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The Healthiest Tortilla Chips for your Salsa, Guacamole, and Nachos

- Written by on July 22nd 2015

Tortilla chips are undoubtedly one of the most popular dip-delivery vehicles out there, and they can be used in a variety of recipes too, from nachos to taco salad to tortilla soup. Unless you opt for the flavored Doritos variety, tortilla chips are even surprisingly "clean" as far as the ingredient list goes, even if you buy chips produced by major national brands. For example, Tostitos, the second best-selling brand of tortilla chips (behind Doritos), offers original, restaurant-style tortilla chips with just these ingredients:

whole white corn, vegetable oil (corn, canola and/or sunflower oil), and salt

For a junk food manufacturer, you'd expect much, much worse!

But just because it is easy to find healthy tortilla chips (relatively speaking), that doesn't mean there aren't some products you should avoid or especially good options to look for. That said, we've researched numerous brands and have found some of unhealthiest and healthiest tortilla chips for your dipping needs.

Healthiest Original Tortilla Chips

Frontera Thin & Crispy Tortilla Chips

  • simple ingredient list
  • 3% of your daily sodium allowance per serving

Utz Organic Tortillas White Corn

  • simple ingredient list
  • certified organic and gluten free
  • 4% of your daily sodium allowance per serving

Low Sodium Tortilla Chips

Tortilla chips can easily contain 65mg-140mg of sodium (about 3-6% your daily allowance), and that's assuming you stick to the usually surprisingly-small serving size! Luckily some brands now offer no salt added/low sodium tortilla chips, such as Garden of Eatin', Chi-Chi's, and Donkey Chips.

Donkey Authentic Tortilla Chips All Natural Unsalted

Baked Tortilla Chips

By now you probably know low-fat dieting isn't really the key to weight loss. Healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, and omega-3-rich fish, have acquired superfood status. The fats used to fry tortilla chips, on the other hand, aren't really doing anything for your health, so it makes sense to opt for baked, low fat versions if you like their flavor!

Baked! Tostitos Tortilla Chips

  • 3 grams of fat per serving - that's 3-4 grams less than other chips on this list!
  • 6% your daily sodium allowance per serving

Healthiest Tri-Color Tortilla Chips

Pass on These:

Mission Restaurant Style Tri-Color Party Chips

  • red and blue chips not made from natural red and blue corn
  • colored with artificial food dyes instead

Mission's tri-color tortilla chips might look impressive, but they aren't made from blue corn or red corn. Instead, they add numerous artificial food colorings. No thanks! See for yourself:

ground corn treated with lime, water, vegetable oil (contains one or more of the following: cottonseed oil, corn oil, palm oil), chili pepper, cumin, salt, garlic, oregano, artificial coloring (dextrose, fd&c red #40, fd&c red #40 lake, fd&c blue #1, fd&c yellow #5, fd&c yellow #6)

Try Instead:

Garden of Eatin' Tortilla Chips

  • available in blue, red, yellow, and white corn varieties
  • no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or GMO ingredients
  • 3% of your daily sodium allowance

Garden of Eatin' offers tortilla chips in a variety of colors to keep your snack bowl colorful. Unfortunately there is no convenient mixed bag, but we'd go ahead and buy a bag of each for our party; leftover tortilla chips are rare! If it does happen, there are plenty of delicious ways to use them up! Unlike Mission's tri-color chips, these contain just corn, vegetable oils, and sea salt. Garden of Eatin' also makes no salt added tortilla chips in case you're watching your sodium intake.

Healthiest Flavored Tortilla Chips

Once you move away from original tortilla chips, it gets a bit harder to find brands free from artificial ingredients and other unnecessary additives.

Pass on These:

Skinnygirl's Ancient Grain Tortilla Chips are described on their website as a "grain and quinoa corn chip", when really, they are just normal corn tortilla chips with whole grains and quinoa at the very end of the ingredient list, after some not-so-appealing "seasoning":

whole corn, sunflower oil and/or corn oil, seasoning (salt, maltodextrin, corn syrup solids, sugar, corn flour, spices, whey, yeast extract, modified food starch, jalapeno pepper, green bell pepper, green chili pepper, citric acid, hydrolyzed corn protein, vinegar,malic acid, natural flavors), flax, quinoa, buckwheat, sesame seeds, sugar, amaranth, rice, millet. gluten free

Moreover, these "Skinnygirl" chips contain the same amount of calories, fat, carbs, protein, and fiber as normal chips!

Skinnygirl Snacks Salsa Verde Ancient Grain Tortilla Chips

  • healthwashing - not any healthier or "skinnier" than normal chips!
  • too many unnecessary ingredients, including hydrolyzed protein (avoid if you are sensitive to the effects of MSG)

Try Instead:

Simply Sprouted Way Better Snacks produce tortilla chips in a variety of flavors, all made with sprouted grains.

Their Sweet Chili tortilla chips, for example, have a fairly clean ingredient list; the seasonings they use sound more like stuff you'd have in your kitchen rather than stuff you'd find in a lab, unlike the Skinnygirl chips. Plus, Way Better chips seem to contain more of the healthy ingredients (quinoa and seeds) than Skinnygirl's chips, judging by their placement toward the front of the list:

stone ground corn, high oleic sunflower and/ or safflower oil, organic sprouted flax seed, organic sprouted quinoa, organic sprouted daikon radish seed, sprouted chia seed, sprouted broccoli seed, seasoning (raw cane sugar, vinegar, sea salt, native potato starch, onion, garlic, cayenne pepper)

Their nutrition stats are comparable to other tortilla chip brands, but they contain 1/3 the sodium of Skinnygirl's super-salty chips!

Simply Sprouted Way Better Snacks Simply So Sweet Chili Tortilla Chips

  • certified gluten free tortilla chips
  • verified non-GMO tortilla chips
  • 4% your daily sodium allowance per serving

Recommended Read

The Best Store Bought Salsa, Spicy and Mild

What goes with tortilla chips? Salsa. If you don't have time to make it yourself, this blog post reveals the best store-bought options.

check it out ยป


Crystal Schlegelmilch

Written by on July 22nd 2015

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