Are Green Bean Chips Healthy?

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Potato chips are crispy, salty and just the snack many people crave when hunger strikes. The chips, however, are high in fat and aren't that nutritious. That's where green bean chips can come in. Crispy like potato chips, green bean chips don't contain any saturated fat and they also supply key nutrients that potato chips don't offer.

Calories, Fat and Protein

A 1-ounce serving of green bean chips contains 140 calories and 6 grams of fat, which is about 10 percent of the daily value for fat. Green bean chips, however, don't contain saturated fat. The American Heart Association recommends limiting your intake of saturated fat to less than 7 percent of your total caloric intake because it can reduce your risk of high cholesterol and heart disease. For comparison, 1 ounce of potato chips contains 10 grams of fat, of which 1.1 grams are saturated. Green bean chips supply 1 gram of protein per 1-ounce serving.

Salt Content Is a Drawback

The salt that's shaken over green bean chips helps enhance the flavor, and a 1-ounce portion contains 85 milligrams of sodium. That's about 6 percent of the 1,500 milligrams of sodium you should make as your daily upper limit, recommends the American Heart Association. Too much sodium on a regular basis can raise your blood pressure, which leaves you more susceptible to a heart attack or stroke. A serving of green bean chips, for comparison, still contains less than the 128 milligrams of sodium in a serving of potato chips.

Essential Nutrients in Green Bean Chips

A 1-ounce serving of green bean chips supplies 8 percent of the daily value for vitamin A, a nutrient that helps keeps your eyes healthy. That same serving also provides 4 percent of the daily value for iron and 2 percent of the daily value for bone-building calcium. An ounce of green bean chips delivers 3 grams of fiber, which is 12 percent of the 25 grams women need each day and 8 percent of the 38 grams men require daily. Plenty of fiber in your daily diet keeps your digestive system working normally and can reduce the risk of health problems such as heart disease.

Green Bean Chips in Your Diet

While you shouldn't go crazy with green bean chips since they do contain calories, fat and sodium, they can have a place in a healthy diet. However, fresh vegetables are always a healthier choice. Eating 2 1/2 cups of vegetables each day is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke and cancer, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Have a handful of green bean chips for a quick snack or add them to a tossed green salad for a bit of crunch. Scatter green bean chips over a bowl of vegetable soup or layer them into a lean turkey sandwich as additional ways to include them in your diet.