The term ‘healthy crisps” does come across like a bit of an oxymoron. So, without contradicting ourselves we should clear up that when we say healthy crisps, what we mean is healthy alternatives to crisps.
When you think crisps you would normally think of wafer-thin slices of fried or baked potato.
However, this isn’t always the case. In fact, the market boasts various low calorie, low fat alternative to crisps. But how do you know which best or what to look out for?
Well, fortunately for you we’ve bought together all of the healthy crisps/alternative to crisps into one handy list to help you decide.
What is a healthy alternative to crisps?
The UK is renowned for being a nation of crazy crisp fanatics, collectively consuming a staggering 6 billion packets a year. That’s more than any other European country.1
Crisps are commonly high in calories, saturated fat and salt.
So, it kind of makes sense that you wouldn’t normally think to reach for them, whether a more healthy crisp alternative exists or not.
According to Diabetes UK, if you are looking to replace regular crisps and add healthy crisp alternatives to your diet then there are certain things you should consider next time you go to grab a bag.
- Look for wholegrain varieties to increase your fibre intake
- Think about portion sizes (some packets can be designed for sharing)
- Consider flavour choice – this could be an indicator of how much salt you’re having.
- Is there a light or reduced-fat version?
- Could you make your own?
You can even make your own crisp alternative at home!
Healthy crisp recipe:
Thinly slice some vegetables or potatoes, use a couple of sprays of oil to coat, and get creative with herbs or spices of your choice for flavour.
Is it OK to eat a packet of crisps every day?
It's not that it's not OK to eat crisps every day, it's more that the main source of nutrients crisps offer is energy - so there are more healthy alternatives to crisps.
It’s perhaps better advice to look at crisps as more of a treat rather than a snack.
What can I snack on instead of crisps?
If you’re looking to cut out crisps from your diet altogether, there are a number snacks you can have as an alternative to crisps.
You could try swapping crisps for pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, both of which have a great range of health benefits and can act as an easily accessible healthy alternative to crisps.
You may also want to try swapping chips and dips for carrots, cucumber and celery with hummus or healthy, low-fat dip.
What are the healthiest chips to snack on?
There are various varieties and flavours across the crisp market, so it’s hard to know which is the healthiest.
But here’s a rough idea of what to look out for.
Regular vs. baked
Baked varieties of crisps often tend to be lower in fat and saturated fat.
Packaging will indicate just how much with their red, amber and green coding on the front.
Regular vs. popped
Popped crisps are prepared much like popcorn.
Rather than being deep fried like traditional crisps, popped crisps are placed in a pressurised container to ‘pop’.
Gram for gram they are less calories because they’re lighter.
Rice cakes and crackers
As a rule, rice cakes are a lot lower in saturated fat and calories.
However, it's worth keeping in mind that they do have a higher GI< so blood glucose levels can be affected quite quickly.
It’s also important to lookout for salt content as different flavoured rice cakes can vary in salt content.
Also consider sweet alternatives that may be coated in chocolate or yogurt as they will have a higher fat, sugar and calorie content.
As a relatively new addition to the snack market, try not to be sucked into the healthier choice label that veggie crisps can often be marketed as.
Veggie crisps can often have a higher fat and salt content.
Many packets will have red and amber for fat or saturated fat, so it’s definitely worth choosing wisely.
10 of the best healthy crisps
We've rounded up 10 tasty options that you can swap out regular crisps for.
1. Abakus Foods Seaweed Crisps Lightly Salted
If you’re looking for a low calorie, gluten free and vegan friendly snack, these seaweed crisps are great when looking for the healthiest crisps.
Harvested from the deep blue seas of South Korea, these tasty crisps are coated with a thin and crispy layer of tapioca to create a snack that can be packed in lunchboxes, or added to rice, salads and soups.
Also available in cheese and salt & vinegar flavours.
PinkPeach - Yummy - 5/5 stars
"Before lockdown I used to get crispy seaweed from the Chinese supermarket in the city, after finding these they are just as good if not better! The crunchy coating is so good. Healthy wee snack!"
Alice Tuck, Delicious, 5/5 stars
"These are very crunchy and tasty. Feel a little bit like quavers but with the seaweed taste. Delicious!"
2. Holland & Barrett Thai Chilli Rice Crackers
In the absence of crisps from your diet, you may want to look for a tasty alternative.
These Holland & Barrett Thai Chilli rice crackers are a crunchy, but fiery snack.
Also available in Japanese flavour.
M Slater - Delicious snack - 5/5 stars
"Best tasting sweet chilli crackers around. Good level of spice without being too greasy"
Mary89, moreish spicy delights, 5/5 delights
"Lovely, spicy, tasty, moreish.. Only downside is that they're quite addictive :D"
3. Eat Real Chilli & Lemon Lentil Chips
If you’re looking for low calorie crisps, then Eat Real Lentil chips may be a great choice!
They’re 40% lower in fat that your usual potato crisps. They contain no artificial colours, preservatives or additives. They’re gluten free and suitable for vegans, what’s not to love!
Also available in: Tomato & Basil, Mango & mint, Dill and Sea salt flavours.
Sam70 - So tasty - 5/5 stars
"Absolutely tasty treats. Lovely crunch before a light and tasty feeling spreads through your mouth"
Myzz, Healthy alternative to crisps, 5/5 stars
"Love these! Right amount of spice and a quick snack"
4. Eat Real Sea Salt Hummus Chips
Our friends at Eat Real continue to make great tasting, low fat crisps with the addition of hummus chips.
They can make a great crisp alternative to add to your lunchbox or for guests at a party.
Anonymous - Hummus crisps - 5/5 stars
"Wonderful healthy snacks, great for vegans for sharing or to enjoy alone."
Carima, a healthy snack, 5/5 stars
"I love the texture and taste of these chips, plus the amount of salt is just perfect. I will definitely buy this product again."
5. Eat Real Sour Cream & Chives Quinoa
And yet again, Eat Real come back this time their quinoa chips, which work as a tasty, low fat alternative to potato crisps.
They are also vegan, gluten free and make a great addition as a snack in a healthy, well balanced diet.
VeggieBananans - Blown away - 5/5 stars
"honestly stunned by the flavour of sour cream and chive, accurate!! haven't tasted this flavour for a few years due to not being able to find ones that were vegan. Now cravings will forever more be satisfied. Highly Recommend, although highly addicative!"
ClaireUK - Really nice will purchase again - 5/5 stars
"Good flavour, well seasoned, great option for a healthier snack option."
6. Emily Veg Crisps Rainbow Roots
If it’s veg crisps you’re after, then these colourful snacks may be exactly what you’re after.
This lightly seasoned veggie medley, made with real veg, is a great gluten free, high fibre, vegan friendly snack.
SallySee123 - Not greasy like other veg crisps - 5/5 stars
"I am a big Emily fan and it's because of these veg crisps - I always liked crisps made with other types of veg so tried these and now I wont go back to the other brands as they're not at all greasy like the other ones and are so yummy and crunchy! they seem to have a more interesting mix of veg in them too."
ValleyVegan - tasty - 5/5 stars
"Tasty little bag of crisps, far less guilt than normal crisps"
7. Purely Plantain Chips Sea Salt
If you’re looking for a more exciting alternative to your snacking, Purely Plantain chips might be right up your street.
A savoury relative of the banana family, plantains are naturally good for you too.
These are perfect to share with friends or to eat as an energy boosting snack.
SianS - So simple and so tasty - 5/5 stars
"Not a plantain fan but Purely nailed it. This is a great alternative to potato crisps and they are great with dips too."
Jan96 - Simply mouth-watering - 5/5 stars
"The Sea Salt are my favourites as the Plantain flavour really comes through. Simple and delicious!"
8. Nudie Snacks Cauliflower Crisps Vegan Cheese & Caramelised Onion
The first of its kind, these Nude Snacks cauliflower chips are made from 40% real fresh UK cauliflower.
At just 111 calories per 22gm, they’re a great alternative to crisps. They’re naturally vegan and make a great snack too!
Mellie75 - Really tasty snack - 5/5 stars
"Light and flavoursome. First time I tried and would buy again."
9. Yushoi Sweet Chilli & Lemon Baked Pea Snack
All we are saying, is give peas a chance!
At 90 calories per serving these baked little goodies are a light and crispy snack made from peas.
Rob I - A tasty and healthier alternative to crisps - 5/5 stars
"A tasty snack that is high in both protein and fibre. Also quite low in saturated fat. Great for those looking for a slightly healthier alternative to crisps. I prefer the salted variety, but these taste very good as well."
Medani - Healthy alternative and very moreish - 5/5 stars
"I love the taste of these and fills a gap when craving for crisps or crunch."
10. Hippeas Chickpea Puff Snacks
With less than 91 calories, 1.3 grams of fibre and 3.5 grams of protein per single-serve bag (22g), Hippeas are a great go-to snack choice for consumers who demand tasty snacks made with high-quality ingredients.
KRPoole - So tasty - 5/5 stars
"I thought these were great! Very crunchy and I like the flavour."
Last updated: 14 July 2021