Chips have a reputation as junk food… But in truth, not all chips are created equal. After all, nowadays they even have “kale chips”! So, where do tortilla chips fit into the big picture? Today, let’s look at Tostitos chips in-depth. Are they healthy?
Tostitos chips are not very healthy, due to the processed vegetable oil and salt they contain. Some flavors also have added sugar. Still, Tostitos chips may be healthier than other popular snacks, such as Lays potato chips. The healthiest Tostitos are the Multigrain, Baked, or Lightly Salted flavors, eaten with salsa, guacamole, or hummus.
Below, I’ll analyze five popular Tostitos chips flavors in detail. I’ll explore if Tostitos chips are good for weight loss, low-sodium diets, and more. Plus, I’ll end with 5 healthy alternatives to tortilla chips, if you really want to boost your nutrition!
Are Tostitos Chips Good for You?
Here are the 9 specific questions I’ll be answering about Tostitos nutrition. Click any of them to skip ahead to that section—or just keep scrolling to read them all:
- What Are the Ingredients in Tostitos Chips?
- Are Tostitos Chips Low Carb?
- Are Tostitos Chips High in Fiber?
- Are Tostitos Baked or Fried?
- Are Tostitos Chips High in Sodium?
- Are Tostitos Chips Good for Weight Loss?
- Are Tostitos Healthier Than Potato Chips?
- Are Tostitos Chips Vegan?
- What Are Healthy Alternatives to Tostitos?
1. What Are the Ingredients in Tostitos Chips?
Let’s start by looking at some actual Tostitos Chips ingredients. Do they have any ingredients you should be avoiding? How processed are these chips, really?
Below are the ingredients for five popular flavors of Tostitos chips. I’ll share my takeaway points below the table:
|Tostitos Chips Flavor||Ingredients|
|Original Restaurant Style||Corn, Vegetable Oil (Corn, Canola and/or Sunflower Oil), and Salt.|
|Multigrain Scoops!||Corn, Vegetable Oil (Corn, Canola, and/or Sunflower Oil), Whole Brown Rice Flour, Whole Buckwheat Flour, Sugar, Toasted Corn Germ, Salt, Oregano Extract (Antioxidant).|
|Hint of Lime||Corn, Vegetable Oil (Corn, Canola and/or Sunflower Oil), Maltodextrin (made from Corn), Salt, Sugar, Natural Flavors (including natural lime flavor), Dextrose, Sour Cream (Cultured Cream, Skim Milk), Corn Bran, Whey, Spice, and Yeast Extract.|
|Lightly Salted||Corn, Vegetable Oil (Corn, Canola, and/or Sunflower Oil), and Salt.|
|Baked Scoops!||Whole Corn, Corn, Vegetable Oil (Corn, Sunflower and/or Canola Oil), and Salt.|
Here’s what I notice about these ingredients:
- Some Tostitos flavors contain whole grains. This is the one positive about Tostitos. Some flavors do have whole brown rice flour, whole corn, or whole buckwheat flour. Such whole grains are generally healthy. But do these whole grains actually raise the fiber content of Tostitos much? See the fiber section below for that.
- Tostitos have processed vegetable oil. It seems that Tostitos uses a mix of corn oil, canola oil, and sunflower oil. All of these are highly processed oils that add empty calories. The amount of oil in Tostitos is likely the worst thing about them, nutritionally.
- Tostitos have added salt. This is to be expected in chips—but it’s still worth noting. Too much sodium can raise your blood pressure and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Tostitos does have a “Lightly Salted” flavor with less salt, though. More on the sodium content below.
- Some flavors of Tostitos have added sugar. Out of the five flavors I analyzed, two have added sugar (Hint of Lime and Multigrain Scoops). Below, we’ll look at how much sugar they actually have, though.
Overall, Tostitos don’t have a lot going for them, nutritionally. If you’re eating them with a healthy salsa, hummus, or guacamole, that could help improve things. But the chips themselves are loaded with quite a bit of oil.
- Are Tostitos Corn or Wheat? Corn is the first ingredient in most flavors of Tostitos chips. Most flavors do not contain wheat.
- Are Tostitos Chips “Processed”? Tostitos chips contain processed vegetable oil and added salt. Some flavors also have added sugar and other processed ingredients. Therefore, most people would consider Tostitos chips to be processed food.
- Are Tostitos “Junk Food”? Tostitos may commonly be considered junk food. However, “junk food” is not a precise term, and Tostitos aren’t as bad as many other junk foods. If you eat a small portion of Tostitos with a healthy dip, they are not too bad.
2. Are Tostitos Chips Low Carb?
Tostitos chips are not a low-carb food. Tostitos chips have about 19g of total carbs per serving. Around 50 to 55% of the calories in Tostitos chips come from carbohydrates. However, Tostitos chips are low in sugar—most flavors have less than 1g of sugar.
The main ingredient in Tostitos chips are corn and other grains. Grains are high in carbohydrates, so Tostitos chips are high in carbs, too.
Tostitos do have a large amount of vegetable oil, too—but still, they have around 17g to 22g of carbs per serving, depending on the flavor.
That said, Tostitos are low in sugar. Even the Tostitos flavors that have added sugar, such as Hint of Lime and Multigrain Scoops, still have “less than 1g” of sugar per serving. So it’s really not that much.
Now let’s briefly address glycemic index. Are Tostitos low glycemic? Well, not really. Tortilla chips are generally not considered a low-glycemic food. They are made of quick-to-digest starchy corn.
However, blue tortilla chips have scored a bit lower in glycemic index studies. And you also may be able to lower the glycemic index of tortilla chips by eating them with hummus or other fiber-rich bean dips.
- Are Tostitos Chips Good For Keto? Tostitos chips are not a good fit for the keto diet. They are too high in carbs, at about 50% carbohydrate calories.
- Is There Sugar in Tostitos? Most flavors of Tostitos do not contain added sugar. However, a few flavors, such as Hint of Lime and Multigrain Scoops, do have some added sugar.
- What is a good low-carb alternative to tortilla chips? You may want to try flax crackers. Flax crackers are packed with healthy omega-3 fats, low in carbs, and super crunchy. Try this popular brand on Amazon.
3. Are Tostitos Chips High in Fiber?
Tostitos chips are somewhat low in fiber, as most flavors only have 1g of fiber per serving. Multigrain Tostitos and Baked Tostitos have a bit more, with 2g of fiber per serving. But that is still less fiber than in whole wheat crackers like Triscuits or Wheat Thins (3g per serving).
Fiber is one of the healthiest nutrients to look for in your snacks. Fiber can have many impacts on health in the long run, and barely anyone eats enough. Generally, whole grain snacks contain more fiber.
Here is a table showing the fiber content of Tostitos chips flavors, with comparison to other popular snacks:
|Tostitos Original Restaurant Style||28g||1g|
|Tostitos Multigrain Scoops!||28g||2g|
|Tostitos Hint of Lime||28g||1g|
|Tostitos Lightly Salted||28g||1g|
|For Comparison: Lays Classic Potato Chips||28g||1g|
|For Comparison: Ritz Original Crackers||16g||0g|
|For Comparison: Wheat Thins Original||31g||3g|
|For Comparison: Triscuit Original||28g||3g|
To raise the fiber content of your Tostitos, try eating them with hummus. Hummus is made with chickpeas, which are high in fiber. There is also a little fiber in salsa or guacamole. So picking a healthy dip can definitely help in this area!
4. Are Tostitos Chips Baked or Fried?
Tostitos has a “Baked” line of chips, but their other tortilla chips appear to be fried.
Often, when people ask whether a food is baked or fried, what they really want to know is how much oil and fat that food contains. This matters because oil adds relatively empty calories, and it may have other detrimental health effects, as well.
Most flavors of Tostitos have 7g of fat per serving. This mostly comes in the form of unsaturated fat from corn oil, canola oil, and sunflower oil. Tostitos only have 1g of saturated fat per serving, and 0g of trans fat.
Baked Tostitos only have 3g of fat per serving. This is less than 50% of the normal fat content of Tostitos, quite an impressive reduction. But it’s still worth noting that Baked Tostitos are not a fat-free food.
For more on how tortilla chips are typically made, check out this episode of How It’s Made or this page on ScienceDirect.
5. Are Tostitos Chips High in Sodium?
Tostitos chips have a moderate amount of sodium, with 110mg to 140mg per serving (28g). That is about average for popular brands of crackers, chips, and salty snacks. If you want low-sodium Tostitos, choose the Lightly Salted flavor, with only 55mg of sodium per serving.
Here’s a table showing the sodium in Tostitos chips flavors, with comparison to Lays chips and Ritz crackers:
|Tostitos Original Restaurant Style||28g||115mg|
|Tostitos Multigrain Scoops!||28g||110mg|
|Tostitos Hint of Lime||28g||125mg|
|Tostitos Lightly Salted||28g||55mg|
|For Comparison: Lays Classic Potato Chips||28g||170mg|
|For Comparison: Ritz Original Crackers||16g||105mg|
As you can see, the Baked Tostitos, which may be considered healthier in terms of their fat content, are actually a bit worse in terms of sodium. They have 140mg of sodium per serving, rather than just 115mg like Original Tostitos.
For reference: The American Heart Association recommends limiting your sodium to 2,300mg per day. But they are “moving toward an ideal limit” of only 1,500mg per day. That would still be over 10 servings of Tostitos. So, surely, these chips can be eaten in moderation by most people.
6. Are Tostitos Chips Good for Weight Loss?
Tostitos chips are not the best food for weight loss, as they contain processed, high-calorie ingredients like vegetable oil, with relatively low fiber content. However, Tostitos chips can still be eaten in moderation on a weight loss diet.
One of the most important principles for weight loss is calorie density. Foods with a low calorie density fill your stomach more with fewer calories. This makes it easier to be satisfied on fewer calories. And that can lead to weight loss. (source)
The foods with the lowest calorie density are non-starchy vegetables, including greens. Other foods with low calorie density are fruits, beans, whole grains, and most whole plant foods in general.
Some of the foods with the highest calorie density are processed oils. These oils are concentrated sources of calories, as the fiber and bulk have been removed in processing.
Since Tostitos chips have ingredients with a high calorie density—corn oil, canola oil, and sunflower oil—there is a risk that you can overeat Tostitos chips without feeling fully satisfied. Compare that to green vegetables, where there is no real risk of eating too many calories—even if you stuff yourself.
There are other snacks that can help fill you up with more fiber and keep you better satisfied while in a calorie deficit. Even whole grain crackers like Triscuits come with more fiber compared to Tostitos.
By itself, a few servings of Tostitos will not make or break your weight loss diet, though. Weight loss depends on your overall diet and lifestyle.
As long as you’re burning more calories than you’re eating each day/week, you should lose weight. Eating some Tostitos chips or other “processed foods” on occasion should not ruin your diet as long as that overall pattern is in tact.
For more help with weight loss, check out this post with 18 tips for weight loss without counting calories.
- How Many Calories Are in a Scoop of Tostitos? Tostitos Original Scoops have about 11 calories per chip (per “scoop”). I’ve found this number is pretty similar to other brands of tortilla chips, too. Ten to twelve calories per chip is standard.
7. Are Tostitos Healthier Than Potato Chips?
Tostitos seem to be a bit healthier than Lays Classic potato chips. Tostitos have less saturated fat, less sodium, less sugar, and more fiber. However, all of these differences are somewhat minor. Tostitos are still a processed food and not very healthy.
Obviously, some brands of potato chips may be more healthy than others. But let’s compare Tostitos with the leading brand—Lays Classic potato chips.
Here’s the detailed comparison:
|Snack||Serving Size||Sat. Fat||Sodium||Sugar||Fiber|
|Lays Classic||15 chips (28g)||1.5g||170mg||<1g||1g|
|Tostitos Scoops||13 chips (28g)||1g||120mg||0g||2g|
And here’s another thing to consider: You can potentially eat Tostitos with a healthy dip! If you choose a healthy hummus, guacamole, or homemade salsa as a dip, you could get extra fiber and other nutrients, too.
When you add a healthy dip, Tostitos could become significantly healthier than eating potato chips on their own. Obviously, though, it would still be healthier yet to eat veggies with the dip, rather than Tostitos!
8. Are Tostitos Chips Vegan?
Most flavors of Tostitos chips are vegan, as they are just made with corn, vegetable oil, and salt. However, Hint of Lime Tostitos are not vegan, as they contain dairy ingredients.
Here’s what you generally need to know about the “vegan status” of tortilla chips: Usually, tortilla chips are vegan. There are two main situations when they aren’t vegan:
- If a tortilla chip is made with animal fat instead of vegetable oil, then it’s not vegan. (This is the case at some restaurants, such as Buffalo Wild Wings, for example.)
- If a tortilla chip has extra flavors that contain dairy, then it’s not vegan. This happens with some “lime” or “nacho” flavors.
But, yeah, most tortilla chips are vegan, including Tostitos.
9. What Are Healthy Alternatives to Tostitos?
Here are five healthier alternatives to consider eating instead of Tostitos chips:
- 1) Veggies: If you’re considering eating Tostitos with hummus, then a great alternative is just to dip raw veggies in the hummus instead. I personally like raw carrots, cauliflower, or red cabbage for this. Some people like cucumber, broccoli, or other raw veggies.
- 2) Blue Corn Tortilla Chips: These are only marginally healthier than white tortilla chips. But blue corn generally has more antioxidants and more protein than white or yellow corn. It’s also been shown to be lower on the glycemic index. So it may be a bit better.
- 3) Whole wheat crackers: Consider something like Triscuits. With whole wheat as the first ingredient, they have 3g of fiber per serving. However, Triscuits still have added vegetable oil, so they’re still on the processed side of things.
- 4) Whole wheat toast: What? Toast? Hear me out... I love dipping whole wheat toast in hummus. Personally, I go for Ezekial bread. If you really toast it well, it’s kind of crispy like a chip, and it’s great for dipping in hummus or other healthy dips.
- 5) Flax crackers: There are all kinds of “healthy crackers” you can buy nowadays, made of anything from cauliflower to kale. But a crispy, chip-like one to consider in place of tortilla chips is flax crackers. Flaxseeds are a superfood, after all, packed with healthy omega-3 fats! Try this brand on Amazon.
Two More Recommendations for Your Plant-Based Journey
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