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5 Reasons Why Potato Chips Are Bad For You

5 Reasons Why Potato Chips Are Bad For You

Hey there, snack lovers! Let's talk about everyone's favourite crispy indulgence: potato chips. Here’s probably what goes through most of our minds when reaching for that tempting bag of crunchiness: 

Hmm… potatoes are vegetables right? 

Google tells me that they’re high in Vitamin C, minerals and fibre! 

What’s a little salt, some flavourings, and frying gonna do?”

Well, that “little salt, flavouring, and frying” does more damage than we think. 

Majority of the potato chips in the market go through high heat deep frying to get to the tantalising golden crispiness that we all crave. Deep down, I think we all know those crunchy, salty, and oh-so-addictive chips are not exactly the poster child for healthy snacking. 

After all, who bothered to read the labels before buying a pack of potato chips? And who can even stick to the recommended serving size of 18 chips? Before we know it, we would have demolished a whole pack in 1 sitting. So, before you even reach for that bag and enter a rabbit hole of letting chips enter our mouths, here are 5 reasons to tell yourself to stop right there:

1. Calorie Overload: Potato chips are calorie bombs – they pack a lot of them! If you were to eat a full sized bag of chips (227 grams), you'd be consuming roughly 1,200-1,280 calories, which is more than half of the ideal daily intake! The brilliant food scientists have perfected the formula such that it is bloody hard to stop munching potato chips halfway once you open a pack. Potato chips have become more like a drug than a food. They keep you eating non-stop and it takes enormous amounts to make you feel full. 

2. Fat, Fat, and More Fat: We're not talking about the good kind of fat like those found in fatty fish here. Potato chips are usually fried in industrial seed oils for mass production. These are usually not the same kinds of oil you find in your kitchen. 

Cheaper oils often means that they're loaded with unhealthy fats that not only increases your weight, but also leads to obesity, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's disease and diabetes… 

Video Explanation by Doctor Sten Ekberg here (11:08 - 12:53).

3. Sodium Overload: Talking about sodium, many people will immediately think of table salt. But it is a lot more than that. Ever notice how your fingers get all powdery after eating potato chips? That's because they're LOADED with a combination of salt, MSG, raising agents (sodium carbonate) and other mysterious ingredients. For example, one pack of Lay’s potato chips contains about 1000mg of sodium, which is incredibly high. Studies have shown that sodium in potato chips range from 172 to 1800mg / 100g.

And sodium is the main culprit causing your over-eating! Having a sodium spike often makes one drink more water and can significantly increase appetite and cravings. In the long term, too much sodium can also cause various health issues, like increased blood pressure and heart disease, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).

4. Acrylamide Alert: Big word, even bigger health effects…When potato chips are fried at high temperatures, the ingredients are no longer the same as their natural forms. Nutrients are lost almost entirely and the chips form a chemical called acrylamide, a carcinogen that has been shown to cause cancer in many studies. 

Dr Chris van Tulleken, an associate professor at University College London and one of the world’s most prominent food experts, said that an “enormous number of independent studies clearly link a diet high in ultra-processed foods (like potato chips) to multiple damaging health outcomes including early death”. 

5. Bad Eating Habits: Chips are often consumed in large quantities due to their addictive nature and easy availability. Let’s be real - how many times did we open a bag of chips and finish it simply because we were bored and our mouths were “itchy”, not because we were hungry? 

But you are not all to be blamed. For centuries, food giants have been researching and perfecting the methods to make us all consume more and more frequently. These ultra-processed foods are not really food anymore. When we are done with a pack of chips and the cravings settle down, these bad snacking habits just mean we wouldn’t have space for our proper meals with PROPER nutritional benefits…causing a whole plethora of health problems.

So, while potato chips might be a tasty treat every now and then, it's probably best to open your eyes to really read the labels before succumbing to the temptation during your shopping trips. If you’re feeling hungry or craving a crunchy snack, reach for a bag of clean snacks with ingredients you can recognise. That’s what we are trying to do at of Hey! Chips anyway. Then, you can truly snack with all the joy and without the guilt that often follows. You can even reach your daily fruit and vegetable goals quicker!

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