Are Kettle Chips Healthy? Everything That You Need to Know

Have you ever come across those popular chips manufacturers claiming they produce ‘healthy kettle chips’?

Well, that might play with your psychology by making you think these thin crisps are healthy. But are kettle chips healthy? You should know more about it before believing in false advertising claims. 

Kettle chips are not as healthy as they said in the packages. It has the same amount of calories, carbs, and saturated fats as regular potato chips on the market. Kettle chips are fried in oil in batches compared to regular chips that are fried through a continuous process using a conveyor.

Read below to know more about the nutritional value of kettle chips and how much you should consume to remain in the safe zone. 

Are Kettle Chips Healthy or Not?

Kettle chips are a great complementary side snack with your sandwich or a favorite dip. But the question remains whether taste meets health. Are baked chips healthy or just a myth?

Before you decide whether kettle chips are healthy, you need to know how these are made. 

are-kettle-chips-healthy

How Are Kettle Chips Cooked?

These thin crisps are made from potatoes and salt (and occasionally other seasonings). You will find them deep fried in oil for a longer time. As they are cooked in containers in separate batches, so the name kettle cooked came.

Kettle Cooked vs Regular Chips

If you compare kettle cooked vs regular chips, there are a few differences. The only difference is kettle chips are fiend in batches while regular chips go through a conveyer process.

Why Are Kettle Chips Crunchier?

Kettle chips are made in batches and are oil fried for a longer time than regular bagged chips, making them crispier and giving irregular shapes and uneven color.

Are Kettle Chips Fried or Baked?

A batch of kettle chips is dunked in medium-hot oil, taken out, and a new batch of raw potato slices is dipped in oil. Until the new batch is dunked in, the chips take longer to cook.

So, does this make kettle chips healthy in any form?

No. In fact, they are still full of calories from fat, saturated fats, and cholesterol from deep frying. Due to salt seasoning, they are very high in sodium and contain no dietary benefit.

Also, the type of oil and the choice of seasoning can affect your kettle chips’ health.

Nutritional Value of Kettle Chips

Here is an overview of kettle chips nutrition facts and some ideas on how to incorporate them into your diet while making them an ideal snack choice when you want something crunchy and salty to relish.

The nutrition content in all brands of kettle chips is almost the same (it may differ slightly, deepening on the flavor). Let’s look at the average nutrition value of the crisps for a serving of 1 serving or 10 ounces of kettle chips:

Calories 540
Daily Value of calories48% on the daily value of average 2000 calories
Carbs 56 grams (50 grams net carbs)
Fat 33 grams
Protein 6 grams
Sodium 0.14g (6%)
Fiber 14 gram (3%)
Transfat 1 gram

So how much should you consume kettle chips and yet ensure that you are not consuming too much of it?

Well, there is no rule of thumb to consume a certain amount of kettle chips. They are OK to eat in moderation. And that moderation depends on your:

  • Age
  • Current health condition (whether you suffer from high blood pressure, heart disease, etc.)
  • Weight

Usually, the nutritional value, especially kettle cooked chips calories are provided at the back of the packet is for one cup/ serving of chips.

But the values are for a single serving. The actual amount of chips can be two or three times more inside. It can be deceiving, so multiply the value with each added serving to get the exact measurement of the entire packet.

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For instance, one serving (148 grams) of kettle chips serves almost 6-7% of your daily sodium intake. Whereas a bag of kettle chips containing 2/ 3 servings of chips contains thrice the sodium value. It can be an overconsumption of sodium in one sitting while you are binging on a bag of chips.

Once in a while is fine, but a daily habit can take a toll on your health, which we will look at below.

Health Risks of Consuming Kettle Chips

Kettle cooked chips may be delicious, but consuming them daily can pose serious health risks.

  • Consuming too many salty snacks daily could also raise the risk for stroke or heart disease in the long run. This could be for people of any age; it doesn’t matter, even if you are young or not.

The risk of these diseases increases with the amount of salt you consume combined with a sedentary lifestyle. If you eat only one-half cup of kettle chips per day, that is equal to an entire day’s worth of sodium intake, or even more.

Moreover, it is deep fried in oil. You never know what oil the manufacturers use for frying these chips. They could use refined oil or vegetable oil, which further contributes to the ‘unhealthy’ reputation of kettle chips.

One good thing about kettle cooked process chips is that these crisps have low trans fat – less than 1 gram per serving (10 ounces). But that doesn’t justify that it’s healthy because other ‘unhealthy’ things overpower it.

Who Should Avoid Consuming Kettle Chips?

As I mentioned, eating kettle chips in moderation is fine. Still, some people should totally avoid snacking on it. Or maybe, try once in a blue moon.

So, avoid kettle chips:

  • If you are trying to lose weight, on a diet, or trying to maintain weight. They don’t have anything good to offer for your health.
  • If you are obese because the high fats and calorie content in a bag of chips can be detrimental to your health, in one way, these are ‘slow poison. Moreover, you can get addicted to these chips because obese people find it mentally calming when eating junk.
  • Due to the high sodium presence in kettle chips, they must be avoided by people with coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, or who have suffered from stroke or heart attack.

How Can You Make Healthy Kettle Chips at Home?

Kettle chips are potato chips fried in oil and packed with lots of salt, which is not so healthy. However, there are a few ways that you can make healthier kettle chips at home.

  • One way is to cut potatoes into thin slices with a mandolin or vegetable slicer and fry them in ‘healthier’ oils like olive oil or coconut oil. If you want to avoid oil completely, you could also bake the slices instead of frying them, although it won’t be called kettle chips completely! After frying/ baking, sprinkle some sea salt on top for flavor.
  • Another option is to use your favorite vegetables, such as zucchini or carrots. Peel off the skin before cutting it into thin slices. These veggies will be more nutritious compared to potatoes.
making-kettle-chips-at-home

Finally, if you want to add some spices or seasoning to your chips, try adding chili powder, garlic powder, or cumin while frying.

The best part about making these chips at home is you can control the amount of salt used and the quality of oil you fry in. That way, you will not put yourself at risk for any life-threatening diseases associated with excess salt or oil consumption.

FAQs

Let’s figure out some important frequently asked questions.

Are Kettle Chips Gluten-Free?

The raw material of kettle chips, potato, is absolutely gluten-free. It means kettle chips are gluten-free too. Gluten is one kind of protein that is only found in grains like wheat, barley, rye, etc. So, potatoes don’t fall under this category. Rather it is a starchy veggie.

Are Kettle Chips Vegan?

The short answer to this question is- yes, kettle chips are completely vegan. Kettle chips are made from potato, a starchy vegan-friendly vegetable in many vegan diets. Moreover, these chips are mostly fried in vegetable oil extracted from plants and not animals.

Are Kettle Chips Baked?

Kettle chips cannot be baked, as they have a special deep frying process in oil. They are fried in batches in medium hot oil for slightly longer than regular potato chips. This way, the chips get their color, crunch, and savory oily taste.

Are Kettle Chips Good for Weight Loss?

Kettle chips are a type of potato chip that is deep fried in oil which is high in calories and saturated fat. Can it be healthy in any way? Of course not. In fact, if you are trying to lose weight, you should avoid consuming kettle chips. If you are craving chips, there are many healthier options like homemade kale chips or baked sweet potato chips.

Final Thought

Indeed, kettle chips are scrumptious snacks when you want to munch on something crunchy and salty. But, as the wise men say- tasty things are not healthy. There are many health risks associated in the long run with consuming these packaged, oil-fried, and salty chips. Therefore, you should control your consumption and prevent yourself from binge eating.

Dr. Rimita Farid

Dr. Rimita Farid

Hi this is Dr. Rimita Farid. I have completed my MBBS from MAHSA University in Kuala Lampur , Malaysia and currently a registered doctor in Bangladesh. I am training in Dermatology and Venerology and writing for me has been a hobby, even before i decided to be a doctor. I believe our lives are getting stressful with every moment and i believe writing is the solution to all our problems. The power of pen and paper is highly underestimated by many, and i am blessed that i realized how stimulating writing can be for my well being. Hope my articles are relatable and can reach as many readers as possible.

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