Let’s be frank: we all love potato chips. Everybody knows that they are bad for your health, and everybody enjoys their taste. What can be done about it?
Here is why eating lots of potato chips is something you should avoid:
- Chips are full of so-called ‘empty calories’ and contain far too few nutrients. Thus, consumption of this snack increases your risk of obesity: it is widely believed that chips are the biggest culprit for rapid weight gain in both children and adults.
- A lot of chip manufacturers use trans fats to keep their products crisp for as long as possible. On the negative side, trans fats clog your arteries and increase your cholesterol levels which might lead to heart disease.
- Salt makes chips especially tasty; however, it also causes hypertension. People with hypertension are more likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke and kidney failure.
- The food industry often uses BHT (stands for butylhydroxytoluene) to prevent packaged snacks from getting rancid. BHT, as well as numerous other preservatives, is reported to induce cancer.
Some products have tastes that strongly resemble potato chips. So, you might try these low-fat and low-calorie ready-made snacks:
- air-popped popcorn
- unsalted whole-wheat pretzels
- roasted red pepper
- pinto bean chips
- zucchini chips
- kale chips.
You can also cook your own vegetable chips: this job is very simple and does not require any special culinary skills.
- Apple chips. You definitely need to swap your bag of potato chips for some apple crisps to keep the doctor away. Thinly slice two or three apples and bake the slices at 200 degrees for 30 minutes. Flip the chips and bake them for 30 more minutes. You might also sprinkle the slices with some cinnamon and ginger before placing them into the oven.
- Carrot chips. Carrot is an excellent source of beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A which is extremely important for your eyesight and skin. Thinly slice the carrots and sprinkle them with cinnamon. Place them into the oven (preheated to 250°F) and bake for 45 minutes or longer until crispy.
- Beet chips. Beet contains enormous quantities of sugar, so here is the recipe for extremely sweet chips. Preheat your oven to 350°F, and place thin slices of beet into it. After 20 minutes of baking rotate the sheet and bake for 10 or 20 more minutes.
- Banana chips. Surely, you can eat your bananas without any cooking. However, if you try this recipe of baked banana crisps, you will inevitably forget about potato chips. First, you will need to preheat your oven to 190 or 200°F. Slice your bananas and brush the slices with some lemon juice: this will prevent the crisps from getting brown. Place the slices into the oven and bake them for 90 minutes. When you take the chips out of the oven they might be a bit sticky and soft: let them cool down a little and they will get hard and pleasantly crispy.