Potato chips are one of the world’s most favorite snacks. Not a single football match or TV marathon can be complete without a bag of chips in hand. Why we love them? Because they’re crunchy and tasty, thanks to their perfect combination of fats, carbohydrates, salt, and spices.
According to the research, this exact combination is proven to stimulate our pleasure centers in the brain – that’s why we can’t stop eating them, even when stuffed. Also, there’s this sense of “lightness” of the snack – one crisp’s weight is less than 2g! It is not surprising, that we can’t feel the real power behind this modest weight, which tricks our brain. This is the exact combination of reasons, why we frequently suffer from chips binge-eating.
Are potato chips really suitable to be included in your daily intake amount? Let’s see what they can offer in terms of energy and nutrients.
Potato chips: some figures
100g of classic potato chips can give us 571,4 kcal of energy or 28,5% of Total Daily Intake, based on 2,000 kcal diet. Imagine, that you can find such amount of energy in one average breakfast you eat every day!
Also, we can see a quite high quantity of fat – almost 41% of the recommended daily amount. Add a low quantity of fibers and protein, and you will get a sense of an empty stomach after half an hour, which will make you crave more.
Despite the heavy fat and carb load, chips still can offer some benefits, such as calcium, iron, and potassium, all contained in a 100 g. But these benefits can’t objectively outweigh all the potential risks, connected with uncontrolled consumption of this snack.
Food swap: comparison
Let’s pick some food, which could give us the same amount of energy. Previously, we noticed, that we can compare the amount of energy from 100g of potato chips with one complete meal intake, like breakfast.
What can we fit within a limit of 571 kcal? Here’s what we got:
- 1 mug (8 fl. Oz) coffee with 0.7 fl. Oz (20 ml) skim milk;
- Whole Grain bread 2 slices;
- 1 large poached egg;
- 1 Oz (30g) avocado;
- 3.5 Oz (100g) Plain non-fat Greek yogurt;
- 1 tbsp peanut butter;
- 1 tbsp strawberry jelly.
That’s what can be called “impressive”! For the 550 kcal of pure energy, you’ve got a complete breakfast, which will satiate you for at least 4 hours, thanks to the fibers and a lot of protein in it. Protein is the best option if you want to make your metabolism “work at full-throttle” because this macronutrient has the best score in terms of the Thermic Effect of Food. In other words, it requires to spend more energy during the digestion process, because it is harder to turn it into amino-acids and energy. Proteins increase metabolic rate by up to 30% in comparison with about 10% for carbs and about 3% for fats.
How to deal with potato chips
Remember, that there is no good or bad food. It is always a question of portion size. If you consider yourself a potato chips lover, but they tend to destroy your plans to lose some weight to the swimsuit season, use these tips to control your appetite.
How to deal with potato chips: top-3 advice
- Eat a portion size, which is specified on the package by a producer. Use a small kitchen scale for measurements.
- If you know you can’t stop on “5 crisps”, remove your favorite chips from the menu for a while. If you don’t have it right at hand, the chance you will overeat them gets much lower.
- Try to cook home-made chips, baked in an oven. They contain less fat, salt, and spices, and you can control the amount of these ingredients on your own.
*All percent of daily value are taken in the high end of USDA recommended.
- Hoch T, Pischetsrieder M, Hess A. Snack food intake in ad libitum fed rats is triggered by the combination of fat and carbohydrates. Front Psychol. 2014;5:250. Published 2014 Mar 31. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00250