The nutrients in deep fat fried chips

Written by giselle diamond
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The nutrients in deep fat fried chips
Deep fat fried chips (David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Fatty foods are the biggest sabotage to any healthy diet. So how can chips deep-fried in fat possibly be healthy or contain any nutritional value whatsoever? There are some things you need to know, however, before you open that bag of chips. It may be surprising to learn that deep fat fried chips contain more than just fat.

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Process

Deep-frying refers to the process of placing foods in a vat of hot oil. Vegetable, canola, sunflower, and peanut oils are most common for frying chips. The oil cooks the inside and outside of the food. Potato and corn chips turn a light brown, which signifies that they are finished frying. Flavouring is added after removing the chips from the oil vat and while they are still hot so that the flavouring penetrates into the chips. Flavourings may include barbecue, sour cream and onion, plain salt, or other more exotic tastes such as dill pickle or ranch flavourings.

Nutrients

Despite the fact that chips are fried in vats of extremely hot oil, or fats, there are usually some nutrients and vitamins present even after the chips are fried. Per 100g of deep fat fried potatoes, there is 338mg of potassium, 8.4mg of vitamin C and 46mg of phosphorus. Naturally occurring vitamins and nutrients in the raw potatoes are not lost completely during the deep-frying process, some are retained.

Features

A 30g (1 ounce) bag of Lay's crisps contains 150 calories, 2g of protein, 10g of fat, and 1g of fibre. Though crisps are not as unhealthy as, for example, a fast food burger, they aren't worthy of the term "healthy" either. However, crisps are healthier than some other snack foods on the market and may not be detrimental to your health, or diet, if eaten sparingly.

Alternatives

Baked and kettle cooked chips are available as healthier alternatives to deep fat fried chips. However, kettle cooked chips are not much healthier than regular chips; the only real difference in the two is the fact that kettle cooked chips are sliced thicker. Kettle cooked chips are still fried in fats and oils, but more potato means more potato nutrients. The thickness also affects the amount of oil and fat that comes with the potato; a thicker slice of potato may have the same surface to fry, but the middle may remain relatively oil free.

Potential

Deep-fried chips have earned a bad reputation with weight loss trends urging consumers to count the calories and fats they eat. Because of these trends, snack companies must come up with new, healthier solutions in order to keep selling their products. Baked and kettle cooked chips, as well as those fried in supposedly healthier oils, are now available for fat-conscious consumers.

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