Potato Chips Are Harmful but Not for the Reason You Think!

Updated on May 18th, 2020
potato chips

Potato chips are among the most renowned salted snacks in the United States and have historically been prepared out of thinly fried potatoes. These days, it’s simple to find alternative products like corn chips, sweet potato chips, or beetroot chips instead. Chips can be prepared in a variety of ways, from baked to fried. The cooking method plays a significant role in whether or not chips are risky for your health.

Potato Chip Nutrition

Chips are one of the most renowned snacks globally. Despite their reputation, chips are dense energy food with little nutritional value. Generally, eating chips and similar fried, fatty foods can lead to an unhealthy diet, resulting in weight gain and adverse effects on your health.

A regular serving of potato chips measures about an ounce and has around 153 calories. Chips are high in potassium as well as B-complex vitamins like vitamins B-6 and B-5. They also have small amounts of protein, fiber, and other nutrients.

Chips are generally served flavored or salted, giving them a high sodium content. Too much sodium can cause multiple health problems, like heart disease and increased blood pressure. The sodium in a little pack of potato chips may not seem high, but it’s essential to watch the salt in your diet. According to the AHA (American Heart Association), nine out of ten Americans consume excessive sodium.

Are Chips Fattening

The other main worry about chips is that they’re generally fried in oil, making them rich in fat. A usual serving of potato chips has sixteen percent of your daily suggested amount of fat, and fifteen percent of this comes from saturated fat. Some fats, like those found in fatty fish, are healthy, but the fats in potato chips are not.

The high-fat content is part of the reason that chips are considered to be empty calories; they fill you up, and their fat quantity gives you energy. However, they don’t really have much nutritional value.

Are Potato Chips Bad for You

A lot of the adverse effects of potato chips come from how they are cooked. The typical chip is fried until it is slightly golden brown. Achieving this method requires extreme heat.

Chips are generally washed, blanched, and deep-fat fried until entirely crunchy. While fat certainly can make foods yummy, it’s long been noticed that foods that are high in fat are typically not right for you. Beyond this, frying foods using extreme heat can impact their nutrient quality. This is precisely what happens to chips. The technique of blanching, washing, and frying causes the potatoes to lose most of their healthy nutrients like antioxidants.

The cooking method used to make chips can also create by-products that are harmful to your health. There is one molecule, in specific, called acrylamide, which is notorious for being a neurotoxin and leads to cancer. Acrylamide can pile up in the body and increase your chances of some disorders.

Acrylamide tends to crop up in starchy foods when they are heated at extreme temperatures. Potato, a vegetable reputed for its starchiness, is believed to have a very high acrylamide concentration when prepared into potato chips. The bulk of acrylamide in your diet likely comes from some sort of fried potato product, like chips or French fries.

[ Read: Debunking The Risks of Eating Raw Potatoes ]

Why Are Potato Chips Bad for You

The drawbacks of deep-fried foods have long been known, but no one really wants to stop enjoying chips. As a compromise, different techniques of making chips have been developed. You may find that your grocery market now offers potato chips that are baked, vacuum fried, or kettle-cooked. Vacuum-fried food products may not use any oil so that this technique may minimize the fat quantity of chips; microwaved chips are starting to become popular and may even be sold as fortified foods shortly.

You must be aware that most potato chips are likely to have some amount of acrylamide, though, as it forms at extreme temperatures in starchy foods regardless of cooking method. If you’re hell-bent on consuming chips but want to avoid acrylamide, you can always go for vegetable crisps of a different kind. Always look for low-fat, low-salt versions, which are less likely to contain the same kind of by-products and may retain more minerals and vitamins.

What Happens When We Eat Potato Chips?

A diet rich in trans-fats leads to heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, obesitycancer,  and diabetes — but if you think that the danger only comes later in life, you are wrong. People who consumed extreme levels of trans-fat were found to have weight issues, infertility (for women), liver failure,  and greater risks of depression.

That’s definitely not a rosy picture. You may feel that snacks like potato chips are affordable, easy-to-get, and enjoyable. But when snacks come at the cost of an active, balanced,  and vibrant lifestyle, suddenly that pack of chips isn’t worth it at all.

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