Goodbye, Mr. Potato (Chip)

Kate Chynoweth
by Kate Chynoweth
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Goodbye, Mr. Potato (Chip)

We all know game day is more about the food and snacks than the game and halftime show. Instead of digging into a big bowl of high-fat, high-sodium, zero-fiber snacks you’ll regret in the morning, here are some new to-the-market chips that are decidedly less of a guilty pleasure.

These chip alternatives, made with root veggies, rice, beans and even greens, taste delicious and can be healthier. The question is: How do such options stack up in terms of taste and nutrition?

For some people, it’s not a chip unless it splinters with a loud crrrrrunch on the first bite and tastes salty enough to make a dip more flavorful. Both those qualities can be found in the rice chips made with organic grains by Lundberg Family Farms.

Nutrition: The rice-based snacks are 150 calories per ounce and taste similar to real potato chips. They only have minor health advantages in comparison, such as slightly less fat per ounce — 8 grams of fat instead of 10 — and nearly half the sodium per serving.

Runner up: If super crunchy is your thing, check out the ones made by the brand Jica Chips. Made from jicama, they boast 30% fewer calories than potato chips per ounce.

Instead of a traditional corn-based chip, there are some alternatives made primarily with beans — one of the most nutritious and sustainable protein sources on the planet. Beanfields is one such brand.

Nutrition: One ounce contains 5 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber, as opposed to regular corn chips, which contain just 2 grams of each.


For a healthy but delicious alternative that looks elegant, check out Terra root veggie chips. Made with a range of ingredients including cassava, pumpkin, sweet potato and beet, they have a pleasant, crisp-chewy texture and satisfying flavor with a hint of sweetness. One of the healthiest choices the brand makes is its taro chips, made from the white root vegetable with distinctive purple lines.

Nutrition: Taro chips have double the fiber of regular salted potato chips — 4 grams instead of 2 — and only 6 grams of fat instead of 10 grams per ounce.

Tortilla chips and potato chips don’t skimp on salt, and usually deliver a hefty dose between 160–200mg of sodium per ounce. That’s partly why they taste so good. As anyone who has tasted unsalted chips and imagined they were eating cardboard knows, losing salt can mean losing flavor. That’s not the case with Harvest Snaps, however, which are made from baked and lightly salted snap peas.

Nutrition: An ounce has only 75mg of sodium. If you’re a dip lover, try them with tzatziki. A serving of crisps has 5 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber.

Roasted seaweed snacks can satisfy that urge for a salty snack — and they have a tiny fraction of the carbs and calories of the other “alternative chips” on this list. If you prefer your seaweed flavor with a heartier crunch, and don’t mind an uptick in carbs, check out Annie Chun’s Seaweed Crisps. These combine seaweed with a brown rice chip, preserving that plantlike umami flavor but adding some heft and crispiness.

Nutrition: Five grams of seaweed snacks (about 18 small sheets) contain only 30 calories and 1 gram of carbs.

About the Author

Kate Chynoweth
Kate Chynoweth

Kate’s writing about food and lifestyle has appeared in The Huffington Post, Live Happy, Real Simple and Sunset. She’s also the author of “Lemons,” “The Bridesmaid Guide” and other books. She lives in Berkeley, California, where she enjoys lowbrow pop culture and top-shelf booze.