you buy a brand that’s fried in canola oil without high fructose corn syrup, it’s usually a healthier snack than your average potato chip. The drawback is the amount of sugar some commercial apple chips contain. Look for one that’s as low in sugar as possible.
One problem is that people eat usually eat more when they believe they’re eating a healthier snack – so don’t fool yourself into thinking because they’re made of fruit you can eat all you want. Apple chips certainly aren’t health food and the reality is you’d be far better off eating a fresh, organic apple that isn’t deep fried with added sugar. But, sometimes only something crispy will do, so choose wisely.