Health Editor
June 19, 2008

I'm on a search-and-devour mission to find the healthiest potato chip. I don't eat chips very often, but when I do, I want them to be dietitian-approved and delicious.

Some food and nutrition experts like to joke that Americans are, in essence, half corn (due to our love affair with high-fructose corn syrup and the corn-based diet we feed livestock). If this is true, then the other half of us must be potato (due to our obsession with French fries and potato chips). We crunch $6 billion worth of potato chips each year.

A 1-ounce serving of regular fried chips contains 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, and 2.5 grams of saturated fat. Switching to a skinnier version could make a significant dent in the nation's waistline. When faced with hundreds of choices in the grocery store aisle, keep these chip tips in mind.

  • "Lightly salted," "low salt," and "no added salt" are cues that sodium will be in check.

  • Flavored varieties often have the most sodium within the product line.

  • For your heart's sake, the options with the least amount of saturated fat and a modest amount of sodium are best.

  • For cholesterol-lowering benefits, new options are available with plant sterols, an ingredient that is proven to lower harmful LDL cholesterol by 15% or more.

  • Munch mindfully. An ounce doesn't go that far and even the healthiest chips can sabotage your diet.

The new chips I'm chomping weigh in at 110 to 140 calories with 2.5 to 6 grams of fat. What's more impressive is how low they are in heart-stopping saturated fat.

For example, Corazonas is the first company to add the cholesterol-lowering plant sterol to their chips. They are so darned tasty that you'd never suspect they contain anything that's heart-healthy, even though they are not as super-slim as other newbies on the market. Kettle Brand Bakes have impressively reduced the calorie and fat content, as have Lesser Evil and Pop Chips.

Let me know your favorite healthy potato chip and what you think about my picks below.












































Potato ChipTaste TextureCaloriesFatSaturated fatSalt (mg.)
Corazonas Heart Healthy* Potato Chips Mediterranean Garlic & HerbThick, hearty lengthwise slices of real potatoes in worldly flavors like Pacific Rim BBQ. Have added plant sterols to lower cholesterol. Yum. My favorite!14060.5105
Kettle Brand Bakes Lightly Salted Potato ChipsDelicate real potato slices kettle-baked to a crisp, in flavors like Hickory Honey BBQ. Best bet if you prefer thin chips.12030115
Lesser Evil Classic Sea Salt Krinkle SticksTechnically not a chip, these potato snacks get kudos for being low in calories. Made from dehydrated potatoes, not potato slices, these snacks look more like a French fry than potato chip. Great kid's alternative to chips or fries.1102.50310
Pop Chips All Natural Original Potato ChipsThese lightweight chips are made from potato flour (not potato slices) and popped using pressure and heat. A great tasting, satisfying crunch.1204.50290

*Contains 0.4 grams plant sterols per 1-ounce serving.

By: Julie Upton

(PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO)

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