EatingWell Taste Test: Baked Tortilla Chips
Are baked tortilla chips tastier—and healthier—than their fried counterparts?
"What about 'acrylamide', which is cancer-causing and contained in fried snacks (potato chips as well as, yes, fried tortilla chips)?? "
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When we started working on this taste test, there was some speculation that baked chips were inherently healthier. Fried is bad, right? Not necessarily, we discovered after doing a little label reading. While the baked chips had less fat than the fried varieties, we were not satisfied with their flavors or textures, wondering how much cheese we’d have to melt on them to make them palatable (and that’s hardly healthy, right?). And that lack of corn flavor was masked with an excessive amount of sodium—the baked varieties had the highest sodium levels per serving. But what threw us most was the fiber content. Two of the fried varieties had 4 grams per serving, not bad for a snack food. And one of those fried varieties had only 40 milligrams of sodium and 4 grams of fat.
Now not all fried chips are created equally. Some varieties, especially flavored tortilla chips like our “bad boy”—Doritos Nacho Cheese—have more than 30 ingredients, including hydrogenated oil, artificial coloring, monosodium glutamate and added sugars. We tore open over 20 bags of tortilla chips and chose the following six. Our picks were based on taste as well as
a good nutritional profile—we selected brands with simple ingredients like corn, oil and salt, and avoided those made with hydrogenated fat. Here’s what we thought.