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 saturated fat content of the most popular flavours to sort the healthy crisps from the ones that 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 may be seriously damaging your diet?
So which are the healthy crisps we should be choosing?
So is there such a thing as healthy crisps?
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 slightly alarmed by the results. One of our favourites contains a staggering 300 calories per serving, while one of the healthy crisps 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 ranked them from worst to best, so that you and your family can make the healthiest choice.
Scroll down to see the best and worst crisps for your diet – from the unhealthiest to the healthiest!
Cals: 300 Highest calorie content
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.
Despite being free from preservatives, artificial colours or sweeteners, these
crisps are still high in calories and have a high fat content.
However 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 100g!
Fat: 10.4g Second highest fat content
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
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.
These deliciously salty crisps are great for when you need a savoury snack, but they're pretty high in calories. However, the amount of sat fat in these Kettle Chips is brilliantly low, which makes up somewhat for the high calorie count.
Saturates: 3g Second highest sat fat content
Despite 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.
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.
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.
Sunbites are a multigrain snack that come in various flavours - most of which are fairly low in calories.
They also 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. A great choice in our eyes!
The baked versions of Walkers crisps are already far lower in fat than originals. And while they don't have the lowest calorie count of the bunch, they are better for you than almost half the bunch too!
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...
These tasty new crisps from Tesco don't score too badly on the calorie front, and aren't ridiculously high in fat - so not a bad option for a midday snack!
These cheesy puffs are a relatively low fat snack coming in at under 100 calories. They're baked not fried, so they're automatically a healthier option for you.
However, if it's a cheese fix you're hankering for, the next option is even better...
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
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. However, they are still one of the healthier options out there on the market.
The original, salted Popchips are brilliantly low calorie and are equally low in saturated fats - a winning mark in our books! The other flavours of the Popchips are slightly higher in calories - such as the salt and vinegar - but if you want a low-cal option, these are a great pick!
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!