Understanding Labels ~ Regular chips vs Baked

I see a lot of people in the supermarket choosing the baked chips over the regular kind.  And I have to admit I was one of those people.  I thought if it was baked it has to be better than fried, right?  Well unfortunately neither of them are good for you, but the baked version may just be worse.

Let’s take a look at both brands.  They are both from Lays and I chose the bbq Baked Lays (because I saw more people leaning towards the flavored Baked chip)s and a regular bag of Lays.

Let’s start with the regular chips:

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Ingredients: Potatoes,Veg Oil (Sunflower, Corn and/or Canola), Salt

Veg Oil – Peanut oil comes from peanuts, olive oil comes from olives, canola comes from where?  It comes from Canada.  Yes, Canada, which is why it is capitalized.  It comes from something called the rapeseed plant.  In the 1970s engineers were able to produce this oil that was low in monounsaturated fats from the rapeseed plant.  Hence the name (Canada + oil) = Canola.

The bad thing about Canola oil is it is generally inexpensive to make as opposed to olive oil and therefore used more in your low end restaurants and fast food chains (along with corn oil).  The making of the oil is the real problem. In order to extract the oil it involves a high temperature mechanical pressing and a solvent ~ Hexane.  (Be sure to click on the link, I won’t ruin the surprise for you).  And if the hexane weren’t bad enough then the oil gets bleached, deodorized and degummed, again at very high temperatures.  Here is an article written by Mike Adams about how Canola Oil is used as a key ingredient in pesticides!  I’ve said it before and it bears repeating “Avoid Canola oil at all costs”.

So now that regular chips aren’t as appealing anymore, let’s look at the baked kind:

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The baked version looks like this:

Ingredients: dried potatoes, corn starch, corn oil, sugar, salt, dextrose, soy lecithin molasses (wheat starch and soy flour), onion powder, brown sugar, fructose, natural flavors (milk, barley and chicken),torula yeast, chili pepper, tomato powder, soybean oil, garlic powder, citic acid, spices, paprika extract, yeast extract

Corn oil – corn oil comes from genetically modified corn!  It also contains more harmful saturated fat than any of the other oils, therefore making it the least healthy choice.  The International Journal of Biological Science states “consuming genetically modified corn can lead to toxicity in the liver, kidneys, spleen organs in rats”.  The study indicates that the level of toxicity is directly related to how much is consumed.  So in other words, the more McDonald’s french fries you’re consuming the greater your risk.

Dextrose – the primary ingredient is making dextrose is corn, again a GMO

Natural flavors -Most flavorings are an imitation of the flavor.  There are people in white lab coats in sterile labs making your food.  Their job is identifying the flavors in a food and basically re creating it with chemicals.  There are anywhere from 5 to 50 ingredients used when creating a flavor.  I don’t like when it just says “natural flavors”.  What flavors?  How MANY flavors?  How MUCH?

Torula yeast – I have to admit I was stumped on this one.  I’d never heard of torula yeast and now that I’ve done some research you may not want to have heard of it either.  Ready?  According to Wikipedia, “torula yeast  is widely used as a flavouring in processed foods and pet foods. It is produced from wood sugars, as a byproduct of paper production. It is pasteurized and spray-dried to produce a fine, light grayish-brown powder with a slightly yeasty odor and gentle, slightly meaty taste.  Torula finds accepted use in Europe and California for the organic control of olive flies.”  Now isn’t that something you just want to chew on?????   It just gets better and better.

What should you do instead?

  • Make your own ~ While I have had great results making homemade potato chips in the microwave (yes microwave) they can be time consuming and you can only make one plate at a time.  You just slice a potato super thin (use a mandolin) put in a bowl with a little olive oil and arrange them on a plate.  Do not let any of them touch and microwave for 3-5 min.

What I do now is bake them.  You get a lot more that way and I’m trying to steer away from the microwave these days.

Click here for the recipe.

RESOURCES:

  • www.naturalnews.com
  • www.scientificamerican.com
  • www.fitnessrepublic.com
  • “International Journal of Biological Science”, A Comparison of the Effects of three Genetically Modified Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health; de Vendomois, J.S.;2009
  • www.wikipedia.com

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