Potato chips are hands-down America’s favorite snack, according to the Snack Food Association—consumers spend more than $6 billion on them annually. But Americans also desire a more wholesome diet, and snack food suppliers are rising to meet that demand with superfood chip alternatives made from beans, rice, or vegetables such as kale, beets and sweet potatoes. Many of these better-for-you chip varieties are baked or popped (instead of fried) and have ditched the potato altogether for ingredients that deliver more fiber, protein and healthy fats, tempting your taste buds and satisfying your desire to eat well. Here are our favorite ways to get a salty snack fix—without the guilt:
Chips made from whole beans pack hearty doses of fiber and protein into each serving. Many bean-chip brands use non-GMO foods, heart-smart oils and no artificial ingredients—as well as less sodium than most snack chips.
Editors’ Pick: Looking for a little spice? Try Beanitos Chipotle BBQ Black Bean Chips. A 1-ounce serving gives you 20 percent of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of fiber.
SWEET POTATO CHIPS
If a potato chip is what you crave, choosing sweet potato over regular is a good idea. Sweet potatoes are chockfull of disease-fighting benefits and antioxidants such as beta carotene and vitamin A. Sweet potatoes are also higher in fiber than regular potatoes and lower on the glycemic index, helping you maintain a healthier weight.
Editors’ Pick: For pure, natural sweetness and 90 percent of the RDI of vitamin A, opt for Food Should Taste Good Original Sweet Potato Chips.
All hail kale! Touted as one of the planet’s most beneficial superfoods, this nutritional powerhouse is rich in antioxidants, carotenoids and phytonutrients known to protect against eye diseases. Kale is also one of the richest sources of vitamin K, essential for strong, healthy bones.
Editors’ Pick: Rhythm Superfoods Zesty Nacho Kale Chips are a savory favorite. These spicy, cheesy nibbles are air-crisped and full of flavor, with a whopping 6 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per serving.
Whole-grain rice, rice flour, and a blend of seeds and spices combine to make the increasingly popular gluten-free, cholesterol-free rice chips. Rice chips contain fiber and other naturally occurring nutrients such as manganese for energy production and selenium for immune system support. This guilt-free snack will leave you feeling satisfied until mealtime.
Editors’ Pick: Lundberg Sesame Seaweed Rice Chips proudly display the Whole Grain Stamp, a tool that helps you meet your whole-grain quota for the day and lower your risk for heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
BLUE CORN TORTILLA CHIPS
The next time you whip up a homemade guacamole, grab a bag of blue corn tortilla chips to go with it. Chips made from blue corn provide anthocyanins, the same kind of antioxidants present in blueberries—they’re known to protect against some types of cancers and keep vision sharp.
Editor’s Pick: Garden of Eatin’ Baked Blue Tortilla Chips are made with organic blue corn and organic flaxseed. This crispy snack is low in sodium and delivers 300 mg of heart-healthy omega-3s.