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If you’re trying to score points during the Super Bowl by serving healthful snacks, be warned: Some snacks that sound good for you might not be any better for you than potato chips. Our experts rated the taste and nutrition of four chips made from vegetables, give chips made from beans, five veggie snacks made mostly from potato flour, and four conventional potato chips.

Some snacks that sound good for you might not be any better for you than potato chips.

Some snacks that sound good for you might not be any better for you than potato chips.

How healthful?

Overall, the veggie and bean chips scored Good for nutrition (with up to 5 grams of fiber); the other types, Fair (2 grams or fewer).

The veggie chips also have far less sodium than the potato-based products. Trader Joe’s vegetable Root Chips, for example, have 35 milligrams of sodium per serving; Trader Joe’s Veggie Sticks have 300 milligrams- one-fifth of the daily sodium limit recommended for most adults by the American Heart Association.

 
Trader Joe’s vegetable Root Chips

Trader Joe’s vegetable Root Chips

But despite the parsnips, sweet potatoes, and taro pictured on packages of veggie chips – and boasts of a “full serving of vegetables in every ounce” in a couple of products – these aren’t crudités. They’re still fried and have plenty of fat and calories

Trader Joe’s Veggie Sticks

Trader Joe’s Veggie Sticks

How tasty? Terra Exotic and Trader Joe’s sliced-veggie chips are crunchy and slightly sweet and salty. Food should Taste Good’s chips are more cracker like, with slightly sweet and earthy flavors.

The best bean chips, Boulder Canyon Natural Foods Hummus and Trader Joe’s Falafel, are made from chickpeas. Boulder Canyon chips have corn and cumin flavors, and Trader Joe’s have Indian-style curry spices. The other bean chips could use a dip to perk them up or cover flaws.

Boulder Canyon chips

Boulder Canyon chips

The potato-based veggie snacks are alike: crunchy and salty, with mild dehydrated potato and vegetable flavors.

Of the potato chips, Lays are more tender than most. Cape Cod chips have lots of potato flavor and less salt than others but a bit of stale –oil flavor. Pringles have a distinct, dehydrated-potato flavor. Ruffles are thicker than the rest.

Bottom line.

If you‘re trying to limit sodium and you favor a bit of fiber, look among the very good veggie or bean chips. Don’t bother paying a premium for Danielle Spicy Carrot Chips (they cost $4.39 for a 2-ounce bag and often tasted rancid in our tests). Skip potato-based veggie snacks, which taste mediocre, cost more than potato chips, and offer no nutritional advantage.

Danielle Spicy Carrot Chips

Danielle Spicy Carrot Chips

What dip for chips?

Cedar’ Naturally Delicious Original and Cedar’s Simply Delicious Original humus tasted very good in our last tests. Two tablespoons have 60 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, and 115 milligrams of sodium. Salsas are more waistline-friendly, with about 10 calories, 0 grams of fat, and 120 milligrams of sodium.

Ratings, all tested products in order of taste

Product

Per 1-ounce serving

 

Cost

Calories

Fat (g)

Sodium (Mg)

Veggie Chips

 

 

 

 

Very good

 

 

 

 

Terra Exotic Vegetable Original

$0.51

150

9

50

Trader Joe’s Vegetable Root

0.40

160

10

35

Food Should Taste Good Original Sweet Potato

0.58

140

6

80

Fair                           

 

 

 

 

Danielle Spicy Carrot

2.20

130

7

95

Bean Veggie Chips

 

 

 

 

Very Good

 

 

 

 

Boulder Canyon Natural Foods Hummus

0.65

140

8

135

Trader Joe’s Falafel

0.44

140

7

85

Good

 

 

 

 

Beanitos Black Bean

0.55

140

7

55

Mediterranean Sancks Baked Lentil, Sea Salt

0.83

110

3

180

Eat your Vegetables Sea Salt

0.74

130

7

140

Potato/Veggie Snacks

 

 

 

 

Good

 

 

 

 

Sensible Portions Garden Veggie Straws

0.41

130

7

250

Eatsmart Naturals Garden Veggie Grisps

0.67

140

6

150

Trader Joe’s Veggie Sticks

0.33d

140

7

300

365 Everyday Value Veggie Chips (Whole Food)

0.33

130

7

250

Good Health Natural Foods Veggie Chips

0.47

140

7

250

Potato Chips

 

 

 

 

Very Good

 

 

 

 

Lay’s Classic

0.24

160

10

170

Cape Cod Kettle Cooked All Natural

0.29

140

8

150

Pringle Original

0.31

150

9

150

Ruffles Original

0.39

160

10

160

 

 

 

 

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