While you may not love the solid earthy flavor of kale leaves, you can’t deny your love for kale chips. Who doesn’t love some crunchy and tasty kale chips? But are kale chips healthy?
Kale chips are incredibly healthy and make the perfect snack choice when looking to be healthier! This nutritious snack has fiber, vitamins, potassium, antioxidants, and protein- all of which can help lower cholesterol and fight cancer, among other health benefits.
But why exactly are kale chips so great? How are they different from other types of chips? And do you know the healthiest way to make them? Here’s everything you need to know about the delicious and nutritious snack that is kale chips.
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Are Kale Chips Healthy?
Kale chips have become increasingly popular as people learn about their potential healthy energy sources; some may wonder if kale chips are the healthiest snack option.
At the same time, there are numerous reasons to choose kale chips over other chips. But here are the top five reasons why kale chips can be considered the healthiest option out there!
Low in Calories
Kale chips are a great snack option for those looking to cut down on calories. One serving of store-bought kale chips is only about 110 calories (according to USDA), which means you can have a handful without feeling guilty! With such low-calorie content, it’s easy to fit some of these crispy snacks into your diet.
If you make the chips at home, the calorie count will be even less.
High in Potassium
Another reason to chomp on kale chips is that they shine nutritionally with potassium. For your reference, a serving of kale chips contains a whopping 447 milligrams of potassium, according to Healthy Eating. This amount of potassium is more than a medium-sized banana with 422.4 mg of potassium.
Potassium is an electrolyte that helps maintain fluid balance and blood pressure. In fact, most people don’t get enough potassium in their daily diet!
This is excellent news for all the chips lovers looking for the healthiest alternative to their favorite snack. Include kale chips in your diet blindfolded. Kale chips have zero cholesterol, which is fantastic news for those looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle. By avoiding snacks that are high in cholesterol, you can help keep your heart healthy and your arteries clear.
Loaded With Fiber
Kale chips are high in fiber, unlike other so-called healthy chips on the market. Eating a diet rich in fiber is one of the best ways to regulate blood sugar levels and stay full. The fiber content in kale chips will also help lower cholesterol by keeping it moving through your digestive system quickly. Even when the raw kale leaves are transformed into chips, all their nutrients, including fiber, are retained.
Rich in Vitamin K
Kale is nutritionally rich in vitamin K. Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting and regulating calcium and bone health. Just one ounce of kale chips provides over 100% of the recommended daily value of vitamin K. This makes kale chips an excellent snack option for those looking to improve their health.
If you are wondering if the frying or baking process of kale chips destroys the vitamin K content in it or not. No, vitamin K is a fat-soluble nutrient not affected by heating or freezing- as said by the director of the Vitamin K lab in HNRCA.
Nutritional Value of Kale Chips
If you are someone who counts calories and every other nutrient that goes inside their body, this chart for kale chips’ nutritional value might be helpful.
Chart for 1-ounce packaged kale chips nutrition
The chart above is created based on information from USDA. The nutritional values of store-bought chips may differ from brand to brand depending on what other types of ingredients they use in the process. Therefore, if you are health-conscious, it is essential to check the nutritional facts behind the packet.
However, by making kale chips at home, you can rip more benefits of this tremendous leafy green vegetable and cut down the calories to 50-60 per ounce. It is because, while you make it at home, you use a fresh bunch of kale, season them with seasonings that embrace your health, and use healthy oil while baking.
How to Make Your Own Kale Chips at Home?
Kale chips are easy to make, affordable, and, most importantly, healthy. Making kale chips at home is no hard work if you are determined to eat healthily.
All you need is:
- Fresh bunch of kale according to your requirement
- Olive oil
- Other seasonings if you require (such as chili flakes, pepper, cumin, etc.)
- Wash the kale leaves thoroughly until the water comes clean. Shake them, and dry them off with paper towels.
- Once they are thoroughly dried, separate the leaves from the stem, and they will turn into bite-size pieces. But before you sit doing this, preheat your oven to 275 degrees for 7-10 minutes.
- Once done separating, place the kale leaves on baking sheets. Make sure you leave enough space between them. If required, bake them in batches, but don’t overload them in one tray.
- At this point, sprinkle some salt or other seasonings and a tablespoon of olive oil onto the leaves. Oil-coat them evenly on the other side too.
- Now place them in the oven, and bake for 15-20 minutes or unless they turn crispy and brown.
- Remove from the oven once done, and cool them down before serving.
Ways to Add Kale Chips to Your Diet
Kale chips are a great way to get your daily dose of greens, and they’re also a healthy alternative to other snacks like potato chips or crackers.
Here are some ways you can include kale chips into your diet.
- As a pre-workout snack: Kale chips are a great energy source and will help you power through your workout.
- As a post-workout snack: Kale chips provide nutrients to help with muscle recovery and rebuilding, which can be especially important after long workouts or intense exercise sessions.
- For an on-the-go option: When running errands or commuting around town, having a bag of kale chips on hand is a healthy way to tie yourself over until you can find something more substantial. As they are rich in fiber, consuming kale chips will keep you full for a long time.
- Kale chips are low in cholesterol and carbs, so they’re perfect for people looking to lower their weight. Eat kale chips as a side dish with your main meal.
- A great alternative to unhealthy snacks like chips and cookies: If you feel like you need a snack but don’t want one that’s bad for your health, reach for some kale chips instead!
Who Should Avoid Eating Kale Chips?
So, if you are allergic to any kind of cruciferous vegetable, you are also that unlucky to be allergic to kale. Therefore, you should avoid kale chips and other kale-enriched foods too.
Some symptoms related to kale allergy are:
- Swelled tongue: If, after eating kale chips, you feel an uncomfortable swelling on the tongue and throat, it is possible for kale allergy.
- Digestive issues: Digestive distress like bloating, gastric, and nausea are common side effects of specific allergies, including kale.
- Skin rashes: You might get unexplained rashes and itchiness on the skin after eating kale chips or other kale foods.
If you are one of the kale allergic people, don’t get distressed. Instead, try adopting some other healthy food options that have similar nutritional properties to kale.
Let’s check out the frequently asked questions on kale chips.
Are kale chips good for weight loss?
Kale chips are perfect for weight loss and maintaining weight. They are rich in fiber which helps to keep your stomach filled up for a long time so that you can avoid eating now and then. Moreover, kale chips have a meager calorie count compared to conventional snacks.
Are kale chips keto-friendly?
Absolutely- kale chips are the most keto-friendly chips you can ever find. They are low in carbs and saturated fats and contain no cholesterol. So what could be a better snack option for a ketogenic?
Are kale chips still nutritious when baked?
Unlike potato and veggie chips, kale retains its vitamins and all other nutrients even when made into chips. You cannot get a better deal than kale chips regarding healthy snacks.
It’s not just for the namesake- but kale chips are beneficial. You cannot go wrong with binging on a bag full of kale chips daily. However, there should be limitations on consumption when it comes to store-bought things, including kale chips. Although there are nutrients, there can be other non-health-friendly ingredients too.
So better you bake some chips at home and fill your entire day of essential nutrients with a bowl of kale chips.