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Potato Chips Vs Tortilla Chips

Potato Chips vs Tortilla Chips: What’s the Difference? (2023)

Last Updated on November 7, 2023 by Shari Mason

Did you know that the average American household spends about 10% of its income annually on junk foods, and 1/3 consume fast food daily?

If you are a fast food lover, chances are you’ve tasted potato chips or tortilla chips as a side dish, appetizer, or snack. But which of the two has fewer calories and more health benefits?

We’ve researched and compiled an in-depth comparison between potato chips vs tortilla chips to know the answer. Keep reading.

Tortilla Chips & Potato Chips: Main Differences

Hand Holding Potato Chips

While both potato chips and tortilla chips have fewer health benefits, there are significant differences regarding their nutritional value.

Generally, tortilla chips are the lesser of the two evils. Tortilla chips have fewer calories, less saturated fat, and has around 3% higher calcium content than potato chips.

However, if trans fats are a problem for you, eating potato chips might be a better option.

Tortilla chips are made from corn, while potato chips are made from potatoes. Potato chips cost around $6.40, while tortilla chips cost roughly $5.66.

Also, check out our Dr Pepper and Root Beer comparison here.

How They Differ

Nutrition Facts

Sodium

Regular tortilla chips have 38% sodium, less than the average potato chips.

This might be different when flavors come into play, like onion potato chips, sour cream, a salted chip, or a diet chip, because seasonings and powders can add more sodium.

Calorie Count

On average, a potato chip serving has 15 g more calories than a bag of tortilla chips. The difference can still be higher if compared with non-GMO tortilla chips.

However, calories for different tortilla and potato chip flavors will also change since added flavors and ingredients add up to the calories.

Protein & Fiber

A potato chip and a tortilla chip offer little to almost no protein and fiber content.

You can get as little as 2g of protein from a single serving of tortilla and potato chips.

When it comes to fiber, there is almost no dietary fiber for any of the two, except when you’re consuming whole wheat tortilla chips.

Fats

A tortilla chip has less saturated fat than a potato chip, but they have ten times more trans fat. It is challenging to expect healthy fats from junk food.

If trans fats are a problem for you, eating potato chips is better. However, be mindful that potato chips have higher saturated fat content.

Always be cautious, as many popular snacks, including potato chips with high-fat content, may lead to cardiovascular disease when consumed in large servings.

Carbohydrates

You can get around 18 grams of carbohydrates for a single ounce of tortilla chips, while for a potato chip, you can get approximately 14 grams.

It is also essential to note that different types of corn are used in tortilla chips. Some corn may add more nutritional value and carbohydrates, but the fat could also be high.

Vitamins & MineralsThere are also fewer vitamins and minerals in both a tortilla chip and a potato chip. However, small traces of B vitamins, potassium, and vitamin C in corn chips (like tortilla chips) are observed by food experts [1].

Calcium

An ounce of potato chip has around 8% of the daily recommended value for calcium, while Tortilla chips have approximately 11% daily recommended value for calcium.

It’s not that high, so it’s still better to consume milk if you don’t want to suffer a lack of calcium in your diet.

You might also feel guilty if you replace your calcium intake from milk with chips or suffer what’s most commonly known as “food guilt” [2].

Main Ingredients

A potato chip and a tortilla chip are labeled as a ‘healthy snack’ despite their large amount of fat. Potatoes are used for potato chips, and corn is used for tortilla chips.

“There really is not a tremendous difference nutritionally between standard potato chips and tortilla chips.”

– Alicia Romano, Media Spokesperson, Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics

In a battle of ingredients between tortilla chips vs potato chips, tortilla chips/corn chips win this category because this provides a lesser calorie intake.

However, note that much of the health benefit is lost during the process of making a tortilla and potato chip.

How It’s Eaten

Eating a potato chip and a tortilla chip is quite the same. The frying process makes potato chips greasy, and the cooking process of tortilla chips makes them brittle.

Like ordinary chips, you use your fingers to pick corn chips up and dip them in salsa or buy already flavored ones, just like a potato chip.

Also Read: Who Makes The Chips At Jimmy John’s?

Portion Size

Tortilla Chip on a baking rack

The portion size of potato or corn chips depends on the manufacturer. One serving of potato chips is usually 28g, while one serving of corn chips is usually 32g.

Note that the fat content would also differ depending on the chip size.

Price Point

Potato chips and tortilla chips almost have the same price point. The difference only comes when the brand is considered.

Of course, low-fat chips with low calories or those labeled as healthier than other tortillas or potato chips (like those made from whole wheat) may cost more.

Generally, potato chips cost around $6.40, while tortilla chips are roughly $5.66.

How Are They Similar?

A potato chip is similar to a tortilla chip because of its color, how it’s eaten, price point, and nutritional value.

Tortilla chips may be a little healthier because it uses corn, but on average, they almost have the same amount of fat, protein, calories, and carbohydrates.

Most people also love eating a tortilla or potato chip during snack time.

Read: Are Tortillas Kosher For Passover?

FAQs

Are tortilla chips healthier than potato chips?

Yes, a tortilla chip is healthier than a potato chip since it has more vitamin C and vitamin B, dietary fiber, protein, and less potassium and saturated fat.

However, it has more trans fat. At the end of the day, it is still considered “junk food.”

Are corn chips better than potato chips for diabetics?

Yes, corn chips are better for diabetics since starchy foods (a.k.a potatoes used in a potato chip) are broken down into sugars by the body.

Final Thoughts

The tortillas emerge victorious in the battle between potato chips and tortilla chips.

While both have almost the same ingredients and price point, a corn chip is slightly better than a potato chip when nutritional value is considered.

Remember not to consume them too much, as doing so can result in various health problems like obesity, diabetes, fatty liver, and cardiovascular diseases.

References:

  1. https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/corn-chips-nutrional-7106.html#
  2. https://www.health.com/food/stop-food-guilt
Shari Mason

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