Making a decision in the supermarket these days is an exercise in patience.
There are an ever-increasing number of packaged products—all marketed to people who don’t have a lot of time to be closely doing the math on nutrition facts panels. (So if there are 280 calories per serving, and the bag says there are about 4 1/2 servings per bag, then…)
So you grab something that looks somewhat good and also good-for-you. But then later you take a closer look and wonder: “Is this even healthy?”
If that’s you, then you’re in luck.
Welcome to “Is This Even Healthy?”, where we take a packaged snack product and ask a registered dietitian that very question.
Then we sample the product and share the experience with you.
First up, chips made out of chicken.
The Product: Wilde Brand Thin & Crispy Chicken Chips, Barbecue
The Nutrition: Per 15 chip serving (2 servings per bag) 170 calories, 7g protein, 10g carbs (0g fiber, 1g sugar), 10g fat
The Ingredients: chicken chips (natural chicken, tapioca flour, coconut oil, black pepper, garlic (powder), seasoning blend [coconut palm sugar, tomato powder, sea salt, onion powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, natural smoke flavor, citric acid, spices]
Is This Even Healthy?
“I definitely wouldn’t consider these chips a high-quality protein source,” says Abby Langer, R.D., a dietitian based in Toronto. “Meaning, don’t eat them as a source of protein at meals.”
“There’s nothing horrid about them, despite the concept of making chips out of meat and starch.”
“The calories seem comparable to potato chips, and the protein is higher. Overall I’d consider this product a good snack for when you’re craving chips.”
“Nothing earth shattering here though—they’re just another ultra-processed option that’s riding the protein/no grain wave.”
And the cassava root? “It’s just a grain-free starch. No fiber. It’s the equivalent of white flour.”
Is This Even Good?
Taste: At first bite, there’s a pleasant, straight-out-of-the-gate, sweet-salty BBQ pop. I detect neither light or dark meat. Nor coconut. Nor tapioca, for that matter. The nearest BBQ flavor comparison is Pringles, which is not a bad thing.
Texture: Crispy, but also crumbly. A good potato chip crunches, and then melts. Chicken chips crunch, and then splinter, and then turn pebbled in nature, until finally you swallow a sort of rough-textured paste, which is a bad thing.
Aftertaste: Ah there’s the tapioca flour, which admittedly I’ve never had, but can only guess because it has that starchy, heavy feeling left by similarly dense fruits and vegetables.
Slightly healthier than potato chips as a snack; slightly less tasty than potato chips as a snack.
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