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Trader Joe's Just Launched Healthy Flamin' Hot Cheetos

The grocery giant's snack is just as dangerously cheesy—minus the belly-widening amount of fat.
Trader Joes Spicy Cheese Crunchies

Love the hot kick and crave-worthy crunch but can't stomach the fact that one serving of Flamin' Hot Cheetos packs in nearly 200 belly-bloating calories? Well, you may be in for a treat. Trader Joe's just launched its own version of the dangerously cheesy snack—and it's actually not that bad for you. The Joe's version is dubbed Spicy Cheese Crunchies and has that glorious crisp sans a fryer. So what's in it?

"Made from cornmeal, these gluten-free snacks are baked (not fried) until they're the crispiest they can be. Then, they're showered with our magical spicy cheese dust. However, unlike the coating you'll find on other brands' hot cheese crunchies, ours is made with real cheddar cheese and a blend of savory spices—without the artificial flavors or scary synthetic colors," Trader Joe's website states. What do the critics think? According to Instagram user byronbranyon, "The taste is similar to Flamin' Hot Cheetos but not quite as hot. Still plenty spicy though." Others say the snack rivals the original. "These are so delicious! Better than Flamin' Hot Cheetos IMO and much healthier as well. I'm stockings up on these babies!" Instagram user hyphywifey_9mm states.

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So is this revamped snack worth dealing with neon-dusted fingers for? We dive into the nutritionals below:

Frito Lay Flamin' Hot Cheetos

Flamin Hot cheetos

Per 1 oz: 170 calories, 11 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 250 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 1 g protein

 

Trader Joe's Spicy Cheese Crunchies

Trader Joes Spicy Cheese Crunchies

Per 1 oz: 130 calories, 6 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 210 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (<1 g fiber, <1 g sugar), 2 g protein

TJ's healthified version packs in 40 fewer calories, 4 grams less fat, 40 milligrams less sodium, and an extra gram of protein per serving. Plus, it uses natural spices such as paprika and turmeric for color rather than the artificial dyes such as Red 40 Lake and Yellow 6 Lake that Frito Lay pumps into its bags. If you're craving hot Cheetos, we're saying to give the Trader Joe's version a try. Just remember to stick to one serving and reach for high-protein snacks on the regular.

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