Healthy Snacks to Replace Chips

by Sara Ipatenco

A serving of potato chips can contain 150 calories and up to 3 g of saturated fat.

potato chips image by Viacheslav Anyakin from Fotolia.com

Potato or tortilla chips are common snack choices because they are crunchy and satisfying. However, eating chips on a regular basis increases your intake of unhealthy saturated fats, as well as your sodium intake. If you crave a crunchy snack, there are plenty of options that can satisfy that desire, but also provide important nutrients in place of all the fat and salt.

Homemade Potato Chips

If nothing but potato chips will do for your snack, you can increase the nutrition by making them yourself. Potatoes are filled with nutrients, including vitamin C, potassium and fiber, making them a nutritious addition to your diet if they are not fried and covered with salt. Wash a large potato and slice it into thin slices. Leave the skin on for a boost of nutrition. Spray the slices lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle them with black pepper and sea salt. Roast in the oven until golden brown and slightly crunchy. Cool before eating.

Mixed Nuts

A handful of nuts can satisfy your desire for a crunchy snack, but will also supply a range of healthy nutrients as well. Eating nuts can benefit your cardiovascular health by lowering your cholesterol and reducing your risk of heart attack and blood clots. Nuts also supply omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein and vitamin E. Any type of nut will offer these benefits. Walnuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, pecans, almonds and pistachios are all nutritious choices.

Baked Tortillas with Salsa

Commercially-packaged tortilla chips are often fried, so they are high in saturated fat, and contain a good deal of salt as well. Baking tortillas at home until they are crunchy can offer a similar taste, as well as some nutrition. Cut whole wheat tortillas into small wedges and brush them with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle them with herbs such as parsley, garlic powder or black pepper. Add a dash of sea salt and bake until golden brown. Serve with a blend of chopped tomatoes, minced jalapeno and garlic, chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice for a boost of fiber and vitamin C.

Vegetable Sticks and Hummus

Vegetables are among some of the best foods for your health and they can satisfy your craving for something crunchy as well. Served with hummus, a snack of vegetables provides vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber and protein. Slice 2 or 3 types of vegetables, such as carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower and bell peppers, into thin pieces and serve with hummus.

References

  • "Smart School Time Recipes"; Alisa Marie Fleming; 2010
  • "Take Back Your Health: A Total Wellness Guide for You and Your Family"; Renee A. Simon; 2005
  • Linus Pauling Institute: Nuts

Photo Credits

  • potato chips image by Viacheslav Anyakin from Fotolia.com

About the Author

Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.