We're a nation of crisp lovers, but just how bad are crisps for your health and diet? We look at the calorie, fat and sat fat content of the most popular flavours to sort the healthy crisps from the ones, we'd be better off avoiding.
It’s estimated that us Brits consume a heart-stopping 6 billion packets of crisps a year (that’s 150 packets each!). We have the largest selection of crisp flavours in Europe and munch our way through more packets of the potato snack than any other neighbouring country. Basically, we’re crisp crazy, regardless of how healthy your crisps of choice may or may not be.
Whether you’re mad about Pringles, can’t get by without a packet of Doritos or would do anything for a handful of Hula Hoops, it’s fair to say they’re a household staple. And we’re just as guilty here at GoodtoKnow! But do you know which crisps are the healthiest, and which crisps are seriously damaging your diet?
We’ve rated some of the nation’s favourite potato snacks from worst through to best, taking into account their calories, fat and saturated fat, and were alarmed by the results. One of our favourites contains a staggering 300 calories per serving, whilst one of the better options only contains 84 calories – so you could eat three and half packets as an equivalent. We know which ones we’ll be choosing next time we need a friend for our sandwiches!
If you’re on a diet or just trying to be a little healthier, wouldn’t you like to know which crisps you can have as a guilt-free treat from time to time, and which ones to avoid on the supermarket shelves?
We’ve taken a look at some of the most popular in the UK and rated them against each other in terms of calories, fat and saturated fat and other factors that can affect their nutiritonal value, and ranked them from worst to best, so that you and your family can make the best choice when it comes to being healthier. But which was bag was found to contain the healthiest crisps? Read on to find out!
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Cals: 300 Highest calorie content
Saturates: 5g Not only does a third of a pack contain a whopping 300 calories, it also has 18g of fat for only 32 crisps – that’s almost a third of the daily recommended fat allowance for women. Most of the flavours have the same amount of calories and fat however, barbecue Pringles have a slightly higher saturated fat content.
A recommended serving size of Pringles is just 15 chips (or 160 calories), but if you pick up one of these supersize tubes in the supermarket, you’re almost definitely going to eat more than that, so do yourself a favour and steer clear altogether.
Cals: 263 Highest number of calories per bag
Saturates: 1.4g Because of the size of each packet (50g – almost double the weight of other packets) these crisps are far from healthy or even low in fat. There’s also nothing on the packets to suggest they’re free from artificial colours of flavours.
McCoys Flame Grilled Steak crisps are fine as a one-off treat, but keeping them in your cupboard on a regular basis is a recipe for diet disaster.
Saturates: 0.9g Despite
being free from preservatives, artificial colours or sweeteners, these
crisps are still high in calories and have a high fat content.
they are relatively low in saturates, so if you really can’t resist
their spicy flavour, they’re not the worst choice you could make. Just
don’t get sucked in by a sharesize bag – there’s 504 calories in every
Fat: 10.4g Second highest fat content
Saturates: 1g Bad news for fans of the humble corn chip – Doritos are the classic crisps to share with mates but at 200 calories for a 40g bag they are notably high in calories and fat.
They also have high sodium levels – again, one best left on the supermarket shelf.
Cals: 196 Highest calories for a corn snack
Saturates: 0.8g Of all the baked corn snacks on the market, Monster Munch have the highest number of calories and fat content.
However, the pickled onion flavoured crisps do have a relatively low amount of saturated fats.
Saturates: 0.8g Walkers
crisps have long been a lunchbox staple – billed as the perfect
accompaniment to a sandwich but with almost 10g of fat per bag, they are
still considered high in fat.
However they’re not the highest
in calories and have lower saturated fats than other baked crisp
varieties. Most flavours are roughly the same amount of calories, with
Ready Salted being slightly higher and Prawn Cocktail slightly lower.
Saturates: 1g Another type of crisp that are generally used for sharing – they’re branded as containing ‘nothing artificial’ and containing no MSG, but they still have that pesky high fat content.
A 30g bag may be OK to have as a snack but beware of how the calories can stack up if eating from a large bag.
Saturates: 0.9g If it’s healthy crisps you’re after, you could do worse than a Nik Nak!
They may be an old favourite, mostly with kids, but whilst they have a relatively high fat content, they are less than 150 calories and under 1g of sat fats.
Saturates: 3g Second highest sat fat contentDespite being baked not fried and containing no aritifical colours of flavours, Mini Cheddars have the second highest saturated fat content after Pringles (must be all that delicious cheese).
They also have a high fat content considering the calories are relatively low, so approach with caution.
Saturates: 0.8g These Marmite flavoured crisps come in the middle of our crisp gallery – they’re not especially low fat or low in calories, but they don’t have much in the way of sat fats and are made using sunseed oil.
These figures are based on a 25g multipack bag.
Saturates: 0.6g Hula Hoops are low in calories and sat fats – however the fat content of 6.9g is proportionately high for a small 25g bag!
They are however made with no artificial flavours or colours and contain no MSG – an added bonus.
Saturates: 0.6g Sunbites are a multigrain snack that come in various flavours – most of which are fairly low in calories.
provide one third of an adult’s suggested daily amount of wholegrain
per serving while having half the fat of a packet of ready salted crisps
and a third less calories.
Saturates: 0.3g Joint lowest sat fat content
Walkers Squares have very low amounts of sat fat and are relatively low in calories, but they still have 5g of fat per 27g bag, so don’t go indulding on a daily basis…
Saturates: 0.4g Walkers Lites are part of the same family as the traditional flavours but they contain 33% less fat that standard Walkers crisps. They’ve also got less sat fats and are less calories.
These cheesy puffs are a relatively low fat snack coming in at under 100 calories. They’re baked not fried.
However, if it’s a cheese fix you’re hankering for, the next option is even better…
Saturates: 0.4g Despite being low in calories and containing no artificial colours or flavours, these cheesy flavoured corn snacks have a relatively high fat content. They do however contain 12% real cheese, so it comes with the territory, and they’re certainly not as calorific as a slab of cheddar!
The beauty of Quavers is that they’re light, so a bag feels generous and you’re still not eating a massive quantity of them.
Cals: 78 Lowest calories per bag
Saturates: 0.4g Skips are made with 100% sunflower oil, have no artificial colours or flavours as well as no MSG.
They are also low in calories, although the multipack bag is one of the smallest in weight at only 14.4g.
Fat: 3.4g Lowest fat content per bag
They’re not the lowest calorie bag of crisps in our round up, but French fries have the least fat, remarkably low saturates, and at 21g per bag, you get more bang for your buck than some of the other crisps on the best end of the spectrum.
A worthy winner indeed!