Blog Nutrition Healthy Eating Choose a Healthy Alternative to Chips to Lose Weight or Follow a Healthier Eating Plan

Choose a Healthy Alternative to Chips to Lose Weight or Follow a Healthier Eating Plan

A healthy alternative to chips can replace the crunchy desires you feel around snack time. Nothing tastes quite like a salty, crunchy chip when you need a quick snack. However, you know that sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars might contribute to an unhealthy diet. 

Instead, choose a healthy alternative to chips to be sure you eat less sodium, unhealthy fat, and sugar. Meanwhile, you’ll consume more essential nutrients with the best healthy alternatives to chips on our list. Let’s show you why chips aren’t the healthiest snack and how to substitute them. 

What Is a Healthy Replacement for Chips?

A healthy alternative to chips includes some of the following substitutes:

  • Air-popped popcorn (22)
  • Mixed nuts (17)
  • Apple chips (2)
  • Crispy green bean chips (9)
  • Sweet potato chips (25)

Still, let’s show you why these chip replacements are healthier for snack time before sharing more healthy alternatives to chips. 

What Should I Eat if I Crave Chips?

A potato chip substitute would be ideal. However, let’s discover why potato chips are not the healthiest snack, before sharing with you those fast replacements and top alternatives. 

Why You Need a Potato Chips Substitute

Let’s see what’s inside a bag of potato chips to understand why we shouldn’t eat them all the time. The USDA shows a small 1-ounce or 28-gram bag of salted potato chips contains 149 calories, 15 g of carbs, 9.5 g of fat, 1.8 g of protein, and just under 1 g of fiber (23).

The small pack has  about 1 g of saturated fat and 148 mg of sodium, with almost no nutritional density. Also, the USDA shows that the same-size plain corn-based chips packet contains 151 calories, 16 g of carbs, 9.35 g of fat, 1.73 g of protein, and 1.12 g of fiber (20). 

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In other words, popular tortilla chips also have similar nutritional values, with 1.21 g of saturated fat, and 144 mg of sodium. Let’s look at the values you’d eat on a well-balanced diet to understand why chips are unhealthy. 

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest eating 45-65% of your daily calories from carbohydrates, 20-35% from fatty acids, less than 10% from saturated fat, and 10-35% from protein (10). Also, the total sodium daily allowance is 2300 mg.

Women need at least 25 g of fiber daily, while men need 38 g. And the protein should be a minimum of 46 g daily for women and 56 g for men, or at least 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. (10). 

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How Chips Negatively Impact Health

Chip packs are small and high in calories(23, 20). Also, there is little protein and high fat, and the sodium is high for a small portion. A small review at the University of Delaware confirms that high-sodium diets may increase your risk of hypertension and negatively impact your heart and brain (11). 

In addition, an observational study by Harvard found that certain foods, including potato chips, French fries, and sugar-sweetened drinks were responsible for long-term weight gain (7). Note however, people who ate more whole grains, fruits, nuts, yogurt, and vegetables over four years lost weight. Another Harvard review confirms that chips could contribute to weight gain (13). 

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What Are the Healthiest Chips to Eat?

Making chips substitutes at home can be healthier because you can control the ingredients. However, here are some tips to choose healthy chip alternatives in stores when you’re pressed for time. Read labels and consider these tips to replace salty, fatty chips:

  • Choose unsalted or low-sodium chips from stores (24)
  • Use lemon, pepper, and salt-free seasoning for homemade chips (24)
  • Substitute vegetables for potatoes in homemade recipes (13)
  • Use healthier oils to fry chips at home (13)

healthy alternative to chips  

5 Healthy Snack Ideas to Replace Chips

“Popcorn” and “healthy alternative to chips” belong in the same sentence. Popcorn is the first choice if you’re buying something from a store. Of the myriad of choices, air-popped popcorn is the best snack replacement for regular chips with 30.96 calories and 6.22 g of carbs per cup (22). 

In comparison, half a cinema serving of popcorn has 295 calories and 29.5 g of carbs (5). Popcorn is only a healthier alternative when you air-pop it and control the additives.

Other healthy replacements for chips include mixed nuts, even oil-roasted. 

A 1-ounce or 28-gram portion of oil-roasted mixed nuts contains 172 calories, 5.95 g of carbs, 15.3 g of fat, 5.67 g of protein, and 1.42 mg of sodium (18). The sodium is low, and the fat is primarily monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. 

Compare that to an ounce or 28 grams of dry-roasted mixed nuts containing 172 calories, 6.35 g of carbs, 15.2 g of fat (mostly healthier types), 5.53 g of protein, and 1.13 mg of sodium (17). Please note that both kinds of mixed nuts have no added salt. 

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Also, raw veggie slices or sticks would work as a snack replacement with nut butter, including carrots, cucumbers, jicama, or apple slices. For example, a tablespoon of almond butter contains 98 calories, 3 g of carbs, 8.8 g of fat (mostly healthier kinds), 3.36 g of protein, and 1.12 mg of sodium (16). Alternatively, dip veggies in yogurt as a snack (13).

What Can I Have Instead of Fries?

Sadly, the USDA shows that a small 71-gram serving of french fries contains 222 calories, 29.4 g of carbs, 10.4 g of fat, 2.44 g of protein, and 149 mg of sodium (12). In other words, a small serving of french fries takes up many daily nutrients (10). Instead, use one of our healthier oil, vegetable-based fries ideas to add to your alternatives list (13, 24).

Read more: 10 Reasons Why Ice Cream Is Bad for You: Discover the Truth and Healthy Alternatives

What to Have Instead of Chips

We’ve got you covered whether you want fast alternatives to chips for lunch or to support weight loss. Let’s show you our favorite ideas that have fewer calories and carbs while allowing you to enjoy the benefits of controlling sodium and fat intake. 

Healthy Alternative to Chips to Make at Home

A homemade healthy alternative to crisps is the ideal solution you need. Let’s discover our top homemade chip alternatives for healthier eating. These ideas will help you meet your daily nutrient recommendations more easily than salty crisps (10). The macros are per serving.

Air Fryer Pickle Chips

Eating Well has a lovely air fryer pickle chips recipe that uses vegetables and air frying to make it healthier (8). Meanwhile, it makes an excellent snack to eat more protein.

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Macros: 177 calories, 19 g carbs, 9 g fat, 6 g protein, and 2 g fiber (8)

Apple Chips

All Recipes has a delicious baked apple chips recipe for the perfect snack with fewer calories, carbs, and sodium (2). It’s a yummy treat for kids, too.

Macros: 24 calories, 7 g carbs, 0 g fat, 0 g protein, and 1 g fiber (2)

Crispy Geen Bean Chips

Whole New Mom has a crispy green bean chips recipe loaded with fiber, which contains more protein than potato chips (9). It’s also a good replacement that looks like chips. 

Macros: 140 calories, 16 g carbs, 8 g fat, 5 g protein, and 6 g fiber (9)

healthy alternative to chips  

Alternatives to Chips for Lunch

The recipe ideas in this section will suit lunch alternatives for fries or cooked chips. Also, they’ll ensure that you more easily meet your daily nutrient recommendations (10). The macros are per serving. 

Air-Fryer Zucchini Chips

Eating Well has an air fryer zucchini chips recipe to replace lunchtime fries (1). They would pair well with a protein-rich wrap 

Macros: 218 calories, 25 g carbs, 11 g fat, 5 g protein, and 1 g fiber (1)

Cauliflower Chips

Easy Healthy Recipes has a cauliflower chips idea with loads of protein and healthy fats for a more nutritious meal (6). 

Macros: 140 calories, 9 g carbs, 7 g fat, 12 g protein, and 3 g fiber (6)

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Jamie Oliver’s roasted Brussels Sprouts recipe has healthy fats, lots of fiber, and good protein (19). The recipe also only uses four ingredients. 

Macros: 127 calories, 8.2 g carbs, 7.6 g fat, 7.1 g protein, and 8.2 g fiber (19

Healthy Alternative to Chips for Weight Loss

The Cleveland Clinic suggests eating at least 500 calories less a day to lose weight (14). Many people use low-carb diets to help achieve this. With that in mind, let’s discover some healthy alternatives to chips with fewer calories and carbs per serving. The macros are per serving. 

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Beet Chips

Eating Well has a beet chips recipe with low calories and carbs to suit weight loss (3). Surprisingly, the beet chips are crunchy and resemble the shape of potato crisps.

Macros: 33 calories, 3 g carbs, 2 g fat, 0 g protein, and 1 g fiber (3)

Kale Chips

Anytime Fitness has a low-carb and low-calorie kale chips recipe for weight loss (15). The ingredients could reduce unhealthy fats and sodium. Meanwhile, the spice blend is delicious.

Macros: 69 calories, 8.3 g carbs, 3.6 g fat, 2.3 g protein, and 0 g fiber (15)

Sweet Potato Chips

Eating Well has a popular healthy alternative to chips, sweet potato chips (25). The calories and carbs are low and the ingredients are simple. However, you get a salty fix.

Macros: 58 calories, 8 g carbs, 3 g fat, 1 g protein, and 1 g fiber (25)

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For more chip substitutes:

healthy alternative to chips  


  • Are Pringles Healthier Than Chips?

All potato chips are similar in nutritional profile. . A 28-gram or 1-ounce pack of potato chips has 149 calories, 15 g of carbs, 9.5 g of fat, and 148 mg of sodium (23). 1 ounce of Pringles has 153 calories, 16 g of carbs, 9.9 g of fat, and 112 mg of sodium (4). 

  • Are Pita Chips Healthy?

Pita chips aren’t necessarily healthier than other types of chips. A regular, salted 28-gram or 1-ounce pack of pita chips contains 130 calories, 19.4 g of carbs, 4.31 g of fat, 3.34 g of protein, and 242 mg of sodium (21). It has less fat and more protein, but more sodium and carbs than potato chips and corn chips (23, 20).

  • Is Popcorn Healthier Than Crisps?

Yes, air-popped popcorn is healthier than crisps. One cup of air-popped popcorn contains 30.96 calories, 6.22 g of carbs, 0.36 g of fat, 1.04 g of protein, and 0.64 g of sodium (22). The calories, sodium, fat, and carbohydrates are lower than crisps (23). 

  • Is Popcorn Better Than Chips?

Popcorn is a better snack than chips to lose weight. A cup of air-popped popcorn only has 30.96 calories and 6.22 g of carbs (22). The Cleveland Clinic suggests eating at least 500 calories less daily to lose weight (14). 

The Bottom Line

Healthy alternatives to chips exist, and now you know why they’re healthier than potato chips and fries. Pick a recipe suited to your taste buds and goals, and start crunching on your healthier replacements for chips, using good ingredients and cooking methods. 


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. Air Fryer Zucchini Chips (2024,
  2. Apple Chips Recipe (2023,
  3. Beet Chips (2024,
  4. Calories in Pringles Potato Chips (n.d.,
  5. Carbs in Cineplex Popcorn Regular (n.d.,
  6. Cauliflower Chips – Easy Healthy Recipes (2021,
  7. Certain Foods Linked to Long-Term Weight Gain (2011,
  8. Crispy Air Fryer Pickle Chips (2024,
  9. Crispy Green Bean Chips – A Healthy “Veggie Chips” Snack (2022,
  10. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025 (2020,
  11. Dietary Sodium and Health: More Than Just Blood Pressure (2016,
  12. Fast Foods, Potato, French-Fried in Vegetable Oil (2019,
  13. Food and Diet | Obesity Prevention Source (n.d.,
  14. How Many Carbs to Eat to Lose Weight? (2022,
  15. How to Make Super Tasty Kale Chips – Anytime Fitness (2020,
  16. Nuts, Almond Butter, Plain, Without Salt Added (2019,
  17. Nuts, Mixed Nuts, Dry-Roasted, With Peanuts, Without Salt Added (2019,
  18. Nuts, Mixed Nuts, Oil-Roasted, With Peanuts, Without Salt Added (2019,
  19. Roasted Brussels Sprouts | Jamie Oliver Recipes (n.d.,
  20. Snacks, Corn-Based, Extruded, Chips, Plain (2019,
  21. Snacks, Pita Chips, Salted (2019,
  22. Snacks, Popcorn, Air-Popped, 1 Cup – Healthy Encyclopedia (n.d.,
  23. Snacks, Potato Chips, Plain, Unsalted (2019,
  24. Strategies for Reducing Salt and Sugar Intakes in Individuals at Increased Cardiometabolic Risk (2021,
  25. Sweet Potato Chips (2024,
  26. The Truth About Fats: The Good, the Bad, and the In-Between (2022,