Potato chips are one of America’s favorite snacks! They’re served at just about every party, gathering, or hang-out, from Super Bowl Sunday to a backyard BBQ to family game night. They’re wonderfully delicious, but sadly VERY unhealthy!
What do you get in the average 8-ounce bag of potato chips?
- 1242 calories — That’s A LOT of calories for such a nutritionally lacking food. Potato chips offer mostly carbs, and the fiber from the potatoes has usually been completely eliminated. You could eat a large plate of pasta with the same number of calories.
- 1192 mg of sodium — It’s recommended by the FDA that you consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. A single bag of potato chips has more than half the amount of sodium you should be eating every day.
- 85.1 grams of fat — Your body does need fat in order to function, but not that much! You should consume about 60 to 75 grams of fat per day in order to be healthy, and the fat should be primarily unsaturated fats (found in plants). With potato chips, you get mostly unhealthy fats!
Why Potato Chips are So Dangerous
So you know what’s in your average bag of potato chips, but so what? They’re not the healthiest snack food around, but are they really all that bad?
The answer to that question: ABSOLUTELY! Here’s why:
- They’re loaded with trans fats — Trans fats are the WORST type of fat for you to eat, worse even than the saturated fat in meat. Trans fats are the worst for your arteries, leading to a higher risk of heart attacks, strokes, and arterial disease. They are also inflammatory, which means they cause swelling in your body. You’ll find that they can lead to disorders like cancer, among others. Getting so much fat from potato chips is HORRIBLE for your health.
- They provide ZERO nutritional value — While baked potatoes may be a healthy form of starch, deep fried potato chips are like 90% oil and 0% nutrition. There is almost no nourishment provided by potato chips, aside from fat-heavy empty calories.
- They are hard to digest — Your stomach has a very hard time digesting potato chips, thanks to the high quantities of trans fats and oil they contain. Eating a lot of potato chips can lead to digestive upset, and it can negatively affect your digestive system.
- They are loaded with MSG — Did you know that MSG is as addictive as nicotine and caffeine? MSG has very little to do with flavor, but it actually tricks your brain into thinking that the food tastes good. It is one of the WORST chemicals, and yet it’s in just about every bag of potato chips on the market.
- They cause heart problems — Sodium is horrible for a healthy heart, as it causes your body to retain water. The more water your body retains, the harder your heart has to work to pump blood. High sodium consumption can lead to heart problems like hypertension, which can in turn lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Basically, if you want to be healthy, it’s time to leave potato chips behind once and for all. Not only will these chips do your digestive system harm, but they can lead to serious health problems. People who eat a lot of potato chips often suffer from heart problems after the age of 35, so it’s best to avoid eating potato chips from a very young age.
If you must eat potato chips, eat them sparingly, and try to eat the “baked” chips–made without so much oil.