As much as we relish tearing into a fresh bag of potato chips, we realize that it can’t be done every day. (Consider this: A single serving of plain Lays potato chips—about 15 chips—clocks in at approximately 160 calories, 10 grams fat, 16 grams carbs and 170 milligrams sodium. But we never eat just 15 chips.) But we need our crunchy-salty snack fix. So when we’re not munching on a handful of salt and vinegar spuds, we’re stocking our pantry with these seven healthy alternatives to chips. Oh, and don’t worry, they’re way more exciting than baby carrots.
7 Healthy Alternatives to Chips
1. Orville Redenbacher’s Naturals Simply Salted Popcorn
Nutrition per serving (4.5 cups popped): 170 calories, 11 grams fat, 18 grams carbs, 2 grams protein, 3 grams fiber, 440 milligrams sodium
Look, we know popcorn and chips aren’t really the same thing. But the former offers the same satisfying crisp-salty vibes, and it’s so much healthier. A whopping 4.5-cup serving of Orville Redenbacher’s Naturals Simply Salted Popcorn has just 170 calories. (Take that, 15 chips.) To make it even healthier, pop it with an air popper.
2. Off the Eaten Path Veggie Crisps
Nutrition per serving (1 package): 160 calories, 6 grams fat, 24 grams carbs, 4 grams protein, 4 grams fiber, 170 milligrams sodium
Made of rice flour, dried peas and dried black beans, these Off the Eaten Path Veggie Crisps are like an entire meal in a chip. They’re light, crisp and impressively flavorful (no Styrofoam chips here).
3. Terra Original Mixed Vegetable Chips
Nutrition per serving (1 ounce): 150 calories, 9 grams fat, 16 grams carbs, 1 gram protein, 3 grams fiber, 110 milligrams sodium
Terra Mixed Vegetable Chips have all the appealing texture of a regular potato chip, but more fiber and much less sodium. They’re lightly sweet, too, thanks to a blend of sweet potato, taro, yuca, parsnip and batata.
4. Dang Thai Rice Chips
Nutrition per serving (1 ounce): 150 calories, 7 grams fat, 21 grams carbs, 1 gram protein, 0 grams fiber, 150 milligrams sodium
According to the brand, Dang Thai Rice Chips contain 30 percent less fat than regular potato chips. They’re a little savory, a little sweet and made of all ingredients we can pronounce (sticky rice and coconut milk, yum).
5. NADI Happy Hearts Dried Granny Apple Chips
Nutrition per serving (1 ounce): 100 calories, 0 grams fat, 24 grams carbs, 0 grams protein, 4 grams fiber, 0 milligrams sodium
Some apple chips contain corn syrup and oil; not these. The NADI Happy Hearts Apple Chips are dried instead of fried and have no added sugar. They’re a little tart and not too sweet, just the way we like ’em.
6. Rhythm Organic Kale Chips
Nutrition per serving (1 ounce): 130 calories, 10 grams fat, 7 grams carbs, 5 grams protein, 3 grams fiber, 240 milligrams sodium
Rhytm Organic Kale Chips have 25 percent of your daily vitamin A and a whopping 110 percent of vitamin K, and they’re low carb to boot. Plus, the protein and fiber will keep you feeling full way longer than a tater. They taste like kale with a tahini-cider dressing—yum.
7. Baked Lays
Nutrition per serving (28 grams or 15 chips): 140 calories, 7 grams fat, 18 grams carbs, 2 grams protein, 2 grams fiber, 160 milligrams sodium
Look, sometimes you just want a potato chip. And while Baked Lays are neither an exact substitute for the real thing (they’re made from dehydrated potatoes) nor the healthiest option on this list, they’re still lower in fat than a regular chip…and they taste like a Pringle, in a good way.
How to Make Homemade Healthy “Chips”
At the end of the day, the most nutritious substitute for potato chips is a homemade veggie “chip.” Lucky for you, they’re super easy to make and can be customized as you please.
- Choose your veggie (or fruit). If you can roast it, you can most likely make it into a chip. Our favorite veggies to chip-ifiy include sweet potatoes, zucchini, kale and apples.
- Prepare the veggie. Wash the veggie of choice, then slice it into very thin rounds. A mandoline is the easiest tool for the job, but if you have a very sharp kitchen knife, that will work too. Toss them in a drizzle of olive oil and season with kosher salt.
- Heat the oven. Preheat the oven to 250°F and line a few baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the vegetable slices into a single layer on the baking sheets.
- Bake. Transfer the baking sheets to the oven and bake until the veggie chips are dry and crisp but not burnt. The time will depend on what vegetable you choose, but a good rule of thumb is to set a timer for 30 minutes and check on it regularly.
Plus, The 3 Least Healthy Chip and Snack Options
Some culprits are worse than others.
- Crunchy Flamin’ Hot Cheetos: 170 calories, 11 grams fat (1.5 grams saturated fat), 15 grams carbs, 1 gram protein, 1 gram fiber, 250 milligrams sodium (per 21 pieces)
- Lays Barbecue Flavored Chips: 150 calories, 19 grams fat (1.5 grams saturated fat), 16 grams carbs, 2 grams protein, 1 gram fiber, 150 milligrams sodium (per 15 chips)
- Kettle Brand Krinkle Cut Spicy Queso Potato Chips: 140 calories, 8 grams fat (0.5 grams saturated fat), 3 g carbs, 2 g protein, 2 grams fiber, 150 milligrams sodium (per nine chips)