Potato chips with the best oils and minimal additives
Ideal option: potato chips made with coconut oil
There's a lot of debate about whether saturated or polyunsaturated fats should be preferred. I fall on the saturated fat side, making coconut oil an ideal potato chip oil. Unfortunately, I believe there's only two companies making chips with only coconut oil. Fortunately, they also use the bare minimum of additives:
Sea Salt Potato Chips
Non-GMO potatoes, organic coconut oil, sea salt.
Purple Heirloom Potato Chips
Heirloom potatoes, organic coconut oil, sea salt.
Salt + Vinegar Potato Chips
Non-GMO potatoes, organic non-GMO coconut oil, non-GMO apple cider vinegar, sea salt, non-GMO fructose (fruit sugar from non-GMO beets), citric acid, non-GMO rice concentrate.
Sweet Potato Chips
Non-GMO conventional sweet potatoes, organic coconut oil, sea salt.
Mango Chili Lime Potato Chips
Non-GMO potatoes, organic non-GMO coconut oil, organic non-GMO cane sugar, salt, chili pepper, natural flavor (mango, key lime), citric acid, spices, smoked paprika.
Local store locator (these are also now available in some Costco locations)
Potatoes, coconut oil, sea salt.
Easier-to-find option: potato chips made with olive oil
I've noticed olive oil-based chips becoming more common in stores, and it looks like a good "backup" option (low-ish PUFA, and with a 420°F smoke point for virgin olive oil). Additionally, all of the brands I've listed below avoid questionable ingredients when you stick to the basic flavors. Some of the brands also have avocado oil variants, which is another low-ish PUFA choice. There's also palm oil chips, but palm oil's manufacturing may be questionable.
Olive Oil Kettle-Cooked Potato Chips
Potatoes, olive oil, sea salt.
Olive Oil Canyon-Cut Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper Potato Chips
Potatoes, olive oil, rice flour, evaporated cane juice, sea salt, spices, garlic powder, onion powder, yeast extract, spice extract.
Make sure to look for the above flavors, other Boulder Canyon products use different oils.
As far as I can find, Good Health doesn't have a store locator.
Olive Oil Kettle Style Potato Chips
Potatoes, olive oil, sea salt.
Olive Oil Rosemary Kettle Style Potato Chips
Potatoes, olive oil, rosemary and sea salt.
Olive Oil Cracked Pepper & Sea Salt Kettle Style Potato Chips
Potatoes, olive oil, cracked pepper and sea salt.
More-elaborate flavors with more additives:
Olive Oil Sea Salt & Vinegar Kettle Style Potato Chips
Potatoes, olive oil, vinegar powder (maltodextrin, white distilled vinegar), maltodextrin, sea salt, evaporated cane juice, citric acid.
Olive Oil Garden Tomato and Basil Kettle Style Potato Chips
Potatoes, olive oil, tomato powder, evaporated cane juice, sea salt, garlic powder, spices (including basil), onion powder, vinegar powder (maltodextrin, white distilled vinegar), natural extractives of paprika, citric acid, natural flavor.
Potatoes, olive oil, sea salt, natural flavoring (rosemary and garlic).
Make sure to get the "real sliced potatoes" variety, and that it explicitly mentions olive oil. Kettle Brand has several other types with different oils.
Red Bliss Potato Chips
Red potatoes, olive oil, salt.
Red Bliss Fine Herbs Potato Chips
Red potatoes, olive oil, seasoning (salt, black pepper, rosemary, garlic powder, marjoram and thyme).
Make sure to get the above flavors, the other flavors use different oils.
Potatoes, olive oil, salt.
If I've missed any brands, please let me know in the comments below. As far as I can tell, Trader Joe's has discontinued their brand, and Olive Coast has been absorbed by some obscure company named Frito-Lay.
Making your own chips
Chips prepared as in this recipe are delicious.
I'm not sure what to make of the debate around the risks of acrylamide, which is formed when starch is exposed to high temperatures. If you'd like to minimize it when making your own chips:
- Avoid refrigeration of the potatoes.
- Make sure to follow the step in the recipe above where you soak the potato slices in water for 30 minutes.
- Fry only to a golden yellow color instead of a darker brown.
You may find references on the web to baked chips having more acrylamide than fried chips, based on an old FDA report about retail products. I suspect that's due to a heated drying process on the retail brands, and that homemade chips will have lower acrylamide when baked rather than fried, based on the American Cancer Society recommendations.