Dr. Robert Cook - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Robert Cook

Are Pringles Bad For You?



Short answer

Yes, Pringles are bad for you. They are loaded with artificial flavors, large amounts of sodium, and other synthetic additives that pose a variety of health hazards.



Recommended Alternative

Long answer

Pringles is a Kellogg Company product that was introduced to the American consumer by Procter and Gamble, labeled originally as Pringles Newfangled Potato Chip, in 1967. Some people may remember the catch phrase “once you pop, the fun don’t stop”. This eludes to the noise the lid makes when opening the container of Pringles chips. Though there are numerous versions of these popular chips, we will address the original variety in this nutritional assessment. Do take note that as the varieties get more diverse, so do the chemical additives.

The catchy Pringles slogan is true for a couple reasons. The first and more benign reason is the fact that Pringles are tasty and really hard to put down once you have started eating them. The other more malicious reason is rooted in the construct of the food. Kellogg employs brilliant food engineers for the specific task of designing food that is addictive. This sobering fact means that once you start eating them, it's hard to stop eating.  Many people find that even when purchased on one occasion, perhaps due to a sale—they find that it becomes a regular purchase in subsequent grocery trips.

In the 21st century, most people are familiar with the use monosodium glutamate (MSG) in processed foods as a flavor enhancer. Together with MSG, the recipe for this tasty snack also contains disodium inosinate, calcium guanylate, and autolyzed yeast extract. The artificial flavor enhancers are now considered to be linked to a variety of health risks including fetal and child developmental concerns, hormonal imbalances, headaches, chest pains, heart palpitations, asthma attacks, and a plethora of additional negative effects.

Pringles are made up of only 42% potato content with the remainder being wheat starch and flour(s) combined with vegetable oils, salt, and seasoning. Depending on the flavor of Pringles, other ingredients include maltodextrin, dextrose, sodium caseinate, modified food starch, monoglyceride and diglyceride, malted barley flour, wheat bran and dried black beans.

For a single serving size which makes up approximately one ounce or fifteen “crisps”, the sodium content is 330 mg. With a daily recommended amount of 1,500 mg, these fifteen crisps take up a lot of room in your sodium allowance. Many of the additives including sodium and ingredients are known for causing inflammation in the body. Inflammation can be the source of numerous conditions such as diabetes, migraines, mental illness, celiac, asthma, nerve pain, body pain, arthritis and many more maladies. The number of symptoms and illness that lead to inflammation are extensive.

Furthermore, one of the most harmful ingredients in potato chips is not intentional, but rather is the consequence of the processing. Acrylamide is a cancer-causing and potentially neurotoxic chemical that is created when carbohydrate-rich foods are cooked at high temperatures- regardless of the method of cooking. Essentially, once the processed chip hits temperatures of 212 degrees Fahrenheit, the chip then is at risk of releasing harmful contaminants.

As with all processed snack foods, Pringles are a snack that should be enjoyed very sparingly or not at all.

Possible short-term side effects

  • bloating
  • dehydration
  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • heart palpitations
  • heartburn/indigestion
  • stomach irritation
  • asthma attacks
  • inflammation

Possible long-term side effects

  • cancer/tumors
  • diabetes
  • high cholesterol
  • heart disease
  • hypertension
  • kidney failure
  • osteoporosis
  • obesity

Ingredients to be aware of

Healthier alternatives

  • homemade baked corn chips
  • homemade corn chip with herbal seasonings
  • organic baked whole wheat blue corn chips

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Late July Multigrain Chips

  • Multi-grain recipe
  • Sea salt flavor
  • Convenient 6 oz. Bag
  • No artificial flavors
  • Non-GMO project verified
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by DeeAnne Oldham
Published on: 04-05-2016
Last updated: 11-30-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by DeeAnne Oldham
Published on: 04-05-2016
Last updated: 11-30-2023

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