Tortilla chips with guacamole or your favorite salsa is a satiating snack, and it's one you can enjoy on your own or bring to a party to satisfy a larger crowd. Not only are they tasty, but tortilla chips are very affordable and many types are on the healthier end when it comes to nutrition. Some brands of chips are much healthier than others, and these options can be easy to find as long as you know what you're looking for.
Our nutritional criteria for choosing the best healthy tortilla chips:
According to Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, when you're looking for the "healthiest" tortilla chips, you'll want to consider the following things:
- Check the ingredients: Opt for chips with minimal ingredients. Look for options that contain whole corn, oil (preferably a healthy oil like sunflower or avocado oil), and salt. Avoid chips with additives, preservatives, and artificial flavors.
- The use of whole grains: Choose tortilla chips made from whole grains, such as whole-grain corn. Whole grains provide more fiber and nutrients compared to refined grains
- Watch the sodium content: Pay attention to the sodium content. Excessive salt intake is unhealthy, so choose chips with lower sodium levels. Consider unsalted or lightly salted options.
- Avoid trans fats: Trans fats are unhealthy and can contribute to heart disease. Check the nutrition label for the presence of trans fats and choose chips that are free from partially hydrogenated oils.
- Consider baked chips: Baked tortilla chips are often a healthier alternative to fried ones. Baked chips typically have lower fat content compared to their fried counterparts.
- Look for higher fiber content: Choose chips with higher fiber content. Fiber aids in digestion and can help you feel fuller longer, which may prevent overeating.
With these factors in mind, we talked with dietitians to get their picks for the healthiest—and unhealthiest—tortilla chips available on the market. Read on, and for something to dip your chips in, check out 12 Store-Bought Salsas with the Highest Quality Ingredients.
The 10 Healthiest Tortilla Chips
Best: Beanitos White Bean Chips
When you're looking for a simple tortilla chip with nothing more than just a little bit of sea salt, Beanitos White Bean Tortilla Chips are a healthy option.
"These tortilla chips are made with white beans and have 4 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein per serving," says Goodson.
Goodson adds that "They have the same crunch as a tortilla chip and come in multiple flavors," which makes them the perfect option for those craving a classic tortilla chip but who want a more filling snack.
Best: Hippeas Chickpea Tortilla Chips Sea Salt & Lime
Another healthy tortilla chip that Goodson loves is Hippeas, which is a company that makes their products with chickpea flour.
"These tortilla chips are made with chickpea flour, providing each serving with 3 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein, and they are low in sodium with around 170-210 milligrams per serving depending on the flavor," says Goodson.
She adds "They are baked and not fried, vegan, and gluten-free for those with different dietary preferences."
We love their Sea Salt & Lime flavor, but if that isn't your thing, Hippeas also comes in Rockin' Ranch and Nacho Vibes, which resemble tortilla chips like Doritos but with much better quality ingredients.
Best: From the Ground Up Cauliflower Tortilla Chips
A lot of tortilla chips come heavily processed with long lists of ingredients and additives that are impossible to pronounce. Thankfully, some brands like From the Ground Up are making healthier choices with whole ingredients.
"Made with cassava, cauliflower, pea fiber, and chia seeds, these cauliflower tortilla chips are great for a chip that's grain-free, gluten-free, and plant-based," says Goodson. "Plus, they provide 2 grams of fiber per serving."
Best: Popcorners Sea Salt Chips
We love it when a healthy chip has a larger serving size because it means you can indulge a bit more.
"If you are looking for a pop of crunch with a serving size of 21 chips, Popcorners might be your chip choice," says Goodson.
She says "These chips are made with less than 5 ingredients, are baked and not fried, and are an optimal crunch when it comes to snacking because you get more for fewer calories."
Best: Zach's Mighty Tortilla Chips Sea Salt
Sometimes the best tortilla chip is one that has a combination of flavor and a perfectly crispy texture for dipping. And if you can find a chip that has these two things and is on the healthier side, you've found the perfect chip. According to Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, Zach's Mighty Chips meets all the criteria for a deliciously healthy tortilla chip.
"These chips are cut from freshly baked heirloom corn tortillas, fried to crispy perfection, and finished with just the right amount of sea salt," she says. "Made with two types of Organic yellow corn, Flint and Dent, these chips have a satisfying flavor and they won't break easily when used as a vessel for dips!"
Best: Siete Tortilla Chips
For those who want the satisfaction of a tortilla chip snack but need something grain-free, Siete is the way to go.
"Siete tortilla chips are grain-free, gluten-free, and non-GMO," says Manaker. "Made with quality ingredients like avocado oil, cassava, and chia seeds, these chips are an awesome choice."
These chips are also paleo and vegan-friendly, and you can enjoy flavors like Lime, Churro, Nacho, or Jalapeño Lime.
Best: Mi Niña White Corn Tortilla Chips
Anyone who has snacked on a Mi Niña Tortilla Chip knows how hard it is to not eat the whole bag. According to Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, this delicious tortilla chip is also on the healthier side, making it the perfect choice for someone in search of a satisfying snack.
"This is a healthy option due to its lower-calorie content, and the fact that it contains very minimal ingredients like non-GMO white corn, sunflower oil, sea salt, and a trace of lime," says Young. "It also contains zero grams of trans fats, cholesterol, and sugars, which is beneficial for weight management and heart health."
Best: Que Pasa Organic Yellow Corn Tortilla Chips
For a gluten-free, lower-calorie chip with very minimal ingredients, Young suggests grabbing a bag of Que Pasa Yellow Corn Chips.
"These chips are a great option because of the lower calorie count and because it only contains sodium levels of 75 milligrams and zero grams of trans fats, cholesterol, and sugars."
Not only that, but these contain only four ingredients: corn, sunflower oil, sea salt, and a trace of lime.
Best: 365 Organic Thin & Crispy White Corn Tortilla Chips
Young also loves the Organic Thin & Crispy White Corn Tortilla Chips from Whole Foods.
"This is a healthy chip option due to its low sodium content of 50 milligrams, and the fact that it has zero grams of trans fat, cholesterol, and sugars," says Young.
She also adds that in these chips, "there are healthy fats present, such as polyunsaturated fat (1.5 grams) and monounsaturated fat (6 grams), which can help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in the blood."
Best: Good & gather Organic Black Bean Quinoa Multigrain Tortilla Chips
Whole Foods isn't the only store to have its own selection of healthy tortilla chips. Target's food brand, Good & Gather, has am Organic Black Bean Quinoa Multigrain Tortilla Chip, which Young recommends when you're searching for a good option.
"This one is relatively low in calories (140 calories) and contains zero grams of trans fat and cholesterol, which helps prevent the increase of the LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in the blood," says Young. "The presence of monounsaturated fats (6 grams) is also beneficial for heart health," she adds.
These Good & Gather chips also have a short ingredients list that is void of artificial additives or preservatives.
The 3 Unhealthiest Tortilla Chips
Worst: Tostitos Hint of Guacamole
Tostitos is one of the most popular tortilla chip brands and is a go-to choice for some when they're grabbing a snack from the vending machine. Unfortunately, even though this brand is convenient, many of its flavors come with artificial additives and ingredients that are less than ideal.
For instance, their Hint of Guacamole option uses artificial flavors and dyes like Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Blue 1. Yellow 5 and 6 have been linked to allergic reactions and hyperactivity, and Yellow 6 specifically has been linked to possible adrenal and testicular tumors.
Worst: Doritos Nacho Cheese
According to Young, Doritos may be an option you want to avoid eating regularly because "It has a lot of ingredients listed with many food additives present."
Among the long list of additives present is a collection of artificial dyes: Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Red 40. All three dyes have been linked to possible allergic reactions and hyperactivity in children, with Red 40 having a potential link to ADHD specifically.
Worst: Doritos Flamas
The regular Doritos Nacho Cheese already contain artificial dyes and ingredients, so it's no surprise that their popular flavor, Flamas, would contain the same.
With Red 40 and Yellow 6 used for coloring, you're much better off choosing one of our healthier tortilla options listed above that contains zero artificial ingredients.