Why are the chips unhealthy?


Chips contain a lot of salt, trans fats and carcinogenic acrylamide.They are unhealthy and very calorific.We all know about it, but it does not bother us in munching.Because who can resist chips?It turns out that the favorite snack of many Poles not only badly affects health, but can be addictive.


People, even children, know that the chips are unhealthy.They have a bad effect on body weight and cardiovascular system.Why is this happening?What in the composition of chips causes that for our body are a big threat?And why, in principle, we are not able to eat a few chips, and end only when crumbs remain on the bottom of the package?

What’s in the chips?

It would seem that it is just a good potato.Let’s take a look at the composition of green onion chips, potatoes, vegetable oil, palm oil, sunflower oil, green onion flavor powder, whey powder (milk), lactose powder (milk), sugar, milk in powder, taste enhancers (monosodium glutamate, disodium 5′-ribonucleotides), aromas, cheese in powder (from milk), acidity regulators (citric acid, malic acid), dyes (annatto, pepper extract), garlic powder, oil soy, maltodextrin, salt.


Read also: The role and qualities of fat in the diet



The basic ingredient of chips is of course potatoes.Potato is not dangerous in itself.The average serving of boiled potatoes (150 g) provides approx. 130 kcal, a lot of potassium and half of the daily requirement for vitamin C. Often, however, potato chips are not used for the production of crisps, and potato pulp or flakes that are molded into a suitable shape , e.g., so that they fit perfectly into the tube.The more processing processes, the less nutritional value remains in the final product.

Oil – the source of unhealthy trans fats

Oil is already in the second place in the composition, which means that the product is very much.Chips usually contain more than 30% of oil.To a large extent, it is the fat that affects the huge calorie content of the chips (500-550 kcal / 100 g).


Not too big package delivers as much calories as a good two-course dinner.And soon after eating it, we’re hungry again.Uncontrolled eating chips very easily leads to overweight.Fats used for frying chips are cheap hardened vegetable oils, e.g. palm oil.At room temperature, they have a solid consistency, which is why crisps pleasantly crunch, they last longer and oil does not flow out.The hardening (hydrogenation) process results in the production of very harmful trans fats in oils.Their consumption causes the formation of atherosclerotic plaque and increases the risk of atherosclerosis, infarction and other diseases of the cardiovascular system.Trans fats raise total cholesterol, bad LDL cholesterol and lower the levels of good HDL cholesterol in the blood.They are responsible for maintaining chronic inflammatory processes in the body and reducing immunity.


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Salt and spices

The daily recommended amount of salt in the diet is 5 g. This applies to both the salt contained in food products and added to the prepared dishes.However, the average Polish diet provides 15 g of salt.That’s a lot, the more so because we often do not know how much sodium is in the food and we carelessly add it.The amount of salt in the chips is alarming.100 g of this snack provides about 2 grams of salt, or as much as 40% of the daily requirement.Excess sodium chloride in the diet is the cause of fluid retention in the body and the associated swelling and heaviness, it can lead to kidney problems and hypertension.Importantly, problems with hypertension do not only affect people of a mature age.They affect children more and more often.An essential component of the seasoning mixture in chips is monosodium glutamate, a taste enhancer.It is not entirely clear what quantities can have a negative effect on the human body, but this ingredient is a very common additive and you have to be careful not to overdo it.As for spices, they are rarely natural ingredients.The more sophisticated the flavor, the longer and more interesting the composition of the flavoring.While salted chips do not have suspicious mixes, getting a taste of kebab, bacon or yogurt requires a lot of chemist’s involvement.


Check also: Salt, harmful or not?



Acrylamide – cancer risk

Acrylamide is a compound that is formed in food at high temperature during frying and baking in the so-calledMaillard reaction.It involves sugars and the amino acid asparagine, and the effect is characteristic browning and crunchiness, for example, bread crusts.Only that the bread contains about 20 μg acrylamide in 1 kg, and the chips even 3500 μg / kg.Corn crisps, which we like to give to children, have as much as 2400 μg of acrylamide in 1 kg.Acrylamide has a toxic effect on the nervous system, and prolonged exposure to this compound causes damage to the central and peripheral nervous system.It also causes an increased risk of cancer, includingthyroid, testicles, lungs, skin and breast.

Can chips be addictive?

Often the first reason why we reach for chips is the pleasure of eating them.We like to munch.We like the characteristic combination of fat, sugar and salt, which is a source of pleasure for the brain.It has also been found that during the digestion of the chips in the intestines, opioid compounds similar to the active marijuana drug are released.All this makes the chips you can not stop eating and despite good intentions we finish eating only after the package is completely emptied.A group of unhealthy products that you can not stop eating has even got its English name for moreishness.Chips in some respects act on the brain like alcohol or drugs – while eating them, the reward center responsible for the feeling of pleasure and stimulating addiction is stimulated.This was confirmed in studies on rats that were fed with crisps.Eating for pleasure as a disorder also gained its name – it is a hedonic hyperphagia.Frequent eating chips, unfortunately, can lead to it.

What to replace chips?

Reaching for snacks while watching a movie, drinking beer and meeting friends is almost a ritual.We rarely want to give it up.To protect your health and weight from unpleasant consequences, it’s worth changing the chips for other snacks.Valuable and tasty will be e.g.

  • dried vegetables in spices, e.g. carrot and beetroot, available for purchase in the store,
  • With kale chips,
  • potato chips,
  • baked vegetables cut into slices with the addition of spices and oil, e.g. carrots, parsley, celery,
  • raw vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, celery or peppers cut into bars and dipped in garlic sauce prepared from yoghurt,
  • zucchini slices baked with tomato and mozzarella,
  • olives stuffed on toothpicks,
  • roasted chickpeas with spices.



Posted on: January 11, 2019

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