What You Need To Know About Veggie Chips

Vegetable Chips Healthy

June 5, 2012   29 Comments

Snack Girl gets asked about food like "veggie chips" a lot. And, I never want to answer the e-mails.

Why? Well, I don't want to make anyone feel bad about falling for the marketing on the front of the bag of these things. "Hey, look ma, Vegetable Medley - Potato, Tomato, and Spinach."

Yeah, I know they look good on the outside of the package and the concept is great. Who wouldn't want a veggie stick or chip that would be good for you and taste like potato chips?

Here is what they look like outside of the bag:

This is your first hint that maybe these aren't truly vegetables. You know those deep colors of spinach and tomatoes? Ahem....not present. No, these aren't really made of true tomato and spinach.

The deal is that these are just glorified potato chips, and not better for you than baked potato chips. The tomato puree and spinach powder isn't giving you any flavor or nutrients. The potato flour does make them taste like what they really are:

Lower fat potato chips!

I find it sad that food manufacturers would try to trick us into thinking we are eating tomatoes and spinach when we are just eating the cheaper potatoes. I don't advocate eating these unless you really like them. Just eat them as a treat and forget about any healthfulness they don't possess.

There are brands of vegetable chips that are the vegetable just made into a chip with salt and oil added. I consider these treats as well because they are processed and bagged instead of fresh.

Have you fallen for veggie chips? Do you know of any truly healthy chip?

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First 20 Comments: [ see all 29 ]

Wow, although I never eat more than a few, I have fallen for this??????????....Thanks for the update.They are a thing of the past now.....Love U...snack girl.

on June 5, 2012

Thank you for the information! I don't buy veggie chips to much, but I do buy bean and rice chips. Are those any better or just as bad as veggie chips?

on June 5, 2012

"The deal is that these are just glorified potato chips, and not better for you than baked potato chips. The tomato puree and spinach powder isn't giving you any flavor or nutrients."

Great assessment, Lisa. In the past, I had a suspicion that they were healthy, but now I see that I was just falling for the "Natural? Vegetables? Must be good for me!" trick.

If I may put words into his mouth, I suspect that Michael Pollan (he's a very good health writer and his talk at Google http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-t-7lTw6mA is really good) would classify items like chips and cakes and cookies as "banquet food".

A long time ago, we used to only eat those types of foods at infrequent special events. Today, we can eat them five (or more) times a day.

His answer? If you want to eat cookies, cakes, chips, etc., fine. Only one requirement: you have to make it yourself.

Not only do you control every ingredient (and exclude, hopefully, additives with unpronounceable names!), but, he contends, you'll find that making stuff like this about once a month is all you have the patience for.

While his approach is also a "trick", of sorts, I think it's a far more healthful one than peddling colored, fried, potato paste. :)

Thanks again for all of these great articles on how to shift perspective and not just swallow (no pun intended) the marketing that's pushed on us.

on June 5, 2012

I love dehydrating my own veggies for a true veggie chip. Okra is by far my favorite.

Jennifer - I get bean and rice chips too and if it's Beanitos brand, those are pretty good in terms of real whole food ingredients.

Thanks for the post, I'm surprised by how many still consider "veggie" chips a healthy choice!

on June 5, 2012

Say it ain't so.....I figured as much but I do enjoy them occasionally as do my kids. When I have time I love to make kale chips myself. The kids gobble those up. Thanks for the great info Snack Girl.

on June 5, 2012

No, I was not fooled!

To me, they bear no resemblance to a real vegetable, and the processed taste really turns me off.

I'll stick with the real thing, thank you very much!

on June 5, 2012

Technically, they're not even potato chips. By definition, potato chips have to be slices of potato, and these are more processed. I am happy to say that we didn't fall for this trick; we checked the label, realized they're mostly potato, and put them right back on the shelf!

on June 5, 2012

Nicely done, snack girl. I may not be Ellie Krieger (that's exciting), but as a fellow RD, this sort of misleading marketing irks me. Thanks for clearing things up!

on June 5, 2012

How about the veggie chips that are made from sliced sweet potatoes, beets,taro, batata, and parsnips cooked with canola oil? They advertise them as a full serving of vegetables per ounce. Of course there is additional calories because of the oil and added salt (35mg/serving). But, they make a tasty alternative to potato chips. The brand I purchase is Grandessa from Aldi's. Another brand is Terra.

on June 5, 2012

I'm sorry to say that I was fooled into buying them once, but as soon as I tasted them I knew. They don't taste like veggies at all! Just potato chips, which I don't even really like. Btw, Crysta, you aren't from Austin by any chance are you? Because I have an old friend who spelled her name that way and have never met another in my life :)

on June 5, 2012

I was talking with someone who actually thought Pirate O's were a reasonable substitute for veges! They are nothing more than junk-food with the word vegetable on the outside of the bag.

on June 5, 2012

Nope, not from Austin. But I've never met anyone else who spells it this way either!

on June 5, 2012

Yep, I fell for it. Then when I tasted them and really studied the ingredients I figured it out, too. My kids wouldn't even eat the green and red ones but I did enjoy them a bit. We haven't bought them since, though. I shop at Aldi but haven't noticed the Grandessa chips made from veggies that Dawn mentioned above. Those sound yummy and I'll have to check those out! I'm also in love with the sweet potato chips from Aldi. They are SOOOO good. Yep, they're still chips, and I treat them as such, but oh what a treat, and with a bit more vitamins than white potato chips, who can argue with that? I still prefer, overall, tortilla chips with salsa, or as I prefer to say, some salsa with a few chips. I LOVE salsa. I'm in Texas, so of course, it's a requirement when you live here. ha ha.

on June 5, 2012

I used to eat these but stopped due to the reasons you mentioned.

Are you familiar with the chips made out of Lentil that Trader Joe carries? I occasionally eat those and think they are better for you...they have a few chips made out of beans and there are Falafel chips (Falafel is a little more fattening though) What are your thoughts on those?

on June 5, 2012

A chip is a chip - no matter what the name on the package says.

on June 5, 2012

Good to know! I saw these recently and was going to stock up -- now I'll stay away

on June 5, 2012

I find it sad that post like this have to be written. It seems like companies are always telling half truths when it comes to "healthy alternatives". I have not tried these before. I appericiate you posting these. I probably would have fell for this.

on June 5, 2012

I don't know of any healthy store bought chips. However, I am hooked on Kale chips that you make at home.
Tear up some fresh kale.
Baste with olive or coconut oil.
season lightly with sea salt and/or pepper
bake on flat sheet at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes or until the kale edges get crispy.

on June 5, 2012

Oh sad!!!! I was fooled. Lesson learned is to read ingredients. Always.

on June 5, 2012

Thank you for posting this, I was an avid veggie chip eating and I do like them. However, i eat them because I thought they were more beneficial. Thank you for your post!

on June 5, 2012

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