What’s your go-to snack food? Pizza? Dark chocolate? Potato chips? It’s hard to not want it when you know it’s bad and off-limits from your diet. Completely depriving yourself of the good things in life is just mean. Is it possible to eat healthy and still enjoy your favorite sweet and salty snacks? Absolutely. Sometimes, knowing which snacks are healthiest can help you cut back on salt and sugar without quitting altogether.
If chips are the one snack food you can’t live without, you’re in luck. Not all chips are manufactured equally. Many are baked, or fried in slightly healthier oils. Some aren’t even technically made from potatoes. Here are the healthiest ones you’ll find (and love).
1. Lay’s Oven Baked Original Potato Chips
Lay’s Oven Baked Original potato chips are among the healthiest potato chips Frito-Lay has to offer. They’re baked instead of fried, cutting their total fat content from 10 grams (Lay’s Classic chips) to 3.5 grams (baked version). Without any added flavors, these chips also only have 160 milligrams of sodium per 17-chip serving. Lay’s Classic chips, by contrast, have 170 milligrams per 15 chips. Keep in mind that even original baked chips have 22 grams of carbs per serving, so eating the whole bag in one sitting is still a terrible idea. Don’t do it. A handful is plenty.
Next: Baked chips are even better when there’s no vegetable oil involved.
2. Kettle Brand Olive Oil Baked Potato Chips
Some brands go one step further when baking their chips — they season them with olive oil. You can enjoy approximately 20 Kettle Brand Olive Oil Baked Potato Chips for just 120 calories. In the process, you’ll also get only 135 milligrams of sodium, and 3 grams of total fat. Of the 21 grams of carbs in each serving of chips, none come from sugar. Kettle Brand’s regular Sea Salt Potato Chips, which are fried, contain 150 calories, and 9 grams of fat per serving. Olive oil chips aren’t perfect, but they definitely have the crunch and taste you’re looking for without the excess calories and fat.
Next: These multigrain chips are actually made with real whole grains.
3. SunChips Original Multigrain Snacks
You sometimes have to be careful when food labels use words like “multigrain.” In this case — though certainly not in all cases — SunChips actually makes these corn-based chips with 100% whole grains. Their Original Multigrain Snacks are fairly healthy at 140 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 110 milligrams of sodium per 16 chips. The biggest difference between the original and more fun flavors is the amount of salt. The original chips are the healthiest of the bunch. Look carefully if this brand’s Veggie Harvest chips catch your eye — they’re actually less healthy than the multigrain variety.
Next: Have you ever eaten a chip made from a sweet potato? You should.
4. Popchips Sweet Potato
Popchips don’t fry their potatoes — and they don’t make them with anything artificial, either. These chips are crunchy, salty, and about as healthy as a potato chip can get. Their sweet potato chips are a mix of sweet potatoes, rice flour, sunflower oil, and seasonings like sea salt, sweet potato flour, and a small amount of sugar. They’re just 120 calories per serving (22 chips). There are also only 4 total grams of fat and 100 milligrams of sodium per ounce. There are plenty of Popchips flavors to choose from, but this is the healthiest on the list.
Next: Scoopable chips are literally better for your health.
5. Tostitos Oven Baked Scoops!
There’s nothing better than a chip shaped for optimal dipping. Tostitos Oven Baked Scoops! are just as exciting as their name implies — and they’re healthy, too. Sixteen chips only cost you 120 total calories and 3 grams of fat. Their sodium content is a little high — 140 milligrams — but you could choose a far less healthy chip. There are minimal ingredients — just corn, vegetable oil, and salt — meaning there’s nothing all too terrible hiding in there. Pair these chips with a homemade salsa or guacamole dip to keep things healthy.
Next: Are reduced-fat chips healthier than full-fat chips?
6. Wise Kettle Cooked Original (Reduced-Fat) Potato Chips
Wise, like many other snack brands, does their best to season their chips with the healthiest ingredients possible. Their Kettle Cooked Original chips have just three ingredients — potatoes, vegetable oil, and salt. No added flavorings or preservatives, especially since it’s the plain variety. Still, 19 chips give out 130 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 110 milligrams of sodium. The vegetable oil is what raises the fat content so high, but the extremely low salt content — at least for chips — almost makes up for that. Surprisingly, buying the reduced-fat version doesn’t add on any extra ingredients or unwanted nutrients.
Next: Is there such thing as a blue potato?
7. Terra Chips Blues
Never judge a food by its color — unless that color is artificial. Not all colorful chips are manufactured to look that way — especially those made with blue potatoes. Native to South America, they’re healthy, flavorful, and full of antioxidants — making them the perfect base for a potato chip. Terra Chips Blues don’t just look good, they’re good for you, too. A 1-ounce serving yields just 130 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 115 milligrams of sodium. Once again, these chips are even healthier than the vegetable-based snacks Terra has to offer.
Next: They technically aren’t made from potatoes, but these chips are still worth snacking on.
8. Saffron Road Cucumber Oil Baked Lentil Chips
Saffron Road sets out to create meals and snacks made with healthy ingredients. Their Cucumber Oil Baked Lentil Chips are exactly what they sound like — chips made from beans instead of corn or wheat flour, baked, and seasoned with a number of ingredients (including cucumber powder). These chips are just 120 calories per serving, with only 3 total grams of fat. They have 180 milligrams of sodium per ounce, which is a little high compared to the rest of the chips on this list. However, unlike most other chips, you’ll get 4 grams of protein when you eat these. There are certainly perks to making chips out of beans instead of potatoes.
Next: You might be able to get more protein by eating more chips. Sort of.
9. Beanitos White Bean Skinny Dippers
Like Saffron Road, Beanitos makes chips out of beans — except that’s all they do. Their white bean chips are packed with protein at 4 grams per ounce. They’ll also only give you 120 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 150 milligrams of sodium per serving. These chips are also much lower in carbs than most other chips at just 16 grams — and 4 of those come from fiber alone. If you’re following a gluten-free diet, or don’t want to put GMOs anywhere near your mouth, Beanitos might be the perfect snack brand for you.
Next: There’s a company that makes chips out of quinoa, and they’re in it for your benefit.
10. Simply 7 Quinoa Chips
Not sure how you feel about chips made from beans? How about chips made out of quinoa? Simply 7’s Quinoa Chips are made with quinoa flour, which is an excellent grain alternative for anyone who’s interested. These chips offer 140 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 240 milligrams of sodium per serving. That’s a lot of sodium, but we’re just assuming you’re not going to eat the whole bag in one go here (try not to). If quinoa chips don’t do it for you, they also make hummus, kale, and organic veggie varieties. Just be careful which flavors you choose. Though it’s not as fun, plain/original is almost always the safest option.
Next: Chips fried in olive oil are a little bit healthier, it turns out.
11. Good Health Avocado Oil Potato Chips
One of the simplest ways to boost potato chips nutrition is to fry them in a healthy oil. That’s what Good Health does with their avocado oil-based chips. The Sea Salt flavor contains only 140 calories, 7 grams of fat (though only 1 gram of saturated fat), and just 45 milligrams of sodium per ounce — the lowest amount of salt per serving on this list. Like olive oil, avocado oil is a slightly healthier alternative to vegetable oil — and it’s only one of three ingredients in these chips. You can buy and consume a single-serving bag knowing you’ve made the right choice.
Next: You never have to say no to your favorite type of chip ever again.
12. Ruffles Oven Baked Original
Everyone knows chips with ridges are better for dipping. As long as you pick the right dip, you’re good to go. Ruffles original baked chips are healthier than their fried friends — and the other flavors in their group. Twelve chips only yields 120 calories, 3 grams of fat, and 135 milligrams of sodium. Ruffles original fried chips have 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 160 milligrams of sodium per ounce. You can still eat your favorite type of chip without overloading your system with too much fat and salt. Oven-baked chips win again.
Next: You’ve heard of blue potatoes. Now meet another food you didn’t know grew blue.
13. Garden of Eatin’ Blue Corn Tortilla Chips
Today you learned blue potatoes exist. Surprise! Blue corn is also a thing, and it’s what Garden of Eatin’ uses to make their Blue Corn Tortilla Chips. These chips are 140 calories per ounce. Though they have 7 grams of fat, only a very small amount of that fat is saturated (0.5 grams). You’ll also only take in 60 milligrams of sodium per serving, which is basically unheard of in the chip world. Chips and salsa doesn’t get much better than this.
Next: There’s one type of Pringles that’s not as terrible as the rest.
14. Pringles Reduced Fat Original
You probably didn’t expect to find a Pringles product on a list of not-so-terrible-for-you snacks. To prove to you not all Pringles are out to stress your heart out, let’s compare the reduced-fat version to the original. Reduced-fat Pringles offer 140 calories, 7 total grams of fat (only 2 grams saturated), and 135 milligrams of sodium per 17 chips. The original, full-fat version offers 150 calories, 9 grams of fat (2.5 saturated), and 150 milligrams of sodium per 16-chip serving. They’re not much better — but at least they’re trying their best to make the most addicting chips in the world a little less awful.
Next: Sometimes the health of a chip all depends on the seasoning.
15. Good Health Kettle Style Olive Oil Potato Chips
Kettle chips made with olive oil are usually as healthy as it gets. Good Health’s Olive Oil Rosemary chips are no exception. At just 140 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 45 milligrams of sodium per serving, they’re high in good fat, low in carbs — and they taste like rosemary. Chips seasoned with herbs and spices are naturally lower in sodium, which makes these chips the perfect snack when you’re craving something crunchy.