You may be surprised to hear that a nutritionist would give chips a green light, but good old-fashioned potato chips are a regular addition to my grocery cart – as long as the ingredient list passes my test.
My rule of thumb is this: the ingredients must read like a recipe. I look for chips made simply with sliced potatoes, oil (especially olive oil or high oleic sunflower or safflower oil, which contain heart-healthy fats) and salt.
Chips made with these simple, "real food" ingredients, free from artificial additives and preservatives won't wreak havoc with your health. And because they're the real deal, they're satisfying, even in smaller portions.
Options like veggie or soy chips are often highly processed, aren't much lower in calories or fat, and pack far more sodium. And the ingredient lists sound like science experiments.
So the next time your crunch tooth strikes, don't feel guilty about choosing chips. Just stick with the serving size on the label and pair them with other healthy, wholesome foods, like hummus. Yum!
Cynthia Sass, MPH, MA, RD, CSSD is an ABC News contributor and Good Morning America Health's Food Coach. Through her New York City-based private practice Cynthia specializes in weight management and sports nutrition. She is the nutritionist for the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays, and worked with the Philadelphia Phillies from 2007-2009. She's also the Weight Loss Coach columnist for Shape magazine and a New York Times best-selling author. Her newest book Cinch! Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches will be released by Harper Collins December 28, 2010.