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The 15 Unhealthiest Chips On The Planet

Don’t let these snacks ruin your waistline.
baked potato chips

Sometimes when a craving hits, a stick of celery or piece of fruit just doesn't cut it. All chips aren't created equal and some cause greater damage to your diet than others. While some varieties of these snacks only set you back a bit, other potato chips, bagged popcorn, pretzels, and more can undo weeks worth of diet and exercise. Packed with saturated fat, salt, and even sugar, these unhealthiest chips are empty calorie bombs with the potential to make anyone feel sluggish after eating only a single serving of their favorite unhealthy crispy snack.

To determine which culprits could claim the title of "worst chip," we ranked the overall amount of fat and sodium in each snack, as well as how many pieces of the snack comprised its serving size to create a list that concludes with the very worst chips possible. We looked at all types of chips—not just potato! By steering clear of these calorie nightmares, you can manage the perfect balance when it comes to picking out healthier snacks and keep the pounds from packing on.

From kind of bad to the absolute worst, here are the unhealthiest chips on the planet. And for more healthy eating tips, be sure to check out our list of 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.


Pringles Baconator Chips

pringles baconator chips

Per 15 chips: 150 calories, 9 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 220 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (<1 g fiber, <1 g sugar), 1 g protein

When a snack prides itself on the amount of bacon flavor it can cram into a snack, approach the item with utmost caution. This rule doubly applies to Pringles latest foray into bacon flavor, as it loads up 15 chips with a hearty count of saturated fat and salt, with very little positive net health benefits. When in doubt, always pass over bacon-centric items to keep your eating plan controlled and healthy.


Cheetos Puffs Cheese Flavored Snacks

cheetos puffs

Per 13 puffs: 160 calories, 10 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 270 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 2 g protein

You might assume that Cheetos could escape this list, considering their snacks could almost fit the description of crackers, and their cheese puff lines have so much air in the product. Don't let your guard down—these supersized cheese puffs pack in the calories with just a mere 13 pieces. With a whopping 10 grams of fat for such a small serving, avoid these bite-sized diet destroyers.


Funyuns Onion Flavored Rings

funyuns onion flavored rings

Per 13 pieces: 140 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 280 mg sodium, 19 g carbs (1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 2 g protein

One taste of a Funyun can send anyone back to childhood, but don't assume these snacks fit the definition of wholesome or healthy. Anyone who indulges in this empty-calorie trap rakes in about 10% of their daily intake of fat. Since the product mostly consists of air, you won't stay full for long. Skip these over in favor of something with a higher fiber count, such as fresh veggies and a yogurt dip.

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Doritos Nacho Cheese Flavored Chips


Per 12 chips: 150 calories, 8 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 210 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 2 g protein

You might imagine Doritos couldn't possibly pose the same nutritional threat as a traditional potato chip. When it comes to levels of sodium and fat in a small serving size, don't let your guard down—these chips can't satisfy any serious hunger and only provide empty calories. Doritos relatively large serving of saturated fat and total fat do nothing for your diet, and only prove to add excess nutritional waste to your day. Steer clear of these classic diet-killers at all cost.


Pringles Wavy Applewood Smoked Cheddar Chips

pringles wavy applewood smoked cheddar

Per 12 chips: 150 calories, 9 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 310 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 1 g protein

Chips that feature cheese or bacon neve offer anything wholesome, but when you combine them together, you end up with the perfect storm of malnutrition that can derail your eating plan for days. Even if you get to indulge in 12 chips, the serving includes a massive 2.5 grams of saturated fat and 9 grams of total fat. Without even mentioning the massive dose of salt you consume, it is safe to say that these chips easily rank as some of the worst you can indulge in.


Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream Chips


Per 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

Even when cheddar and sour cream get presented in their natural forms, very few would declare these fat-filled items to even appear healthy. Wrap these same elements into a deep-fried potato chip and you get left with the worst of all three worlds. These massive doses empty calories feature an overwhelming amount of fat, not to mention a solid hit of sodium that edges you towards your total daily goal faster than it takes to grab a handful of these chips. Do your waistline a favor and leave these snacks on the shelf next time you go out shopping.


Tostitos Strips Tortilla Chips

tostitos strips

Per 11 chips: 150 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 115 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (1 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 0 g protein

Next time you host a party and want to serve salsa, think twice about what kind of tortilla chips you use to scoop your dip. If you ignore the nutrition label, you'll feel shocked to learn that only 11 of these tiny tortilla strips pack in a solid amount fat and calories. If you want to go to town on your favorite dip, opt to choose a chip with less fat to truly let the salsa shine.


Fritos Chili Cheese Flavored Corn Chip

fritos chili cheese flavored corn chips

Per 1 package: 180 calories, 11 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 310 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 2 g protein

Fritos entered the lexicon of classic American snacks decades ago, well before nutritionists began rallying against processed fats and extra salt. Fritos chili cheese flavored chips encapsulate the worst health risks out of the entire line of snacks, with a walloping 11 grams of fat and over a tenth of one's salt intake per snack bag. If you want to avoid an overabundance of sodium and fat for the day, steer clear of this nutritional nightmare.


Fritos Flavor Twists Honey Barbecue Flavor Corn Snacks

fritos flavor twists honey bbq

Per 1 package: 160 calories, 9 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 200 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 2 g protein

When a chip increases in volume, you can guarantee that it absorbs even more fat and sodium, proving to undo any healthy eating you might have done today. Fritos Honey Barbecue Flavor Twists proves this point, as they can burden any diet with an unnecessary amount of salt and fat that adds nothing to your daily routine. Next time you need a quick pick-me-up, look for a snack with more vitamins and minerals to offset any added salt, sugar, or fat.

Why not make your own chips instead with our Best Homemade Potato Chips Recipe?


Snyder's of Hanover Real Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Pieces

snyders peanut butter filled pretzels

Per 10 pretzels: 150 calories, 7 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 330 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (2 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 5 g protein

Just because you might prefer a pretzel over a potato chip, don't think you have made it out of the proverbial woods. These bite-sized treats pack in a punch of fat and salt due to their loaded peanut butter centers. If you indulge too heavily in these pretzels, going over your daily recommended fat content would be all too easy. Do your waistline a favor and pass these over next time you feel the urge to snack.


Ruffles Double Crunch Zesty Cheddar Flavored Potato Chips

ruffles double crunch zesty cheddar

Per 10 chips: 150 calories, 8 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 170 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 2 g protein

With extra deep ridges, Ruffles can pack a ton of oil and salt into their hearty chips and they take it to the next level by doubling down on cheddar flavor. Your diet could wince with pain if it knew what was about to happen to it when you graze on these chips. With a solid dose of sodium and a hearty 8 grams of fat, these snacks don't do your diet any favors. For a healthier day, don't fall prey to the temptation of Ruffles.


Snyder's of Hanover Cheddar Cheese Flavored Sourdough Pretzel Pieces

snyders pretzel pieces

Per 28 grams (1 oz): 150 calories, 9 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 240 mg sodium, 10 g carbs (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 2 g protein

Anytime a snack relies on cheese, you know that the item pushes the envelope when it comes to delivering a wholesome snack, but Snyder's takes unhealthiness to the next level with their saturated fat-filled cheddar cheese flavored pretzel bites. With a miniscule serving size of 1/3 of a cup, the snack packs in 4 grams of heart-stopping saturated fat and a solid amount of sodium to make your snack weigh you down all day. Indulging in real cheese straws would prove more wholesome than snacking on this imitation. Like these Ultimate Cheese Straws!


Santitas Yellow Corn Tortilla Triangles

santitas yellow tortilla corn chips

Per 9 chips: 140 calories, 6 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 115 mg sodium, 20 g carbs (1 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 2 g protein

Tortilla chips may seem innocuous at first glance, but considering most brands fry their chips and load them up with sodium, indulging in too many can spell dietary disaster. Santitas falls into this very trap, offering up a mere 9 chips loaded with 140 empty calories and 6 grams of fat. This scant serving size couldn't satisfy any snacking goal and when you pair it with a dip, you ask for trouble. To keep your daily nutrition to healthy levels, skip over this nutritionally useless snack.


Kettle Brand Buffalo Bleu Krinkle Cut Potato Chips

kettle brand krinkle cut buffalo bleu

Per 9 chips: 140 calories, 8 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 160 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (2 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 2 g protein

Kettle Brand chips often give off the impression that they have a certain level of health benefits that come from getting kettle cooked. Don't get led astray by the marketing—these chips have one of the smallest serving sizes for a massive hit of empty calories, fat, and sodium. The Buffalo Bleu variety particularly can hit your daily nutrition hard, offering very little in exchange for pure damage. Next time you want a healthier chip, don't get misled by their "natural" image.


Kettle Brand Spicy Queso Krinkle Cut Potato Chips

kettle krinkle cut potato chips

Per 9 chips: 140 calories, 8 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 150 mg sodium, 3 g carbs (2 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 2 g protein

Coming in as the worst-offending chip on the market with a meager 9 chip serving size, the Kettle Brand spicy queso flavor hits you with 8 grams of fat and no nutritional benefit at all. With a chip that burns off so fast and leaves you feeling hungry moments after consuming, don't give this choice a chance next time a snack craving hits.

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