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Are Fritos Bad for You? Know The Facts!

Munching on corn chips may be your favorite leisure activity. As the glycemic index of corn is low and most of the fat used in the process is unsaturated, Fritos may seem like a healthy option for your evening snack. But you should always eat them in moderation. Why is this the case?

Are Fritos bad for you? Yes, unfortunately, they are considered bad for your health. As these corn chips are deep-fried and have high sodium content, it is easy to overdo your daily sodium intake when snacking on Fritos. In small amounts, Fritos may be an acceptable snack. But larger servings will provide more calories, fat, and sodium than are healthy.

We will talk about facts and examine figures to determine if Fritos are healthy or not. Let’s get started.

Table of Content

Are Fritos Unhealthy?

Like any food, Fritos are unhealthy if you consume a large amount regularly. The fat and sodium content is very high in Fritos. So, regular consumption can increase your risk of various cardiovascular diseases. See the following chart to find out the nutrition facts for different flavors of Fritos.

Type of Fritos Amount per serving (kcal)FiberSodiumFats SugarCarbVerdict
Original Fritos1601g170mg10g016gNot Healthy
Flamin’ Hot Fritos1601g170mg10g<1g16gNot Healthy
Lightly Salted Fritos1601g80mg10g016gNot Healthy
Chilli Cheese Fritos1601g210mg10g<1g16gNot Healthy
BBQ Fritos1501g290 mg10g1g16gNot Healthy
Chile and Lime Fritos1401g620mg8g016gNot Healthy
Fritos

Are Fritos Vegan?

No, Fritos are not vegan. Veganism refers to a diet style that excludes dairy and animal-related products. But Fritos use a lot of non-vegan ingredients like butter, cheese, buttermilk, whey, etc., to flavor their chips. Only the Original Fritos and Lightly Salted Fritos are completely vegan as they don’t include any non-vegan ingredients. Corn, salt, and corn oil are used to make these chips. So, vegans can eat these two flavors.

Are Fritos Gluten Free?

Gluten is a plant-based protein that comes from wheat as well as other grains. Since Fritos are made from corn and do not have any other sources of gluten, some flavors are indeed gluten-free. But the Fritos brand classifies some of its flavors as gluten-free and others as not containing gluten ingredients. 

Only the Original Fritos and Lightly Salted Fritos are completely gluten-free. But other flavors aren’t made in a gluten-free production line, so they can be contaminated with gluten-containing flavors, even though the products themselves do not contain any ingredients that contain gluten.

Related Article: Are Takis Bad For You? Health Impact of These Fiery Snacks!

Are Fritos Halal?

No, Fritos chips don’t have any halal certification. And some flavors, like the Flamin’ Hot, contain animal enzymes. So, they aren’t halal.

Are Fritos Low Fodmap?

Yes, the FODMAP content of Fritoss is low as long as the serving size doesn’t exceed 50g (about 1.5 ounces).

Are Fritos Dairy Free?

No, not all types of Fritos are dairy-free. Only the Original Fritos and Lightly Salted Fritos are dairy free. As we have already mentioned, some of the Fritos flavors contain dairy products like butter and cheese. So, some, but not all, flavors of Fritos are dairy-free. 

Are Fritos Acidic?

Yes, Fritos are acidic. Corn chips are acidic due to the processing involved in making them, which is similar to the process of making potato chips. More information can be found in our article on the health potential of russet potatoes. 

Are Fritos GMO-Free?

No, Fritos are made using GMO versions of corn. The corn used in the process is genetically modified to resist pests. So, these chips aren’t GMO-free.

Are Fritos Kosher?

Yes, Fritos are kosher as they are certified by two kosher certification agencies in the United States.

Is Fritos Low in Potassium?

Yes, Fritos are low in potassium. Various flavors of Fritos contain 40-60mg of potassium, which is about 1% of the recommended daily intake. 

Are Fritos Low Carb?

No, Fritos aren’t low-carb at all. Instead, they are very high in carbs. A single serving of Fritos contains approximately 16 grams of carbohydrates. So, the carb content is very high. Ingesting very large amounts of carbohydrates can cause indigestion, which is one of the reasons for bloating.

Are Fritos Low Fiber?

Yes, Fritos are low in fiber. As you can see in the above chart, all flavors of Fritos contain only 1g of fiber per serving. This is only a small portion of the fiber needed per day.

Are Fritos Low Glycemic?

The glycemic index of Fritos chips is 42, which is lower than potato chips. This means that eating corn chips (in moderation!) is relatively unlikely to increase your blood sugar level. But the glycemic index can change depending on how the chips are processed.

Are Fritos Easy to Digest?

Complex carbohydrates in processed foods like corn chips can be hard to digest. This is especially true for people who have irritable bowel syndrome. 

Are Fritos Inflammatory?

Fritos use corn oil, which has a high percentage of Omega-6 fatty acids and can be pro-inflammatory. In addition, the frying process involved in making these chips also makes them inflammatory.

Who Should Avoid Consuming Fritos?

Though Fritos are a delicious snack to munch on, people with certain health conditions should not eat Fritos. Check the following list.

  • Overweight – Fritos contain quite a bit of fat and are high in carbohydrates, both of which can cause you to gain weight.
  • High Blood Pressure – High sodium content in Fritos can increase blood pressure. Instead, you can pick this veggie to decrease your blood pressure.
  • High Cholesterol – As the percentage of saturated fat is high in Fritos, it can increase cholesterol levels if you consume too many chips.

Are Fritos Safe for People With Celiac?

Not all Fritos flavors are safe for people with celiac. Though they don’t contain any ingredients that contain gluten, some flavors are made in facilities that manufacture gluten-containing products. Those flavors of Fritos may come into contact with gluten during the manufacturing process, so those flavors are not safe for people with celiac. 

Are Fritos Safe for Weight Loss?

If you are on a diet to lose weight, it is not a good idea to eat Fritos. They contain a lot of fat and carbohydrates are fairly high in calories, so consuming Fritos can result in undesired weight gain.

Are Fritos Safe During Pregnancy?

Pregnant women do need to exercise caution regarding their food choices. Fritos are by no means a healthy food, so they should not be consumed in large amounts by pregnant women.

In addition, there are some reports that some chips may contain a carcinogen called acrylamide. So, please ask the physician who is monitoring your pregnancy if you have any particular questions about foods you should or shouldn’t eat during your pregnancy.

Are Fritos Safe During Menstrual Periods?

Fritos are not unsafe during menstrual periods. However, since they are a high-sodium food, some women may find that they increase their sensation of bloating around the time of their periods.

Are Fritos Safe for People with Heart Problems?

No, Fritos are not safe for people with heart problems. They are high in high fat and sodium content, both of which are a risk for people with cardiac problems.

Are Fritos Safe for People with IBS?

Some people with IBS may find that their symptoms are triggered by Fritos, while others may not. So, the answer to this depends on the particular person and how his or her body responds to different foods.

Are Fritos Safe for People with GERD?

Fried foods that contain high fat often trigger symptoms of acid reflux. So, Fritos are not an optimal food for people with GERD.

Are Fritos Safe for Constipation?

As the amount of fiber is low in Fritos, Fritos are more likely to make constipation worse rather than better. Although corn helps to prevent constipation, the highly processed corn found in Fritos does not have the same effect.

Are Fritos Keto Friendly?

No, Fritos contains a large amount of carbohydrates. So, Fritos are not keto-friendly.

Are Fritos Kidney Friendly?

The high salt content can be harmful to people with kidney problems. So, Fritos are not kidney-friendly.

Are Fritos Allergy Friendly?

Original Fritos or Lightly Salted Fritos are allergy friendly as they have only three ingredients. Other flavors can contain nut-related items that may not be allergy-friendly. However, corn is a fairly common allergen, so if a person is allergic to corn, they need to avoid eating Fritos.

Are Fritos Bad for You?

Healthier Alternatives to Fritos

Let’s check the nutritional facts of some healthier alternatives to Fritos.

Per ServingLay’s Oven Baked 65% Less FatBeanitos White or Black Bean ChipsOven Baked Ruffles Cheddar & Sour CreamTostitos Oven-Baked Scoops! Tortilla ChipsFritos
Carbohydrates22g14g22g22g16g
Fat3.5g7g3.5g3g10g
Calories120130120120160
Sodium160mg110mg250mg125mg170mg
VerdictThird  healthiestSecond healthiestFifth healthiestHealthiest of allFourth healthiest

Lay’s Oven Baked – 65% Less Fat

One serving of these chips contains more carbohydrates than Fritos but they have less fat, calories, and sodium. So, it is a healthier snack option than Fritos.

Beanitos White or Black Bean Chips

Beanitos wins second place among these five chips as they have less carbohydrate, fat, calories, and sodium per serving than Fritos. 

Oven Baked Ruffles Cheddar & Sour Cream

Though Ruffles chips have less fat and calories than Fritos, they have more carbohydrate and sodium content. The amount of sodium per serving is the highest among these five chips.

Tostitos Oven-Baked Scoops! Tortilla Chips

These have a higher carbohydrate content but less fat, calories, and sodium than Fritos. Of these five types of chips, they are the healthiest option. 

FAQs

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about Fritos.

Are Fritos Better Than Potato Chips?

Corn chips have fewer calories and less fat than many types of potato chips. However, Fritos are a high-fat version of corn chips, so they are not necessarily healthier than potato chips. Please compare the calorie, fat, and sodium content of your favorite type of potato chips to compare them to Fritos and learn which are healthier. Keep in mind, a serving of Fritos is only one ounce, and people often eat much more than one serving at a time. 

Can I Eat Fritos If I’m Allergic to Corn?

If you have a corn allergy, consuming corn oil or foods containing corn can cause reactions. So, you shouldn’t eat Fritos in such cases.

Are Fritos with Salsa Healthy?

Combining Fritos with Salsa can be a good idea as salsa contains potassium, lycopene, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin K, and folates.

Conclusion

Fritos are a tasty mid-day snack. However, since they contain so much salt, fat, and carbohydrate, you should always limit your consumption to a single serving. Fritos themselves aren’t necessarily “bad”, but it is very easy to overindulge on this tasty snack. The healthiest snacks are fresh fruits and vegetables. We recommend avoiding processed foods high in saturated fat as the healthiest options. If you’re dying for Fritos, try to choose a healthier flavor, and limit your intake to one serving.

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