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Are Baked Potato Chips Healthier Than Fried? Only If They’re Homemade — Easy Recipe

Our baked chips recipe produces a feel-good snack — and saves you money too!

Whenever a salt craving hits, we immediately reach for a bag of potato chips. There’s nothing quite like the chips’ salty flavor and crispy texture, but we’ll be the first to admit it’s not the healthiest option. So what about baked potato chips? Are they healthier than fried ones? To satisfy our snack curiosity, we asked the nutrition pros. Read on for the answer that wowed us, plus easy (and healthy!) ways to get your salty, crunchy fix.

Are store-bought baked potato chips healthy?

Seeing the word “baked” on any store-bought food item, especially potato chips, gives a lot of us reason to sigh in relief because we associate the word with “healthy.” However, registered dietitian Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, reveals that baked potato chips aren’t as nutritious as we think: “This healthy snack is a good replacement for fried versions, but they are still highly processed and made with questionable ingredients.”

What are the ingredients in baked chips?

A popular chip brand like Lay’s offers baked potato crisps that are advertised as containing 65% less fat than traditional fried versions. But this “healthier” option is also made with additional ingredients including corn oil, soy lecithin and sugar — making them a heavily processed food. (Read our stories on how research has linked consuming processed foods with memory loss and even an acceleration of the aging process.)

“The fact that they are low in fat also makes it easy to consume them in large quantities at one sitting,” Best adds. “A rapid increase in glucose will occur, and this increases the body’s fat-storing rate.” To sum it up, store-bought baked potato chips contain added ingredients that diminish their nutritional value and could lead to weight gain. Your best bet is to make baked potato chips from scratch in order to avoid additives and enjoy a healthy snack.

How do I make my own baked potato chips?

Good news! Whipping up a batch of baked potato chips is easy and produces a tasty snack that rivals the store-bought kind — plus it saves you a ton of money. Below, First for Women Food Editor Charles Grayauskie shares a recipe for Baked Potato Chips with Avocado Ranch Dip. It’s a perfect combo as the saltiness from the chips balances the creamy and zesty dip. Before you know it, you’ll have a treat that’s sure to satisfy your snack cravings!

Baked Potato Chips with Avocado Ranch Dip

An image of baked chips with creamy avocado ranch as part of a guide on explaining if they are healthy or not
Food and Photo

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 4 medium russet or sweet potatoes, peeled or unpeeled
  • Sea salt and/or your favorite dried herbs or spices
  • Cooking spray

Dip:

  • ⅔ cup low-fat ranch dressing
  • ½ large avocado, pitted, peeled, diced
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice

Directions:

  • Active: 10 mins
  • Total time: 25 to 28 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 snack-sized servings
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Slice potatoes as thinly as possible using mandolin or sharp knife. Pat slices dry to remove excess moisture.
  3. Lightly coat slices with cooking spray, then sprinkle with sea salt and dried herbs or spices (if using). Set wire rack in large rimmed baking sheet; coat with cooking spray.
  4. Arrange potato slices in single layer and bake until crisp, about 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool while making dip.
  5. For dip: In blender, combine dressing, avocado, cilantro and lemon juice; cover. Purée.
  6. Serve dip with chips.
  7. Note: Don’t have a wire rack? Charles says you can bake the potato slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet, flipping them halfway through the cooking process for an evenly crispy exterior.

Hungry for more lightened up snacks? Try these recipes below!

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Don’t Throw Away That Salmon Skin — Use It to Make Tasty 2-Ingredient ‘Bacon’ Instead

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