Sun Chips Nutrition Facts: Is This Really Your Best Healthy Snack Choice?

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Who doesn’t enjoy a salty, crunchy snack on occasion? Unfortunately, conventional potato chips are high in carbs and calories without the benefits of heart-healthy fiber.

To address the growing market for a healthier chip, Frito-Lay introduced a line of crunchy snacks called Sun Chips in 1991. Their claim to fame? Sun Chips contain 18 grams of whole grain per serving, an amount similar to eating a slice of wheat bread. However, are they really healthy? Find out more about Sun Chips nutrition facts.

Sun Chips Nutrition Facts: A Healthier Snack?

Sun Chips have around 30 percent less fat than the average potato chip, a fact Frito-Lay emphasizes in their advertising. A single one-ounce serving of Sun Chips has 6 grams of total fat and 1 gram of saturated fat, an improvement over conventional potato chips, which have 30 percent more total fat and twice as much unhealthy saturated fat. This is good news for cholesterol watchers.

Another area of concern when it comes to heart disease and high blood pressure is dietary sodium. Sun Chips have 115 milligrams of sodium per serving, while the average potato chip has 150 milligrams. Sun Chips are still not low-sodium, but they’re an improvement over the standard chip.

How about some other Sun Chips nutrition facts? Sun Chips beat out the potato chip when it comes to heart-healthy fiber. The average potato chip has a rather paltry gram or so of fiber, but Sun Chips doubles that amount. Most Americans don’t get enough fiber in their diet, which is necessary for heart health and for a healthy digestive tract. Each serving of Sun Chips also has 2 grams of muscle-building protein.

Nutrition Facts for Sun Chips: What’s Not So Good

Sun Chips has distinguished itself from the average chip by adding whole grains, reducing fat by a third and lowering sodium, but it’s still not health food, especially if you’re watching your carbs. Sun Chips have a whopping 19 grams of carbohydrates, including 2 grams of fiber, which gives each serving 17 grams of net carbs. The average potato chip has 14 grams of carbohydrates and 1 gram of fiber. On the plus side, Sun Chips are made with whole grains so it’s a healthier type of carbohydrate than what you’ll get munching on the typical potato chip.

Sun Chips are not extremely low in calories. Each one-ounce serving has 140 calories compared to the typical potato chip with 150 calories per serving. Unfortunately, many people think because they’re made from whole grains, they can eat more. A calorie is still a calorie, even if it is a whole-grain calorie.

From a vitamin standpoint, Sun Chips don’t offer a lot of nutritional value. Each serving provides 10 percent of the day’s requirement for vitamin E and has modest amounts of some B vitamins. From a mineral standpoint, it’s a relatively good source of manganese and phosphorus, which are two minerals that most Americans already get plenty of in their diet.

Sun Chips Nutrition Facts: The Bottom Line?

Munching on Sun Chips is a little healthier than snacking on regular potato chips, because they’re lower in fat and sodium and higher in fiber. On the downside, they’re relatively low in overall nutritional value so save them as a treat for when you just have to have something crunchy.

References: official website

Self Nutrition Data. “Sunchips”