Dr. Andrea Middleton - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Andrea Middleton

Are Lay's Potato Chips Bad For You?



Short answer

Processed junk food, like Lay's chips, is bad for you. The risks and side effects are not worth it.



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Long answer

Potato chips are a popular salty and crunchy snack that many enjoy alongside a sandwich or just as something to munch on with dip. However, do not make eating Lay's chips a habit because it could severely impact your overall health.

Junk food in strict moderation is not too hazardous, but a constant consumption can lead to an excess of unhealthy ingredients and an insufficient intake of vitamins and minerals. Because potato chips can become addicting and the serving size we actually eat is usually doubled or tripled, some find it best to stay away from chips like Lay's altogether.

Although Lay's has a “low sodium” version of their chips, most contain an overabundance of salt.  A diet consisting of too much salt can lead to high blood pressure and kidney disease. Even just one serving of Lay's chips is recognized as high in calories and high in fat by the FDA. Loading ourselves with calories and fat causes weight gain and puts us at risk for other diseases. Unhealthy deep fried chips cause digestive problems and stress on the body’s metabolism making it harder to produce insulin, which in turn leads to (or significantly increases the risk of) type 2 diabetes.

Lay's has many varieties of chip flavors like “Classic BLT”, “Barbecue” and “Sour Cream and Onion”. The ingredients list for these chips is a mile long! Although Lay's has begun to use more “natural flavorings” in their recipes, these flavorings consist of what they call “bacon type flavor” and “lettuce type flavor” which of course are all produced in a lab. The ambiguity of these ingredients gives us little faith that Lay's are actually a healthy snack.

What about Lay's “Baked” potato chips? These are marketed as being a lot healthier than the original chips. When we examine the label we read that the baked version contains additional ingredients such as corn starch, corn oil, and soy lecithin. Since it is not specified that they are organic, there is a high chance that they are genetically modified (GMO) ingredients.  Also added is sugar and corn sugar (high fructose corn syrup) which have been shown in studies to increase the risk of obesity, liver damage, and metabolic syndrome. Scientists also discovered that about half of commercial high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was contaminated with mercury.


Possible short-term side effects

  • overeating
  • break-outs
  • digestive issues
  • weight gain

Possible long-term side effects

  • high blood pressure
  • kidney disease
  • chronic digestive problems
  • type 2 diabetes
  • depression
  • obesity
  • liver damage
  • metabolic syndrome

Ingredients to be aware of

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Bare Apple Chips

  • Gluten-free snack
  • Baked, not fried
  • Multi-serving bags
  • Natural Granny Smith apples
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by DeeAnne Oldham
Published on: 04-11-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by DeeAnne Oldham
Published on: 04-11-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

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