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Ugly Side Effects of Eating Potato Chips, According to Science

Overeating this salty snack can cause some serious damage.
FACT CHECKED BY Kiersten Hickman

Any balanced diet can include a bit of healthy, moderate snacking, but going overboard on any junk food can do some real damage. While you might assume you can get away with eating a few chips, you can easily undo any positive nutrition goals you gained from eating healthy. If you love indulging in chips, you can guarantee to see some very scary bodily changes over the course of your life, especially if you eat a ton of these salty, fat-filled snacks every day. Thanks to a myriad of studies and research, scientists have found seven incredibly detrimental side effects of eating a lot of potato chips regularly. Next time you think about going over that serving size, think again!

Discover which ugly side effects of eating potato chips you could face, and for some healthy recipes, check out 22 Meals to Melt Belly Fat in 2022.

Too many chips can raise your blood pressure.

eating chips

No one wants to experience high blood pressure, especially when it can lead to a myriad of health effects like dementia or heart problems, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you love to chow down on chips, you have an increased chance of experiencing hypertension, a.k.a. high blood pressure, thanks to the high levels of sodium found in each serving. According to the Cleveland Clinic and the Harvard Medical School, the salt found in these snacks significantly destabilize your sodium levels compared to other food items, immediately putting you in harm's way.

For a wholesome diet and long life, avoid putting yourself at risk and check out a bunch of low-sodium options in 19 Best Low-Sodium Fast Food Orders, According to Dietitians.

You could develop cancer.


You might have never guessed that your favorite bag of chips can increase your risk for cancer. According to the American Cancer Association, a chemical called acrylamide that appears in processed foods has carcinogenic properties and can lead to a variety of cancers.

This comes as terrible news for chip lovers—potato chips contain high levels of this chemical, and they present a very direct avenue through which many people consume acrylamide. You might assume that there's no way potato chips could present the same dangers as a high-risk carcinogen like nicotine, but don't be fooled! Both cigarette smoke and potato chips contain this carcinogen, making a threat to your health very immediate and apparent.

Here's What Happens To Your Body When You Eat A Bag Of Potato Chips.

It can increase your chances of heart disease.

potato chips

You have always heard that processed fatty foods can do some serious damage to your heart, and chips don't pull any punches when it comes to ruining your health. If you love digging into a bag of chips, you should plan to face the potential side effect of heart disease, thanks to the carcinogenic acrylamides.

According to Science Daily, acrylamides can lead to an increased chance of heart disease. A 2009 medical study published through the National Library of Medicine confirmed the grave results of consuming acrylamides on heart health, making chips a scientifically proven dangerous snack if you need to avoid any heart complications.

Instead, focus on eating these 20 Foods That Can Help Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease.

It can increase your risk of stroke.

Bowl potato chips

When it comes to snacking on chips, you have to worry about more than just acrylamides. According to Griffin Health, chips contain loads of cholesterol and if you have a family history of strokes, you need to avoid these snacks next time a craving hits.

If you ignore the warnings and go straight for a bag of these fat-filled potato chips, you face a possible aneurysm in your future. According to the Mayo Clinic, the fat deposits left by foods containing high amounts of cholesterol, causing a blockage in your arteries which could lead directly to a stroke. Next time hunger strikes, take a second to consider the consequences those chips might cause—and maybe turn to one of these 50 Healthiest Snacks to Eat instead.

There's also risk of infertility.

Bag of potato chips

If you thought you only had to worry about the fat or cholesterol in your bag of chips, think again! Trans fats can do some equally serious damage, and according to the National University of Singapore, chips present one of the most immediate ways we consume these dangerous fats on a daily basis.

Scientists are still in the process of researching the long-term effects of trans fats, but their recent discoveries can make you immediately put down that bag of chips. According to the Harvard Medical School, trans fats may raise the risk of infertility in women.

It can cause intense weight gain.


It comes as no surprise that chips can cause some major weight gain, considering they contain so many empty calories and are easy to overeat.

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine directly linked snack foods like chips to extreme weight shifts, while Deakin University found that the salt content of chips makes them irresistible to our taste buds, causing us to easily eat way more than we should. Combine the extra fat content with salt and you end up with a perfect storm of poor nutrition that guarantees to ruin anyone's weight goals.

They've been linked to depression.

Potato chips

The side effects of eating potato chips don't just do a number on your physical health. By indulging in bags of chips, you put your mental health at risk, all thanks to the addition of high amounts of trans fats.

According to a 2016 study published in the US National Library of Medicine, increased consumption of trans fats leads to increased chances of depression. If you thought grabbing an extra snack could lift your spirits and help your mental health, get ready to take stock of this horrible side effect that can only do real damage to your life. Next time the urge to snack strikes, put down the chips and reach for a healthy snack.

Learn which snacks can offer the perfect replacement to chips by checking out 15 Snacks Nutritionists Eat Every Day.

Erich Barganier
Erich Barganier is a health and food writer. Read more about Erich