Healthier Tortilla Chips

Tortilla Chips with GuacamoleTortilla Chips with Guacamole

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Is there a healthy alternative to corn-based tortilla chips?

Strapping on the feed bag in front of the TV is harder to avoid as you watch your favorite football team.  Our falls are spent in tailgate party binge eating and drinking copious amounts of alcohol.  Snack foods are the bane of weight loss and maintenance.  Warm golden fried tortilla chips or baked crunchy deliciousness dipped in warm cheese or cold guacamole.  It is nothing short of heaven unless you are on a diet and then it is pure hell watching someone eat it and nearly impossible to resist.  Nothing will put the weight on you quicker, and most of the snack foods are carbohydrate and fat dense and offer less nutritional value, but who doesn’t like to sit down to watch a football game with a bag of your favorite treats.  My goal here is to review a few healthier choices.  It will still require moderation, but at least now, you will be able to sit down with a serving or two and enjoy the game.  

Let’s start with the industry standard: Tostitos.  

Bite Size Tostitos Packaging, Nutrition, and Ingredients

Bite Size Tostitos Packaging, Nutrition, and Ingredients.

I think this might be the worst choice in corn tortilla chips unless you consider Fritos to be in the same class (Hint: they are not).  If you were to compare the nutritional information of Tostitos to Fritos, you would quickly see one is much worse for you (Hint: not Tostitos).  I am not going to write about the differences, but I will say that you should “Just say no to Fritos.”  

The main ingredient of Tostitos is corn flour.  These treats are dense in fat and carbohydrates with 7 and 18 grams respectively.  These treats are not a good source of protein or fiber and are quickly digested and absorbed.  There is not enough fiber to slow digestion significantly.  They also are not a good source of vitamin or minerals.  

Better Tortilla Chip Choices:

  1. Tostitos Simply Black Bean are a better choice.  Although, I will agree with you that they have equal in calories to the standard version, the big difference is that the black bean version has twice the protein and 2.5 times more fiber.  In theory, they should keep you full longer, and the carbohydrates should be absorbed slower.   This treat has the same crunch and tastes excellent.  
Tostitos Black Bean Package, Ingredients, and Nutrition.

Simply Black Bean Package, Ingredients, and Nutrition.

  1. Beanitos White Chips are an excellent choice.   They are equal in calories to the standard tortilla chips.  The big difference is that Beanitos have twice the protein and three times more fiber.  In theory, they should keep you full longer, and the carbohydrates should be absorbed slower.   The best part is these treats have the same crunch and taste fantastic.  
Beanitos Packaging, Nutrition, and Ingredients.

Beanitos Package, Ingredients, and Nutrition.

I prefer Beanitos.  Since I have started eating them, I feel better.  Dieting and weight loss success is dependent on moderation and making good decisions.  You must choose a snack wisely and limit not only your portion size but also the number of portions you eat.  I would not recommend them as an everyday snack because they can be relatively expensive and we do not need to snack every day.  It should be a treat every once in a while.  I even use them to make my Healthier Nachos.  I prefer the white bean Beanitos because that is the color of the nacho chips I usually eat in restaurants.  The Simply Black Bean chips taste better without a dip.  

I would recommend both of them to anyone who is looking for a better option for a snack, but I would say that fruit or vegetables would be a better option if health and nutrition are what you are looking for.  

 

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About the Author

ChuckH

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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