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How to Find the Healthiest Chips in Australia

There’s something so satisfying about the crunch of a chip! Since healthy eating doesn’t involve restriction or deprivation, we don’t have to miss out on enjoying their satisfying crunch. It’s just about choosing the healthiest options where we can, so we’re making the most of these fun snack foods. In this blog post we’re going to dive into exactly what to look for, and what to avoid, when choosing healthier chip options.


What makes it difficult to find a healthy chip in the supermarket?

With virtually a whole isle in the supermarket dedicated to chips, you’d think there would be some healthy options available. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. When we turn these products around to see what’s inside the brightly coloured packets, we’re generally met with an ingredients list that contains things like vegetable oils, flavour enhancers, artificial flavours and more. Chips are designed to keep you coming back for more, in many cases there are literally food scientists perfecting the right combination and quantities of ingredients to make them so delicious that they become addictive. The only problem is, they’re not factoring in our health when they’re doing this. Good quality ingredients are also more expensive than the less nutritious, more processed, or artificial kind. Brands know that cheap snacks sell, so they cut costs and nutritional value in the process. With all of this considered, it’s easy to see why it can be hard to find healthy chip options in the supermarket.


Qualities of a healthy chip:

The ingredients list of healthy chips should be pretty simple. Ideally, we want to see just the main ingredient (whether this is potato or some other kind of vegetable), a little bit of oil and a pinch of sea salt.


If it’s a flavoured chip that comes under the healthier category, it will also contain some real food ingredients to flavour it. Generally, this will be any number of herbs or spices, depending on the flavour. Ideally, they should list out exactly what they’ve flavoured the chips with, rather than lumping them under headings like ‘herbs’ or ‘spices’. It’s good to know exactly what goes into our food.


Ingredients we like to see in a healthy chip:

Any real food ingredient is great to see in healthy chips! This is because real foods are more nutritious and are the kinds of foods our body thrives off.


We love seeing different varieties of veggie chips. From beetroot and sweet potato, to newer options like cauliflower, broccoli and mushroom, it’s great to see more vegetables being used in this popular snack food. There are also chips made of nuts and legumes starting to emerge. These provide a higher protein content, which can be a more filling option.


We also like to see oils like extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil and coconut oil being used instead of vegetable oils. Vegetable oils are highly processed and unstable at higher temperatures. On the other hand, olive, avocado and coconut oil are more stable and make better options when used in cooking or being heated.
For the flavoured chips, it’s great to see various herbs and spices being used and these add their own nutritional properties while helping them taste great. Healthy chips will always contain real food flavours, as opposed to artificial flavours or nasty flavour enhancers.


What are the healthiest chips available?

You’ll be happy to know there are many healthier chip options available here on the GoodnessMe shop. If you’re craving the satisfying crunch and saltiness of chips, look no further, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the healthier chips we’re loving:


V Good Chickpea Twists Smokin BBQ
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Ingredients: Chickpea flour (93%), sunflower oil, natural seasoning (contains vege powders (onion, garlic), natural colour (paprika oleoresins), acidity regulator (citric acid), yeast extract).


Nutritionist Review: By Malissa F.
YUMMY CHIP ALTERNATIVE
If you love a good crunchy pick me up then you are going to love these VGood Chickpea Twists Smokin BBQ snack packs! They are made with over 90% chickpeas and contain 70% less fat and 3x more fibre than standard potato chips! Each snack bag also only contain 60 calories which is a really great and well balanced snack to satisfy your cravings in between meals or after dinner when you are craving a snack but nothing too heavy or oily. They are super flavoursome from wholesome, real ingredients. A great healthy alternative to normal chips that i would recommend just a few times a week.


Temole Avocado Chips Tomato Salsa

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Ingredients: Avocados (30%), Brown Rice, Corn, Onions, Tomatoes, Limes, Rice Bran Oil, Sesame Seeds, Spinach Powder, Parsley, Thyme Yeast Extract, Garlic Powder, Tomato Powder, Chilli Powder, Tomato Powder, Chilli Powder, Lime Extract, Sea Salt.


Nutritionist Review: By Shelley M.
AVOCADO CHIPS... WHOOOZA!
Avocados are an absolute powerhouse food, and now they have been created and made into a chip....WHOOOOZA! They are a fabulous source of good quality fats and omega 3 fatty acids. They also contain vitamins C, E, K, and B-6, as well as magnesium, and potassium. So basically there is every reason to try and sneak more avocado into your diet. These Temole Avocado Chips in the Tomato Salsa flavour have an array of beautiful spices to help create a delicious flavour. These are perfect when the savoury munchies come on.


X50 Broccoli Chips Sea Salt

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Ingredients: Broccoli (85%), Rice Bran Oil, Flavour (Sea Salt, Baking Soda).

Nutritionist Review: By Shelley M.
DELICIOUS CHIP ALTERNATIVE
Some might screw their noses up to broccoli chips, but honestly don't knock until you try them :). These are yummy! They are full of yummy spices which add amazing medicinal benefits to your diet and made for a perfect savoury snack. I also love crunching them over my salads for extra bite. These chips also have 3 ingredients in total, far better than many that line the supermarket shelves.


Proper Crisps Salted Tortilla Chips

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Ingredients: Tortillas (Corn, Trace of Lime), High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Sea Salt.

Nutritionist Review: By Malissa F.
HEALTHY CHIP ALTERNATIVE
I love a good crunchy and tasty tortilla chip with my guac so these proper crisps tick those boxes. The Proper Crisps Compostable Salted Tortilla Chips are gluten free and vegan and the packet that the chips come in are actually completely biodegradable which adds all those benefits for the Earth! However these chips are cooked and prepared using a High Oleic Sunflower Oil which is not an oil i suggest that you have regularly in your diet as it has been shown to contribute to inflammation. This should be consumed a snack on a movie night or when you have friends around!


Proper Crisps Marlborough Sea Salt

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Ingredients: Potatoes, High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Sea Salt.

Nutritionist Review: By Malissa F.
DELICIOUS CRISPS
I absolutely love a good crisp. This brand in fact is the one I usually buy when I feel like some crispy, potato goodness! Not only are they crunchy and delicious and but also make a great serving suggestion for when you have friends around. These Proper Crisps Compostable Marlborough Sea Salt are made from Potatoes, High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Sea Salt which is extremely minimal for a packet of chips! Free from filler ingredients and artificial colours and flavours. These crisps are also gluten free and vegan and a great source of fibre! A really delicious healthy chip alternative that should be shared with friends and enjoyed in moderation.


Proper Crisps Cider Vinegar & Sea Salt

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Ingredients: Potatoes, High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Sea Salt, Apple Cider Vinegar, Vinegar, Acacia Gum, Citric Acid, Raw Sugar.

Nutritionist Review: By Shelley M.
Great chip alternative
Honestly who doesn’t love a chip?! 😜 These are a great alternative to the standard bags of chips found in the supermarket. Made from potato with the addition of some herbs and spices makes for a delicious snack when entertaining a crowd.I always recommend trying not to consume too much sunflower oil in the diet as it can be inflammatory to the body. But, every now and again is absolutely fine. This particular flavour does contain raw sugar in the ingredients, however being the last ingredient on the list means it is the least used ingredient. I would still consider this a low sugar flavour and product.


Karma Bites Popped Lotus Seeds Peri-Peri

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Ingredients: Popped Lotus Seeds, Olive Oil, Red Chilli, Black Pepper, Garlic, Onion, Sea Salt, Citric Acid


Ceres Organics Chickpea Crisps

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Ingredients: Organic Jasmine Brown Rice*, Chickpea* 24%, Sunflower Oil*, Himalayan Salt.


Boulder Canyon Avocado Oil Classic Sea Salt

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Ingredients: Potatoes, Avocado Oil, Sea Salt


What to look for on the nutritional panel:

Before even looking at the nutrition panel, it’s important to check the ingredients used in the product first. This helps us determine if it’s even worth looking closer at the product. Remember, what we want to see on the ingredients list is real food ingredients – it’s simple really.


Let’s take a look at the X50 mushroom chips from the shop:

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Ingredients: Shitake Mushroom (86%), Rice Bran Oil, Sea Salt.


Chip ingredients don’t get much better than this! These chips are predominantly mushrooms, and the best part is that they’re vacuum cooked, which helps them retain their goodness and most of their natural nutritional benefits. This product uses rice bran oil, instead of canola oil or another type of inflammatory vegetable oil. They’ve also added a small amount of good quality sea salt, rather than a more refined salt.


Now that the ingredients have passed the test, we can move on to the nutritional panel. There are a few key things to look for here, one is whether or not there are any trans fats and the other is the sodium content of the product.

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For this product, we can see that there are no trans fats showing up. Trans fats are the worst type of fat that we can consume, they’re found in highly refined foods with hydrogenated oils. We should avoid trans fats wherever possible for the good of our cardiovascular health.


In terms of the sodium, the value here is 190mg per 100g, which is much lower than a classic supermarket chip. We also know that the sodium is coming from the sea salt, rather than highly refined salts that have been stripped of minerals.

How to read the ingredient list on your chips:

I’ve mentioned a bit above about the things to look out for on the ingredients list, but it’s also important to mention the way the ingredients list works. The key thing to know is that ingredients will always appear in order from most to least. This means the thing that appears first is the ingredient used in the highest quantity. This is good to know because when we see things like added sugar in certain flavours of chips, we can look at where it lies to get an idea of just how much is in there.


If you’re looking for the ingredients list, you can generally find it near the nutrition panel. I’m a huge advocate of reading the ingredients of any product that you’re about to purchase for the first time.


How to spot hidden ingredients in chips:

When we take the time to look at the ingredients list, we’re already halfway there to identify anything that may be hiding inside. Keep an eye out for any ingredients that you may not understand, that’s one sure fire way of identifying whether or not it’s a real food.


Keep in mind that certain ingredients can go under a variety of names. For example, sugar won’t always appear as sugar on the ingredients list. It may come up as sucrose, glucose, glucose syrup, golden syrup, dextrose, etc.


Umbrella terms like ‘flavours’ or ‘colours’ also take the hiding to another level as they’re not specifying which ingredients make up that particular colour or flavour. That’s why we love it when healthier chip options specify exactly which herbs and spices they use. Full transparency is great when it comes to the food we’re putting into our body.


What are flavour enhancers and why should we avoid them in this product?
Flavour enhancers are designed to do exactly what their name suggests, enhance the flavour of a particular food. It is a cheap, colourless powder that is easy for food manufacturers to add into their products to make it more flavoursome and addictive. Flavour enhancers play tricks on our taste buds, by making food taste more delicious, we then continue to crave that food and that level of flavour. It can contribute to overeating and is one of the reasons you may have found yourself polishing off a whole big bag of chips in the past.


The full extent of harm that these ingredients can have towards our health is still not fully understood, however it is suggested that they can have detrimental effects towards our brain and nervous system. Those who are sensitive to flavour enhancer may experience symptoms like headaches, flushing, irregular heartbeat, nausea and/or sweating.


Flavour enhancers go under a variety of different names, with one of the most common being monosodium glutamate (MSG). If you see the word glutamate in any variation on an ingredients list, this can be another name for MSG. Yeast is another one to look out for and certain yeast ingredients have similar properties to flavour enhancers.


What does an unhealthy chip look like?

There are plenty of unhealthy chips available in the supermarket, here’s just one example of a BBQ flavoured crinkle cut chip:

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Ingredients: Potatoes, Canola Oil, Sunflower Oil, Sugar, Maltodextrin, Salt, Tomato Powder, Flavour Enhancers (621, 635), Food Acids (Sodium Diacetate, Citric Acid), Flavours, Mineral Salt (Potassium Chloride), Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Natural Colour (Paprika Extract), Antioxidants (Tocopherols, Ascorbic Acid, Rosemary Extract).


Nutrition Panel:

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Looking at the very long ingredients list, we can see many red flags. There’s inflammatory canola oil, refined sugar, maltodextrin, flavour enhancers and artificial flavours. Not only are they using fake flavours in this product, but they’re also using flavour enhancers to enhance their taste… go figure.


Taking a look at the nutrition panel, we can see that the suggested serving is 27g, which is said to be the equivalent of about 15 chips. Let’s be honest, who stops at just 15! Serving sizes can be deceiving when we don’t take the time to look at what they recommend. As we generally eat more than the recommended serving size, it’s important to increase the values shown accordingly.


We can also see the presence of trans fats. Sure, 0.1g per serve may not seem like much but remember we’re probably going to eat more than their recommended serve and trans fats are something we should avoid entirely regardless.


The sodium content of these chips is also 493mg per 100g, which is much higher than the healthier example that had 190mg per 100g.


What else should you consider when choosing a healthy chip?

The key thing to consider when purchasing chips or any other health food product is whether or not they’re made up of real foods. This helps us ensure we’re nourishing our body with the food that’s best for us.


Using chips as a way to boost your veggie intake is also a great way to go, that’s why we love various types of vegetable chips. Keep in mind that we shouldn’t rely on snack foods like chips to get our minimum of 5 vegetables per day. It can simply be an added bonus, on the occasion that we choose to consume chips as a snack.


Our top 3 chips products to avoid and why:

We’ve already seen one example of an unhealthy chip to steer clear of, but what are some of the worst chips on the market? Let’s take a look:


Pringles Veggie Creations Potato, Tomato, Mozzarella & Herb

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Ingredients: Dehydrated Potato, Vegetable Oils, Corn Flour, Wheat Starch, Rice Flour, Tomato Powder, Maltodextrin, Emulsifier (471), Beetroot Powder, Salt, Sugar, Colours (162, 160c), Flavours, Flavour Enhancers (621, 635), Acidity Regulators (330, 270, 327), Yeast Extract Powder, Whey Protein Concentrate Powder, Herbs (Basil, Thyme), Cheese Powder.


Where to even begin… This product uses vegetable oils, which is bad enough, but the fact that they don’t mention which ones is another red flag. Is it canola oil, is it safflower, is it sunflower, or is it a combination? Strike one is coming in fast. Then we have added sugar and the highly refined ingredient maltodextrin, which has a higher GI than sugar and can contribute towards a spike in our blood sugar levels.

 

In this long list of ingredients, we also see an emulsifier and a number of acidity regulators. There’s artificial flavours, artificial colours and even flavour enhancers. It can’t get much worse than this.


Sadly, this is the case for most of the other Pringles Veggie Creations flavours too. While they use marketing to try to make it sound healthy and put the word veggie in their name, there’s nothing healthy about them.


Smith’s Crinkle Cut Chips Cheese & Onion

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Ingredients: Potatoes, Canola Oil, Sunflower Oil, Whey Powder (Milk), Cheese Powder (Milk), Salt, Onion Powder, Dextrose, Maltodextrin, Mineral Salt (Potassium Chloride), Flavour Enhancer (621), Natural Flavours (Milk), Yeast Extract, Food Acids (Citric Acid, Sodium Diacetate), Cream Powder (Milk), Antioxidants (Tocopherols, Ascorbic Acid), Rosemary Extract.


Straight away we see a long ingredients list, which is generally a red flag. This is confirmed when we see ingredients like canola oil, dextrose, maltodextrin, flavour enhancer and food acids. Dextrose is chemically identical to glucose, it’s a simple sugar made from corn that is added to foods as a form of sweetener. All of these ingredients, and some of the other powders, are highly refined in nature and are not ideal when trying to focus on the real food way of eating.


Chicken Twisties

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Ingredients: Cereals (Corn Rice), Canola Oil, Maltodextrin, Salt, Whey Powder (Milk), Flavour Enhancers (621, 635). Sugar, Mineral Salt (Potassium Chloride), Flavour, Chicken Fat, Hydromed Vegetable Protein {Soy), Onion Powder, Dextrose, Garlic Powder, Spice (Turmeric), Natural Colour (Turmeric).


Anything that is the colour of Twisties, Cheezels, Burger Rings or Cheetos is bound to be full of unhealthy ingredients. These Chicken Twisties are an example of that. We can see highly refined corn and rice, inflammatory canola oil, more highly refined ingredients like maltodextrin, dextrose and hydromed vegetable protein. Plus, there are flavour enhancers, artificial flavours and added sugar. This certainly doesn’t get the nutritionist tick of approval.


There we have it, the good, the bad and the ugly. Thankfully we don’t have to skip these crunchy snacks and now you know how to choose the healthier options.
Remember, you can always make delicious and nutritious chips at home. Simply chop your veggies into fine slices and cover them in your choice of seasoning.

Drizzle over a healthier oil and place them in the oven to bake. The GoodnessMe Shop has you covered when it comes to the oils, herbs, spices and seasonings and these are great things to have on hand regardless.

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temole-cauliflower-puffs-sea-salt-24x-40g

temole-avocado-chips-tomato-salsa-12x-40g

x50-broccoli-chips-sea-salt-60g

proper-crisps-cider-vinegar-sea-salt-140g

karma-bites-popped-lotus-seeds-caramel-25g

vgood-chickpea-twists-smokin-bbq-85g

temole-broccoli-puffs-sweet-chilli-56g

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About the author:
Shahna Sarpi is a qualified nutritionist that is on a mission to help people live a nourished life through real food and healthy habits. She loves simplifying food labels and helping people make healthier food choices. Shahna is passionate about spreading the real food message and supporting people in living a healthy life.

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