Veggie chips not necessarily healthier option

Consumer Reports compares veggie chips to potato chips

Published On: Feb 18 2013 06:47:41 PM CST

Be careful what you munch on.

Consumer Reports evaluated 18 different chips and found so-called veggie chips are not always a healthier alternative.

Plenty of kids snack on veggie chips, often because well-intentioned parents think they are a better choice.

Consumer Reports found five of the snacks tested, which are labeled as veggie chips, are actually made from potato flour and are not nutritionally superior to potato chips.

"They do have a dash of vegetable powder, which seems mostly to add color. But they have about as much fat and calories as potato chips and a lot more sodium," said Consumer Reports' Erin Gudeux.

They also cost an average 30 percent more.  Those include  Sensible Portions Garden Veggie Straws, Snyder's EatSmart Naturals Garden Veggie Crisps and Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Veggie Chips.

A healthier alternative, according to  Consumer Reports, are chips made from slice vegetables, like top-rated Terra Exotic Vegetable Chips.  They are much lower in sodium and are made from real slices of root vegetables like sweet potato and parsnip.

"Keep in mind, this is not crudite," Gudeux said. "They're still fried. They're loaded with fat and calories."

Chips made from beans offer a nutritional boost. Boulder Canyon Natural Foods Hummus Chips stood o ut in taste tests.  They are made from chickpea flour, so you get some protein and fiber, too.