Consumer Report: Are Popped Chips Healthier?

A trip down the snack aisle can be predictable: You see chips, pretzels, and popcorn. But there’s another snack that has become quite trendy, thanks to Hollywood and some music superstars. It’s popped chips, and the testers at Consumer Reports wanted to know what all the fanfare was about.

After “crunching” nutritional data for 12 different popped chips, Consumer Reports found that it’s a “mixed bag.” Most are less than 130 calories and 4 grams of fat per serving.

But that’s actually more than some healthier crunchy snacks, such as Lay’s Baked! Original potato chips, which have about the same number of calories but half the fat. It’s also more than Quaker Salt Free Rice Cakes, which have no fat and only 35 calories each.

But the skinny on fat is all relative. Popped chips have less than half the fat of several other snacks testers looked at, including Cheese Puffs, Doritos, Regular Lay’s Potato Chips, and even Wise Butter Air-popped Popcorn.

Consumer Reports says try the hummus popped snacks; at 3 grams per serving, you’ll also get a bit more fiber than most others.

Consumer Reports says that as far as taste goes, it’s mostly about the seasonings used, but they all deliver a satisfying crunch. Also remember—as with most chips— the amount of sodium can be high, so be sure to read the label before you dig in, particularly if controlling your sodium intake is a concern.


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