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Facts about potato chips: Reasons to think twice before snacking

Facts about potato chips: Reasons to think twice before snacking Potato chips (Photo: pixabay.com)
Author: Daria Shekina

Potato chips - one of the most popular savory snacks. Traditionally made from thinly sliced potatoes, but these days, it's easy to find alternative products that are less harmful.

Livestrong unveils whether chips are harmful, as claimed.

What you need to know about the benefits of chips

Despite their popularity, fatty potato chips are a high-calorie food with little nutritional value.

In general, consuming chips and similar fried and fatty products can lead to weight gain and negative health consequences.

Chips contain B vitamins, such as vitamins B5 and B6, as well as potassium. They also contain a small amount of fiber, protein, and other nutrients.

Are potato chips harmful?

Occasional consumption of potato chips is unlikely to negatively affect overall health, but regular consumption may result in an excessive intake of harmful ingredients and a lack of vitamins and minerals.

Knowing why chips are harmful to health may prompt you to choose a more nutritious snack next time when you have a rumble in your stomach.

Reasons for the danger of chips

They contain a lot of sodium

Chips are usually served salty or flavored, giving them a high sodium content. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), too much sodium can cause various health problems, such as high blood pressure and heart disease.

They are high in fat

Another major problem associated with chips is that they are typically fried in oil, making them very fatty. A standard serving of potato chips contains 12% of the recommended daily amount of fats, of which 5% are saturated fats.

Some fats, such as those found in fatty fish, are beneficial for health, but the fats in potato chips are not. The high fat content is one reason chips are considered empty calories: they satiate, but their fattiness provides energy. However, they lack significant nutritional value.

Chips are carcinogenic

During the preparation of chips, side products harmful to your health can form. In particular, there is one molecule called acrylamide, known to be a neurotoxin and carcinogen. Acrylamide can accumulate in the body and increase the likelihood of certain illnesses.

Acrylamide tends to form in starchy products when cooked at high temperatures, and there's a lot of it in fried potato chips.

Various methods have been developed as a compromise in preparing chips. You may find in your supermarket that potato chips are now baked or prepared in a different way.

However, this product generally contains some acrylamide because it forms at high temperatures in starchy products regardless of the cooking technique.

Chips lead to weight gain

The oil used to fry potato chips contains fats and calories that contribute to weight gain.

If you really crave chips - consume a small amount, and make the rest of your diet rich in nutrients from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein.

Read labels and look for potato chips made with oils beneficial to health, as indicated by low levels of saturated and trans fats.

Regular potato chips contain fewer artificial seasonings and dyes than flavored potato chips, such as barbecue, sour cream, and onion, which may cause health problems.

You can also try alternatives - for example, chips made from apples, carrots, and other vegetables and fruits.

Earlier, a doctor discussed whether mandarins are indeed beneficial for children.