10 Healthy Salty Snacks

Better-for-you ingredients and less grease make these chips tasty, guilt-free treats

September 12, 2012
Woman eating bowl of chips
1/11
Mitch Mandel

There's more to this all-American picnic staple nowadays than ridges and ranch seasoning. Thanks to better-for-you ingredients (think beans, veggies, even chocolate), plus more protein, fiber, whole grains, and healthy fats, off-the-bike snacking has gotten a lot less greasy.   But with so many chip options, it's tough to know what's good and what's not. So we happily munched our way through a host of new snacks to find out.

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Related: Munch and Ride

Food Should Taste Good All Natural Chips, Chocolate
2/11
Mitch Mandel
Food Should Taste Good All Natural Chips, Chocolate

"Yum. Tastes like a cookie." "Crispy, with a hint of cocoa."

What's good: Packed with cholesterol-friendly monounsaturated fat and, of course, chocolate

Benefit: Healthy fats ease inflammation and combat muscle soreness.

10 chips = 140 calories, 7g fat, 3g fiber, 2g protein, 80mg sodium

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Plocky's Mediterranean Munchies Hummus Chips, Greek Lemon Herb
3/11
Mitch Mandel
Plocky's Mediterranean Munchies Hummus Chips, Greek Lemon Herb

"Tangy lemon flavor." "A rice-cracker texture."

What's good: Gluten- and GMO-free; created from garbanzo beans and olive oil

Benefit: Protein-packed beans help speed up postride muscle recovery.

20 chips = 130 calories, 5g fat, 2g fiber, 4g protein, 400mg sodium

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New York Naturals Kale Chips, Vegan "Cheese"
4/11
Mitch Mandel
New York Naturals Kale Chips, Vegan "Cheese"

"Chewy, cheesy, savory." "Crumble easily."

What's good: Cashew-coated chips made with the whole antioxidant-rich kale leaf; highest in protein

Benefit: Antioxidants protect muscle cells from exercise-induced damage.

1 ounce = 137 calories, 10g fat, 3g fiber, 6g protein, 310mg sodium

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Brad's Raw Chips, Beet
5/11
Mitch Mandel
Brad's Raw Chips, Beet

"Earthy, whole-grain flavor." "An acquired taste."

What's good: Beets and carrots deliver immune-boosting vitamin A; five times the fiber of traditional chips

Benefit: Omega-3s in flaxseeds enhance bone density, a plus for cyclists prone to bone loss.

14 chips = 120 calories, 5g fat, 5g fiber, 4g protein, 100mg sodium

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Good Health Natural Foods Veggie Stix
6/11
Mitch Mandel
Good Health Natural Foods Veggie Stix

"Light and crunchy, with a distinct veggie flavor."

What's good: Chock-full of spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms, and vitamins

Benefit: No fiber to cause stomach issues, plus 18 grams of carbs per serving, make these a great preride option.

1 ounce = 130 calories, 5g fat, 0g fiber, 1g protein, 260mg sodium

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Terra Chips Terra Blues Potato Chips
7/11
Mitch Mandel
Terra Chips Terra Blues Potato Chips

"Firm and subtly salty." "A great potato chip."

What's good: Three ingredients--blue potatoes, oil, and salt; triple the fiber and almost half the fat of traditional chips

Benefit: Blue taters contain anthocyanins, which protect eyes from damaging rays.

1 ounce = 130 calories, 6g fat, 3g fiber, 2g protein, 115mg sodium

Healthy Foods That Aren't So Healthy When Consumed in Excess

Beanitos Black Bean Chipotle BBQ Chips
8/11
Mitch Mandel
Beanitos Black Bean Chipotle BBQ Chips

"Delicate with a great spicy flavor." "Heavily seasoned."

What's good: The first ingredient is whole black beans; contains five times the fiber and twice the protein of most corn and potato chips

Benefit: Heart-healthy fiber helps lower cholesterol.

1 ounce = 140 calories, 7g fat, 5g fiber, 4g protein, 150mg sodium

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Mediterranean Snacks Parmesan Garlic Baked Lentil Chips
9/11
Mitch Mandel
Mediterranean Snacks Parmesan Garlic Baked Lentil Chips

"Sturdy chip that begs for a flavorful dip."

What's good: Triple the fiber, double the protein, and 70 percent less fat than regular chips

Benefit: Protein plus potassium helps repair muscles and prevent cramping.

22 chips = 110 calories, 3g fat, 3g fiber, 4g protein, 170mg sodium

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Popcorn, Indiana Chip'ins All Natural Popcorn Chips, Classic BBQ
10/11
Mitch Mandel
Popcorn, Indiana Chip'ins All Natural Popcorn Chips, Classic BBQ

"A puffy, crispy Doritos-like chip with a smoky taste."

What's good: Contains chili powder and paprika, not artificial dyes and chemicals

Benefit: Cayenne and paprika combat post-exercise inflammation.

18 chips = 130 calories, 4g fat, 1g fiber, 2g protein, 220mg sodium

The Go-Faster Eating Plan

Popchips, Sweet Potato
11/11
Mitch Mandel
Popchips, Sweet Potato

"Light and crispy." "Has a prominent sweet-potato flavor."

What's good: Air-popped for 70 percent less fat than the deep-fried kind; only 100 calories per serving

Benefit: The chip-to-calorie ratio will keep you light on your bike.

19 chips = 100 calories, 3g fat, 0g fiber, 1g protein, 95mg sodium

Power Up with Potatoes
 

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