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Tortilla Chips vs Potato Chips: Which Is Lesser Of Two Evils?

Posted by: on May, 26 2016

Found on eatclean.com and written by Caroline Praderio

In Clean Eating Dreamland, every snack spread you encounter is stocked with fresh crudité and organic mixed nuts. Here in reality, of course, the options aren’t so abundant. We’ve all sidled up to the party snack table that’s got nothing but jumbo bags of potato chips and corn chips—essentially, two different kinds of high-calorie, fat-soaked carb slabs. That rumble in your stomach isn’t going to take care of itself, though, so which do you choose? It’s time for a food face-off.chips

Potato chips get a bad start with 15 more calories per serving than tortilla chips.

Both chips have little to offer when it comes to protein and fiber—so that’s a draw.

But fats make things interesting: While tortilla chips have less saturated fat than potato chips, they also have almost 10 times the trans fat. Sure, a serving only has 0.2 grams of trans fat, but those little amounts add up quickly when the WHO daily recommended limit is only 2 g per day.

Next: Vitamins and minerals. Neither chip has much, but potato chips edge out tortillas with 8% of your daily value for calcium and 7% of your daily value for sodium. Tortilla chips do have a hair more calcium, however, with 3% of your daily value.

Finally, we examine the salt factor: Tortilla chips have a surprising 38% less sodium than their potato peers.

The Tally:
Tortilla Chips: 4 points
Potato Chips: 3 points

Winner: Tortilla Chips
Nutritionally, these snacks are almost the same. But when push comes to shove, go tortilla, says Toby Amidor, MS, RD, nutrition expert and author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen. Why? “They’re a good vehicle to dip into salsa and guacamole, and these dips deliver a variety of good-for-you nutrients,” she says. “Potato chips are usually eaten as-is, limiting the amount of nutrients you take in.”

But don’t pick blindly, says Gina Consalvo, RD, a Pennsylvania-based nutritionist. “Reading ingredients is a must,” she explains. “Try to avoid highly refined vegetable oil blends since they can be a sneaky source of trans fat. Then, choose a brand that is made of just corn or potato with expeller-pressed oil and sea salt. Nothing else.” And no matter what, both experts stress one thing: Portion. Control. And don’t forget: Some tortilla chips are so jumbo-sized that a serving is just six measly chips.