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I Don't Buy It: Healthy Junk Food

I Don't Buy It: Healthy Junk Food

It is all over the news, Americans are not eating enough fruits and veggies, and large food conglomerates have decided to help us out. According to a recent article on MSNBC, Kraft and Frito Lay are making healthy junk food, and if that sounds like an oxymoron to you that is because it is one. While these snacks might be healthier versions of junk food, they are still processed and no substitute for eating fresh produce.

Frito Lay's new chip line, Flat Earth crisps, features baked squares that contain more nutrients and less fat than regular snack chips. So they might be a better alternative to a chip, but they are still chips. Kraft's healthy alternative is a whole grain chip that per one ounce (about 16 chips) serving contains a half-serving of fruit or vegetables. One must ask, though, if the powdered produce used in these types of chips really counts as anything related to real produce. Plus, just comparing them calorie wise, the Apple Cinnamon Flat Earth Chips, by Frito Lay, contain 130 calories (40 of them from fat) per one ounce serving. An apple, about 3.4 ounces contains only 55 calories, with only 2 calories from fat. So the apple seems like a much better choice. I'm sure an apple is less expensive too.

The bottom line: A chip is still a chip and junk food is still junk food, even when it is made with whole grains and dehydrated, ground up fruits and veggies. If you do choose to have a healthier chip, remember the serving size is only an ounce so eat accordingly.


Join The Conversation
amber_castaldo amber_castaldo 9 years
My son loves these chips
Spectra Spectra 9 years
Healthy junk food annoys me to no end. It's basically just overpriced food that has maybe a TAD more nutritional value than the "nonhealthy junk food", but it's definitely not a substitute for good healthy food. Organic mozzarella sticks are still mozzarella sticks IMHO.
suzier suzier 9 years
I think it's about seeing these as an alternative to other chips, not as an alternative to actual fruits and veggies. Realistically speaking, there are times when I want chips, and an apple just won't cut it. I love the flat earth chips (especially the tomato ranch one) because at least the calories I'm eating aren't a complete waste -- they have some potassium, some vitamin A and C, some fiber, and they don't have trans fats. The calories may be the same, but I don't need to lose weight, so that's not the main priority for me. If I'm going to have a treat, I'd rather go with these than regular chips -- they may not be healthy, but I don't feel like they're damaging me, either.
srowland srowland 9 years
I got a few free samples of the Garden Harvest chips. They had a really weird taste to them. I prefer eating fresh fruits and veggies.
DoeADeer DoeADeer 9 years
I just feel like so many people will assume that these foods are "healthy". You have to choose to be informed about nutrition!
machula machula 9 years
that's an oxymoron> 'healthy junk food' :D
emalove emalove 9 years
Definitely not a substitute for real veggies. I improved SO much on my veggie intake this year. I've always loved and ate a lot of fruit, but most veggies never appealed to me. This year, I started forcing myself to eat more veggies and try ones that I'd previously avoided. Now I actually LIKE eating a lot of them!
DeviousMuse DeviousMuse 9 years
I like to have a couple of these with hummus, ricotta or cottage cheese when I come home and am out of the usual carrots/green pepper/celery to dip those in. It satisfies the crunchy need in me, and aren't as dangerous as some of the other options.
moonlite moonlite 9 years
Gross. Although considering the typical American diet these days, perhaps it would be a slight improvement and a step in the right direction.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I'll pass...
ElleJay ElleJay 9 years
I do agree that you should not substitute these for real fruits and vegetables.. but if you want a "junk food" snack, I would def. choose these over other greasy chips.
KimBurnett KimBurnett 9 years
Having a serving size is the main thing.
almostloli almostloli 9 years
nothing beats the real fruits & veggies
tigra tigra 9 years
i've only had the banana chips and they are disgusting. i do like the frito lay flat earth crisps though.
dubyah dubyah 9 years
I got a free sample of these in the mail and they were not that good! I had banana and then tomato. The banana was very strong tasting and it was just odd... I would rather eat real fruit.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
A chip is still a chip - so true :)
7kimba7 7kimba7 9 years
And these aren't even good; I got the banana ones and they are ick. I like air-popped popcorn with some Molly McButter on them.
chakra_healer chakra_healer 9 years
Have to add, kashi's crackers are the only semi-healthy junk food that I have found satisfying as a crunchy, salty, tasty snack.
chakra_healer chakra_healer 9 years
I try to eat well, but when I do want something fattening and crunchy I go for it. These almost healthy alternatives are like a tease, and I end up eating way more than I would have with the product I'm substituting.
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