If you’re looking for a salty, crunchy snack, then you can’t go wrong with Mexican tortilla chips.
Like most foods, as long as you eat them in moderation, then they can make for a healthy addition to a balanced diet.
However, one of the main factors you should be aware of when picking them up from the store is trans fat and sodium ingredients.
If you’re mindful of your portions, tortilla chips can be a part of a healthy diet. That said, just keep in mind that some brands can be high in sodium.
According to the USDA, you shouldn’t eat more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. Reducing this further to 1,500 milligrams or less can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease.
With this in mind, this article will explore everything you need to know about tortilla chips and their calorific content.
Let’s get started.
What Are Tortilla Chips?
Despite originating in Mexico and being a staple cuisine, tortilla chips’ influence has spread worldwide.
Tortilla chips are made with cornmeal and are shaped into thin, round discs – thanks to their delicious flavor and crunchy texture, they have become a beloved dipping snack.
Popular tortilla chip brands include Santa Maria, Mission, and Doritos.
Depending on the brand of tortilla chips you purchase, typically, they are composed using the following ingredients: cornmeal, corn (yellow, blue, or white), salt, vegetable oil, and various flavorings and spices.
Once all the ingredients are combined, it is then formed into a dough and then cut into smaller pieces which are then fried or baked.
Tortilla Chips Nutrition And Calories
When it comes to the nutritional profile of tortilla chips, they are fairly simple to break down.
A typical serving of tortilla chips (around 10 to 15 chips) contains around 140 calories. Therefore, tortilla chips could be considered quite a calorific snack.
That said, this is all dependent on the flavor and brand of tortilla chips you’re purchasing.
Although, it is good to keep in mind that 100 grams of tortilla chips can contain between 450 and 500 calories, especially if you’re following a strict diet.
As previously mentioned, the type of tortilla chips you purchase contains different calorie contents, too.
For instance, real Mexican tortilla chips made in a restaurant or at home are typically hand-cut and cooked in small batches – affecting their nutrient and calorie content.
Depending on the ingredients and manufacturing process, most tortilla chips will have a similar nutritional value.
Below, we have listed the nutritional content for a 1-ounce serving of white corn tortilla chips:
- 150 calories
- 8 grams of fat
- 3.5 grams of saturated fat
- 0 grams of trans fat
- 0 mg cholesterol
- 85.1 mg sodium
- 18 grams of total carbs
- 1 gram of dietary fiber
- 0 grams of sugar
- 2 grams of protein
Tortilla Chips Health Benefits
If you’re looking for an alternative to deep-fried chips, then you can’t go wrong with corn tortilla chips. Plus, they are even known to provide some health benefits, these include:
Essential Minerals And Vitamins
While these are only present in small quantities, corn tortilla chips are also a good source of vitamin B, including thiamine, folate, and niacin – which is required for your metabolism and energy production.
Plus, they also contain small amounts of magnesium, iron, and calcium – which helps your body to run smoothly.
Tortilla chips are known as a good source of dietary fiber – this helps to reduce the level of cholesterol in your body, decreasing the chances of heart disease.
For those suffering from IBS or similar digestive issues, you’ll generally want to stay clear of high-FODMAP foods, this includes corn.
However, this is generally only the case when it comes to fresh corn. Processed corn foods, including corn tortillas, cornmeal, and corn tortilla chips contain low levels of FODMAP.
Therefore, this means that they are safe for those suffering from IBS.
Great Source Of Antioxidants
They can also be a good source of antioxidants, too, since corn contains phytonutrients.
Here, these antioxidants help to protect your cells from oxidative damage – which can lead to various issues including heart disease and cancer.
Risks Of Eating Tortilla Chips
Despite being a popular snack, there are also some side effects of tortilla chips you should be made aware of and take into consideration.
For instance, you should keep in mind that tortilla chips can be high in sodium, which contributes to an increased risk of hypertension.
Likewise, since corn tortilla chips are processed, they don’t contain the same health benefits as whole-grain foods.
Additionally, for anyone suffering from gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, you’ll want to avoid tortilla chips since they can contain traces of gluten.
They can also contain preservatives and other additives which are known to cause allergic reactions in some people.
Plus, regardless of whether or not you are allergic to tortilla chips, you should avoid eating them in excess since they can cause an upset stomach.
Likewise, since corn chips are known to create a spike in blood sugar levels, they could also trigger an insulin response in the body – this could potentially contribute to an inflammatory response in the body.
Plus, you should also keep in mind that there have been safety concerns surrounding genetically modified corn – this can be the subject of debate for many years.
Still, the risks of consuming genetically modified crops are still unclear.
Tortilla chips make for a great snack thanks to their thin and crispy texture – this makes them ideal for eating with a range of dips, including guacamole.
However, like most foods, it’s important that you only eat tortilla chips in moderation. While they are generally low in calories, they can contain some negative health benefits when consumed in excess.
Hopefully, this guide has informed you about everything you need to know about tortilla chips in terms of their calorific content.
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