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Healthy Potato Chip Alternatives

Updated on January 25, 2020
Cheryl E Preston profile image

Cheryl was part of a church health and nutrition ministry and enjoys writing articles related to food as medicine.

Potato chip alternatives
Potato chip alternatives

Potato chip addiction

Cravings for potato chips, corn chips, and other salty snacks is very real. Overindulging on these processed foods may not be on the level of alcohol, nicotine, and drug addiction but can be just as harmful. Saturated fat in these products can raise cholesterol levels and the salt content may put you at risk for hypertension. Even so, in the same way, some people cannot overcome substance abuse, there are others who cannot keep away from unhealthy snack foods.

When I was in elementary school, my grandmother would bring home potato chips, cookies and other goodies every Wednesday when she got paid. As an avid reader, I developed a habit of curling up with a good book and munching on Lays and Wise snacks. As a teenager, my cousins and I would walk to the store each day after school and purchase a bag of chips for only a dime. I carried this habit into adulthood and the result was my total cholesterol being 399.

I stopped eating chips and in 60 days lowered my cholesterol to 240 without medication. Unfortunately, I found nothing to replace the crispy snack, so my habit, as well as my LDL and HDL all, went through the roof. I tried replacing chips with crunchy veggies like celery, broccoli, and carrots, but it just was not the same. have spent decades trying to quit my habit and now I am finally able to do so.

Cranberry/raisins
Cranberry/raisins

Healthy alternatives

A number of corporations today are offering healthy alternatives to the snacks of yesteryear. If you find yourself fighting the desire to crunch and munch. You don't even have to make a special trip to a health food store because most major food chains, like Walmart, Kroger, and Food Lion all now have sections where they offer natural foods. One product with multiple benefits is Ocean Spray Craisins, which are cranberries dried and packaged like raisins. There are 130 calories and 12% RDA of fiber in one serving. You can eat them out of the bag or use as a salad topping.

There are other alternatives to potato chips and they include baked chips, edamame, veggie chips, popcorn, whole grain crackers, and pita chips. These, however, do not offer the same health benefits as craisins and other fruit products. Cranberries have properties that help to prevent and even treat urinary tract infections. This is why craisins is one that older women especially should keep on hand as the risk for recurring UTI's increases with age. This snack is crunchy and also satisfies the sweet tooth.

Healthy alternatives
Healthy alternatives

Apple chips are healthy

There is an old saying that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Not everyone is going to peel and eat an apple every day, but there are ways you can still obtain the benefits. Simply Apple has a delicious brand of apple chips. They are sweet, yet also crunchy just like potato chips. There are only 60 calories in a one bag serving. Swanson offers Bare Fruit Simply Cinnamon Crunchy Apple Chips, which are 100% organic and have five apples in each bag. Apple chips satisfy the munchies and in addition, have fiber and are free of preservatives. Substituting this healthy snack for potato chips will help to lower cholesterol and blood pressure instead of raising the numbers.

Healthy fruit snacks
Healthy fruit snacks

Freeze dried mixed fruit

So Natural offers freeze-dried mixed fruit snacks. My favorite is a blend of banana, strawberry, and mulberry. I found these delicacies in Dollar Tree. A one bag serving has 80 calories, 1 gram of fiber,(4% RDA), 2% calcium and 4% of both potassium and Iron. Homegrown Organic Farms offers an array of freeze-dried fruits which can be ordered from Amazon. These include banana's, cherries, blueberries, apples, and grapes. These snacks are pricy but well worth the cost. They are low in calories, plus have no saturated fat, added sugar or salt. In addition to having a positive effect on blood pressure and cholesterol, the decrease in calories may also aid in weight loss.



Root vegetable chips

Recently I found a brand of root vegetable chips that are sol din large bags in Walmart and Kroger and in a smaller size in Dollar Tree. They are called Terra Chips and they are delicious. They are made from root vegetables, Sweet Potato, Parsnip, Batata, Taro, and Yuca. Food Lion also has its own brand of root chips and they taste pretty good.

Practice makes perfect

If like me, you grew up eating unhealthy, salty potato chips, switching to healthier products may not happen overnight. Begin substituting the fruit alternatives slowly until you find you no longer crave potato chips. I find now, that when I walk into convenience stores and see the shelves filled with Pringles, Lays, Wise, and other brands that I used to devour, just looking at the packaging turns me off. You may fall off the wagon, as I did for decades, but remember practice makes perfect. Eat your healthy substitutes when you watch a movie, read a good book or have a late night craving.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Cheryl E Preston

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