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35 of Your Favorite Chips — Ranked!

We got our fingers greasy and dipped right into the fray to rank the top chips in America.
35 of Your Favorite Chips — Ranked!

You licked your fingers after digging into multiple different bags of Lay’s, and found the best chips according to your taste buds. But then came Pringles, Bugles, and Doritos, completely confusing the whole concept of what a chip was. Instead of potatoes or corn fried in oil and sprinkled with salt, these creatures were made from weird ingredients, and shaped in weird ways, and they tasted like…well, not food exactly. Something different.

And it only got more complicated from there. Now the world of chips is like World of Warcraft, with more characters and subplots than your mind can comprehend. You’ve got your Sun Chips, your pita chips, your Cheetos. You’ve got chips made out of beans, lentils, kale, quinoa, even crickets. Some of them even have the temerity to claim to be a health food that can help you lose weight.

But which chips are which? And are any of them actually good for you? The staff of Eat This, Not That decided to get their fingers greasy and dip right into the fray to rank the top 35 chips in America, taking each into our food lab.

RELATED VIDEO: The Healthiest Snacks at the Vending Machine

35

FROM BEST TO WORST…

Potato chips in bowl - best chips Shutterstock

These are primarily ranked based on calories, fat, and sodium. But fiber, sugar, caloric “bang for your buck” and quality of ingredients was also considered, especially when we needed to decipher between two bags that looked nearly identical.

35

Lay’s Oven Baked Potato Crisps, Original

lay’s oven baked potato chips original

1 oz (about 18 chips): 120 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated), 135 mg sodium, 23 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugars, 2 g protein

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Coming in at our top ranking spot, Lay’s Oven Baked Potato Crisps may add unnecessary sugar, but other than that, they’re low in calories and sodium and have a simple list of ingredients. Also a plus: These chips are baked, not fried, so they have 65% less fat than regular potato chips, deeming this bag one of our healthier snacks.

34

Tostitos Oven Baked Scoops

tostitos oven baked scoops

1 oz (about 16 chips): 120 calories, 3 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 140 mg sodium, 22 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 2 g protein

Also jumping on the baked bandwagon is another of Frito-Lay’s most popular snacks, Tostitos Scoops. This baked version has more than 50% less fat than its fried counterpart, with no loss of flavor. Pair a small handful with a diet soda for a just sinful-enough snack.

33

Popchips Potato Chips, Sea Salt

popchips potato chips sea salt

1 oz (about 23 chips): 120 calories, 3.5g fat (0 g saturated), 200 mg sodium, 20 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 1 g sugars, 3 g protein

Popchips’ unique method of heating their potatoes in a pressurized chamber, gives the circular chips their trademark shape. They’re coated with oleic oils, healthy monounsaturated fats which can help reduce appetite and promote weight loss. And bonus: Harvard Medical School found that this particular type of fat boosts memory.

32

Popchips Potato Chips, Cheddar and Sour Cream

Popchips Potato Chips, Cheddar and Sour Cream

1 oz (about 22 chips): 120 calories, 4 g fat (0.5 g saturated) 190 mg sodium, 18 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 2 g protein

Popchips’ commitment to real ingredients is a plus when it comes to flavor. Instead of adding petroleum-based dyes like Yellow 6 or Yellow 5 Lake (we’re looking at you, #31…), the company uses natural colors from annatto, turmeric, and paprika oleoresin. Plus, a serving size is 22 chips — double the number of other varieties.

31

Ruffles, Oven Baked Cheddar & Sour Cream

ruffles oven baked cheddar and sour cream

1 oz serving (about 11 chips): 120 calories, 3.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 240 mg sodium, 21 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 2 g protein

Low in fat because they’re are oven baked, these chips still have some questionable ingredients like MSG, the additive that makes everything taste more appetizing but blocks the message to the brain that you’ve eaten enough. But because their calorie count is relatively low, we won’t stop you from grabbing a handful.

30

Popchips, Barbeque Potato

popchips barbeque

1 oz serving (about 20 chips): 120 calories, 4 g fat (0 g saturated) fat, 200 mg sodium, 18 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 2 g protein

There’s a reason Popchips rank so highly: They’re low in calories, with no fake flavors. Next time you’re hankering for smoky BBQ, grab a bag of these — not one whose ingredients include “chicken flavor.” And when this tasty snack leaves you feeling thirsty, wash it down with a glass of detox water!

29

TERRA Chips, Blues

TERRA chips blues

1 oz (15 chips): 130 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated), 115 mg sodium, 19 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 1 g sugars, 2 g protein

Nuttier and packed with more antioxidants compared to their yellow counterparts, these three- to five-ingredient potato chips are super-low in sodium, but loaded with fat, thanks to the addition of canola, safflower and sunflower oils.

28

SunChips Multigrain Chips, Sweet & Spicy BBQ

SunChips BBQ

1 oz serving (about 15 chips): 140 calories, 6 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 135 mg sodium, 19 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 2 g protein

We love SunChips because they’re 100% whole grain, which means they contain a full serving or more of whole grain in each helping and that ALL the grain — whole corn, whole wheat and whole oat flour — is whole grain. Whole grains contain all three parts of the grain (bran, germ, and endosperm), which make them nutrient-rich, fiber-filling, and appetite-suppressing.

27

Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Tortilla Chips

Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Tortilla Chips

1 oz serving (about 10 chips): 140 calories, 7 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 80 mg sodium, 18 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 2 g protein

These chips earn some points for using superfood ingredients like quinoa and flax seeds. Plus, they’re lower in saturated fat than many other varieties. However, we were less than thrilled to see the addition of sugar here. Typically, there’s only added sugar in BBQ varieties. You know the drill: added sugars are addicting and can cause weight gain and even make you sick.

26

Simply Ruffles, Sea Salted

Simply Ruffles

1 oz (about 15 chips): 140 calories, 7 g fat (0.5 g saturated),160 mg sodium, 17 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 2 g protein

We like that these contain no sugar. But we couldn’t rank them higher because of their relatively high sodium and fat. At least you can munch on 15 chips without emptying your calorie and carb banks.

25

Simply 7 Quinoa Chips, Sea Salt

Simply 7 Quinoa Chips

1 oz: 140 calories, 6 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 330 mg sodium, 19 g carbs, <1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 1 g protein

If there’s one word to describe these Simply 7 Quinoa Chips, it’s salty. They’re sky-high in sodium and have barely any fiber, especially for something made with quinoa.

24

SunChips Multigrain Chips, French Onion

sunchips multigrain chips french onion

1 oz serving (about 15 chips): 140 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 140 mg sodium, 18 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugars, 2 g protein

Throwing French Onion into the mix moves SunChips down a few ranks. This version contains half a gram more of saturated fat, automatically giving it a demerit and 5 more milligrams of sodium. But at the same time, it actually contains one less gram of carbs and sugar. If this is your preferred chip, stick to the serving size.

23

SunChips Multigrain Chips, Garden Salsa

SunChips Multigrain Chips, Garden Salsa

1 oz serving (about 15 chips): 140 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated fat) 150 mg sodium, 18 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 2 g protein

According to SunChips, “Garden Salsa” is kind of like a cheesy nacho. Tomato powder and jalapeño spices combine to form the salsa on the chip, while a cheddar-romano cheese mix tops it all off, and makes it all a little saltier.

22

Tostitos Tortilla Chips, Original

Tostitos Tortilla Chips

1 oz (about 7 chips): 140 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated), 115 mg sodium, 19 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 2 g protein

The original triangle-shaped tortilla chips were a way to make use of rejected misshapen tortillas. However, factory owners soon discovered that they were popular with customers and decided to sell them in individual bags. Today, they remain one of the most popular chips for dipping and incorporating in entrees. Tostitos Original might be the most popular brand, but with their sodium and fat count, there are better choices.

21

Good Health Kettle Style Olive Oil Potato Chips

Good Health Kettle Style Olive Oil Potato Chips

1 oz (about 14 chips): 150 calories, 8 g fat (1 g saturated), 65 mg sodium, 16 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 0 g sugars, 2 g protein

Inspired by the Mediterranean diet, these chips are rich in heart-healthy fats, low in sodium and contain no sugar. Plus, they’re made with three simple ingredients: potatoes, olive oil and salt. The right kinds of fats, like olive oil, help quash hunger, maximize your metabolism and speed nutrients through your body.

20

Garden of Eatin’ Corn Tortilla Chips, Sesame Blues

Garden of Eatin’ Corn Tortilla Chips

1 oz (about 9 chips): 150 calories, 8 g fat (1 g saturated), 90 mg sodium, 16 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 3 g protein

Made from organic blue corn, sea salt, sunflower oil, and sesame seeds, these tortilla chips provide a complexity of texture and flavor. They’re low in sodium and have a bit of fiber and protein.

19

Doritos Tortilla Chips, Nacho Cheese

Doritos

1 oz (about 11 chips): 140 calories, 8 g fat (1 g saturated), 210 mg sodium, 16 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 2 g protein

Tread carefully in the land of nacho cheese. The popular chip was specially designed so that no single flavor overpowers another. And when foods lack a dominant flavor, people are less apt to feel full and eat more, say researchers. But that’s not the only piece of bad news: One of the first ingredients is MSG. We had to rank these lower on this list, despite the fact that they contain fewer calories than a number of their competitors.

18

Lay’s Kettle Cooked Lattice Cut Chips, Aged Cheddar & Black Pepper

Lay’s Kettle Cooked Lattice Cut Chips

1 oz serving (about 13 chips): 150 calories, 8 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 135 mg sodium, 17 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 2 g protein

Although the lattice cut of this snack means there’s slightly less chip to devour, Lay’s still manages to pack in a whopping 8 grams of fat. Its one redeeming quality? It relies on pepper, garlic and onion powder—not salt—to provide its signature flavor, which keeps the sodium count on the low end of the spectrum.

17

Kettle Brand Potato Chips, Jalapeño

Kettle Jalapeño

1 oz serving (about 13 chips): 150 calories, 8 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 170 mg sodium, 16 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugars, 2 g protein

Jalapeño peppers do more than just heat up your mouth. In fact, Canadian researchers found that men who ate spicy appetizers consumed 200 fewer calories at later meals than those that did not. So although these aren’t ETNT’s #1 chip choice, they may save you calories later on.

16

Kettle Brand Potato Chips, Sea Salt

Kettle Sea Salt

1 oz serving (about 13 chips): 150 calories, 9 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 115 mg sodium, 16 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 0 g sugars, 2 g protein

When deciding between Kettle Brand’s Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper or Sea Salt varieties, choose the latter. They’re lower in sodium and contain just three ingredients and no added sugars. However, each one-ounce serving dishes up 9 grams of fat.

15

Kettle Brand Krinkle Cut Potato Chips, Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper

Krinkle Cut

1 oz serving (about 9 chips): 150 calories, 9 g fat (1 g saturated fat) 170 mg sodium, 16 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 2 g protein

If you prefer ridges in your chips, Kettle Brand’s Krinkle Cuts are thick, crispy and good for dipping. Just be careful what you dip into. These guys have a considerable amount of fat and sodium on their own.

14

Kettle Brand Potato Chips, Sea Salt & Vinegar

Kettle Brand

1 oz serving (about 13 chips): 150 calories, 9 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 210 mg sodium, 16 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 0 g sugars, 2 g protein

Sea Salt and Vinegar chips don’t differ that much from previous two Kettle varieties, aside from their sodium content. In fact, they actually contain no sugar. Nonetheless, if salt is a concern for you, opt for a different chip. Extremely salty foods can cause water retention and dehydration.

13

Pringles Original

Pringles Original

1 oz serving (approx. 16 chips): 150 calories, 9 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 150 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, >1 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 1 g protein

“Once you pop, you can’t stop” was Pringles original slogan, and a marketing phrase has never rung so true. Not only are these crisps downright addicting, they’ve been splashed with soybean oil, a fat that may increase appetite and slow the rate at which the body burns fat, causing you to pack on the pounds. In fact, researchers have gone so far as to say that when it comes to weight gain, soybean oil may be far worse than sugar, the food world’s current problem child. Shocking, right? Aside from staying away from these chips, there are plenty of other weight loss tricks you haven’t tried.

12

Lay’s Kettle Cooked Potato Chips, Original

Lay’s Kettle

1 oz (about 16 chips): 160 calories, 9 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 90 mg sodium, 16 g carbs, 1 g fiber, <1 g sugars, 2 g protein

Made with potatoes, sunflower, corn and/or canola oil and sea salt, these chips are surprisingly low in sodium. However, they also contain 9 grams of fat, so limit yourself to one serving.

11

Food Should Taste Good Chips, Kettle Cooked Original Sweet Potato

1 oz (about 14 chips): 160 calories, 9 g fat (1 g saturated), 95 mg sodium, 18 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 4 g sugars, 1 g protein

Sweet potatoes add a delicious twist to the traditional potato chip, but they also boost the sugar count. Combined with sunflower oil and sea salt, 14 of these kettle baked crisps cost 160 calories, 9 grams of fat, 18 grams of carbs and 4 grams of sugar.

10

Pringles Sour Cream & Onion

Pringles Sour Cream

1 oz serving (approx. 15 chips): 150 calories, 9 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 180 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugars, 1 g protein

The use of soybean oil and MSG drops the rank of these Pringles. MSG increases appetite by blocking the message to the brain that you’ve eaten your fill—hello, abdominal fat!

9

Herr’s Ketchup Flavored Potato Chips

Herr’s Ketchup

1 oz: 150 calories, 10 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 300 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 2 g protein

If you’re one of those people who put ketchup on literally everything, you’re probably tempted to indulge in these chips. But proceed with caution. Combining two salty items can only produce one result: sky-high sodium and fat. One serving contains 10 grams of fat and 300 milligrams of sodium—talk about an unhealthy snack!

8

TERRA, Sweet Potato, No Salt Added

TERRA, Sweet Potato

1 oz serving (about 17 chips): 160 calories, 11 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 10 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 1 g protein

These no-added-salt contain 3 more grams of fat than Lay’s version, but are lower in sodium by a whopping 85 milligrams! In the chip world, 10 milligrams of sodium per serving is unheard of. However, Lay’s outranked them due to their fat and calorie content.

7

Lay’s Potato Chips, Barbecue

Lay’s Potato Chips BBQ

1 oz (about 15 chips): 160 calories, 10 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 150 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 2 g sugars, 2 g protein

These are an American favorite, especially for the male population. They’re not the worst chip on this list in calories or sodium, but they do still contain 10 grams of fat. If six-pack abs are in your sights, these chips are not your friend.

6

Lay’s Sour Cream and Onion

Lay’s Sour Cream

1 oz serving (about 17 chips): 160 calories, 10 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 160 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 1 g fiber, < 1 g sugar, 2 g protein

The nutritional profile of these and Ruffles’ Original are about the same. However, if you go for volume, you can eat more five more of these chips. Plus, they contain fewer calories, fat, and sodium.

5

Ruffles Original

Ruffles Original

1 oz (about 12 chips): 160 calories, 10 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 160 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 1 g fiber, <1 g sugars, 2 g protein

Lay’s Sour Cream and Onion outrank these Classic Ruffles nutritionally, and although these may have a more pleasing texture, they’re not worth the eye-popping fat content. (Trivia: Ruffles was originally created to mimic the ruffles in fabric during the late 1950s. Its design was supposed to prevent breakage.)

4

Lay’s Potato Chips, Classic

Lay’s Potato

1 oz serving (about 15 chips): 160 calories, 10 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat) 170 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 1 g fiber, < 1 g sugar, 2 g protein

These are so salty and oily, you’ll find a coating on both your fingers and tongue after just one. They outrank the chips below because you can consume more for the same caloric cost (15 chips vs 10). But we don’t recommend it.

3

Ruffles Deep Ridged, Bacon & Cheddar Loaded Potato Skins

Ruffles Deep Ridged

1 oz (about 10 chips): 160 calories, 10 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 170 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugars, 2 g protein

Ruffles’ complex flavors are simply junky. In eating 10 measly chips, you’ll cash out 160 calories, 10 grams of fat and 170 milligrams of sodium.

2

Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream

Ruffles Cheddar

1 oz serving (about 11 chips): 160 calories, 10 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 180 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 2 g protein

Similar to the Potato Skin version above, these Ruffles rank second-to-worst by a mere 10 milligrams of sodium. But sodium counts big time. For every extra gram of salt you eat in a day—that’s a mere ⅕ of a teaspoon, or about what you’ll find in one of those tiny salt packets from the soup shop—your risk of obesity climbs by 25 percent, according to a study at Queen Mary University in London. Researchers speculate that sodium alters our metabolism, changing the way we absorb fat.

AND THE #1 WORST CHIPS ARE…Fritos Corn Chips, Chili Cheese

Fritos Corn Chips, Chili Cheese

1 oz (about 31 chips): 160 calories, 10 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 270 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 2 g protein

One serving of these Fritos costs you 10 grams of fat and 270 milligrams of sodium, both diet demons. They’re also made with caramel coloring, which is often found in soft drinks (one of the unhealthiest foods on the planet), has been proven to cause cancer in animals and is a possible carcinogen in humans, a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study found. If the possibility of absorbing more fat doesn’t scare you, an increased risk of cancer should.

 

 

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