Health Risks From Potato Chips

According to PotatoPro, Services for the Potato Industry, in 2005 potato chips around the world accounted for 35.5% of the revenue generated by savory snacks that year. Easy to produce, easy to package, and easy to market, potato chips are supposedly America's favorite snack food. However, the potato chips produced by some companies can cause adverse health effects on the people that consume them. High in calories, fat, sodium and other substances linked to some diseases, potato chips can jeopardize your health if consumed in excess.


Potato chips contain high caloric values. According to Calorie Count website, across the board, potato chips contain 150-160 calories (90-99 of those from fat) per ounce. Many companies now produce baked potato chips, advertised as a healthier alternative to conventional, fried chips, and these were reported by Calorie Count web site as containing 120 calories, 18 of those from fat in the same serving size. High caloric intakes, when combined with a passive lifestyle, can contribute to obesity, hypertension and peripheral artery disease, when allowed to grow rampant.


Potato chips generally contain high levels of sodium, as producers flavor them with salt and other additives containing sodium. According to Calorie Count website, generally speaking, a serving size of one ounce of potato chips contained from 160 to 180 mg of sodium. The supposedly healthier baked chips, according to Calorie Count website, contain 180 mg of sodium in the same serving size. These amounts range from 7% to 8% of the daily recommended value based on a 2,000 calorie diet; a surprising amount, considering an ounce generally consists of less than 15 chips, a quantity most consumers exceed in one sitting. High levels of sodium reportedly contribute to the emergence of conditions such as hypertension, which can lead to an increased risk of heart attack.

Fat and Saturated Fat

Generally fried, potato chips often contain high amounts of fat and saturated fat. According to Calorie Count website, in one ounce of potato chips, anywhere from 10 to 11 grams of fat were present, 3 of those from saturated fat. These values represent form 15% to 17% of the daily recommended value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Baked potato chips, according to the same web site, contain only 2 grams of fat, none of those from saturated fat, only 3% of the recommended daily value for fat based on a 2,000 calorie diet. The high fat content can pose a serious health risk, as high fat intake can lead to build-up of plaque in arteries, increasing the propensity for heart attack and stroke. Similarly, consuming excess fat on a regular basis may increase the risk of diabetes and obesity.

Keywords: health risks, potato chips, Sodium count, nutritional value

About this Author

Ezmeralda Lee is a published writer living in Upstate New York. She has been writing for more than 15 years and has experience with subjects such as business, management, computer programming, technology, horses and real estate, She has expertise in computers, home and garden, law and literature. Lee holds a B.A. in English from Binghamton University.

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