Nutrition & Dieting/potato chips

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Question
I bought some potato chips that were 'cooked in 100% Avocado oil' which I had never seen before. I know that kind of oil is considered better for you than other saturated fats, so are these chips any less harmful? Thanks

Answer
Hi Lee,
Well, that's an interesting question. The thing is, anything in one's diet is fine in moderation. If you have an otherwise healthy and balanced diet and you add an ounce of chips... no problem.
But if your diet is largely composed of chips and hot dogs and cookies---well, there's a problem.

The "bad" part about chips isn't just the oil they are fried in (and usually it's corn, a polyunsaturated oil). It's the amount of "empty calories" they contribute to the diet. Because an ounce of chips usually provides about 150 calories and not a whole lot of nutrients (a small amount of vitamin C is usually about it), it's not a healthy addition to what you're already eating.

Chips fried in avocado oil will still have the same calorie and fat content. Mono-unsaturated oils are slightly better than polyunsaturates for the fact the latter has somewhat of a lowering effect on HDL's--the "good" cholesterol in the body. People are encouraged to include sources of mono-unsaturated oil in the diet, so changing your chips to this brand that uses avocado oil is a smart move.

But overall, if this is the only change made in your diet it's not going to have any major effects. And if you consume large amounts (especially if you are overweight or need to be limiting your sodium intake) that will cancel out any of the "good" effects of using the mono-unsaturated oil.

Hope that helps!
Laurie

Nutrition & Dieting

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Laurie Beebe, MS, RD, LD

Expertise

As a registered dietitian (RD)I am fully qualified to accurately answer questions regarding weight loss, including those from people with health conditions requiring dietary restrictions (diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc) who want to lose weight, or who have been advised to do so by their physician.

Experience

I have been a registered dietitian for over 30 years and have a certificate in Adult Weight Management through the commission on dietetic registration at Level 1 and Level 2. I am also trained in coaching through Coach U and currently work as a diet coach to help people lose weight the healthy way, through gradual habit changes.

Organizations
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), Weight Management Dietetic Practice Group, Nutrition Entreprenuers, St.Louis International Coach Federation, Toastmasters

Publications
Livestrong.com, Glamour.com, Ezinearticles.com, Ehow.com, Today's Dietitian

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Health Science from the University of Florida, 1983; Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition from Case Western Reserve University 1985; Certificate in Adult Weight Management 2006; CoachU core essentials grad 2007; Level 2 certificate in Adult Weight Management 2010.

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