Doritos chips against a white backdrop
Does Anyone Remember Doritos Light (And Why They Are Banned)?
By Chase Shustack
In the 1990s, Frito-Lay tried to tap into a new market with their "WOW!" brand of chips, which were the chain's popular brands like Lay's and Doritos but marketed as "fat-free."
The "WOW!" line promised the flavor of the usual chips and only one gram of fat, thanks to an ingredient known as Olestra that had customers saying "Wow!" for a different reason.
Not only did Olestra give foods that fatty, delicious taste but its molecule was large enough not to be digested through the body, simply moving right through the digestive tract.
Consumers eating as many Doritos as they’d like without building up fat was too good to be true, though, as Olestra's unique ability operated like a laxative.
Frito-Lay found itself forced to warn customers that consuming foods cooked in Olestra could "cause loose stools and cramping."
Today, Olestra remains banned in parts of Europe and Canada, and Frito-Lay focuses on more conventional methods of selling healthy chips like Baked Lays.