9 Healthy Alternatives to Your Favorite Chips

Staff Writer
These aren’t just healthier than the average chip, they taste great, too

Using organic ingredients like chia, brown rice and amaranth, Late July's chips are gluten-free, nut-free, Kosher and (for most varieties) vegan.

No party is complete without a big bowl of tortilla or potato chips, but some favorites are loaded with fat and calories. Thankfully, there are plenty of alternatives on the market these days, and not only are many full of whole grains, gluten-free, or both, they’re also delicious.

9 Healthy Alternatives to Your Favorite Chips (Slideshow)

Generations of Americans grew up eating chips as a side with sandwiches, burgers, and hot dogs. You munched them while Full House played during the (very much missed) TGIF lineup, poured into an oversized bowl for you and your playdate to share. With such a variety of types (crinkle, wavy, ridges) and flavors (salt and vinegar, barbecue, sour cream and onion), it was — and still is — pretty hard to get bored. Add in pretzels, popcorn, cheese doodles, and corn chips, and you’ve pretty much covered all the different kinds of ”unhealthy” snacks you could eat.

Sometime between then and now, consumers became smarter about what they put into their bodies and started looking for healthier alternatives. As studies in the early ‘90s uncovered, trans fats contribute to heart disease, high cholesterol levels, and weight gain. Concerns about nutrition forced companies to take a hard look at the way in which they were preparing their potato chips. Trans fats were phased out, and they began changing their recipes to create health-conscious products to add to their brand family.

If you’re slightly familiar with the term “gluten-free” but don’t understand what all the fuss is about, here’s your crash course: Gluten is a protein composite found in wheat. People with medical conditions like celiac disease (gluten intolerance) and gluten sensitivity practice a gluten-free diet. There are also people who believe that eating gluten-free foods can have major health benefits even for those without celiac. This influx of information to support the debate has increased the demand for gluten-free foods in this country. Enter: Gluten-free snacks and chips.

Let’s face it — the need to munch on snacks is here to stay. Healthy snacking provides nutrients between meals and helps keep your daily nutritional needs. For all your healthy snacking needs, here are 9 chips that are a great alternative to junk food.

RW Garcia

This family-owned company has been changing the way people snack for over 30 years. All of RW Garcia’s products are made from stone ground non-GMO corn, contain no additives or preservatives, and are verified non-GMO and certified gluten-free.

Mediterranean Snack Foods

Available in seven flavors, these chips are high in protein and low in carbs. They’re non-GMO and naturally gluten-free and free of trans fats. One serving size is 20 chips (which should make you happy!) and since they’re made with real lentils, they’re packed with protein.

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Click here for 7 more alternatives to your favorite chips.