Over the past few weeks, it’s been a sort of mission of mine to find a tasty, healthy chip. You know, not too many calories or fat or carb grams, maybe a little protein or fiber, with bonus points if there’s both! And let’s not forget reasonable prices.
It doesn’t look good. Soy chips are the best bet – in the range of 100-150 calories per serving, with protein – but they are pricey, and it’s hard to find them in single-serving bags. There are some ‘whole’ grain chips on the market, and they’re quite good as well – about 150 calories, no protein, a wee bit of fiber. I’m not a fan of rice chips.
Baked chips are an alternative, but there’s still no protein or fiber to speak of.
But the rest of the bunch, there’s nothing there but calories! They literally melt in your mouth, provide no nutrients, and aren’t filling. They satisfy some primordial need to crunch, but just leave you wanting more.
How did these things become part of our lives? Go buy a sandwich, you get some chips on the side. Large packs of single-serving sizes are in every grocery store for school lunches. Stores devote more space to chips than to that other staple in my life [coffee], or to canned vegetables or even cake mixes!
They’re not a food source.
And if it sounds as if I’m trying to talk myself out of eating them, you’re right! I love the salty taste, the crunch, the texture. But when I actually pay attention to the act of eating them, I realize that they’re not satisfying, and coupled with the complete lack of nutrients, they’re just not a good choice for me. To make matters worse, they’re the binge food of choice, given the right combination of stress, fatigue, and boredom.
My personal project for the next few months is to improve the nutritional value of what I put in my mouth. I’ve loosened up a bit over the past few months, and while nothing horrible has happened – yet – things like these chips have made me wake up and smell the coffee. Gotta do something before it becomes a major issue.
So, one more time so I don’t forget: chips are not a food source. I could say that they are evil, but frankly, that would give them too much power.