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Are SunChips Bad For You?



Short answer

SunChips have been viewed for many years as the "healthy" alternative to traditional potato chips, but are they actually bad for you? The answer is yes.



Recommended Alternative

Long answer

SunChips are produced by the well-known Frito-Lay company, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, who boasts many positive claims regarding their product, such as:

  • No MSG
  • No cholesterol or trans fats
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives

At face value, SunChips may appear to be the perfect healthy snack. However, let's examine this product more closely. First, we will start with a breakdown of the ingredients.

Corn: SunChips are, of course, made with corn. However, many may feel that the genetically modified (GMO) corn used in these chips are anything but healthy. In addition, the cancer-causing weed killer and pesticide glyphosate is found in the main ingredient of these chips. This harmful chemical has been registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and has been the subject of many highly debated scientific research projects in order to solidify the actual short- and long-term harm that glyphosate causes to the environment and the human body. A recent quantitative PCR test verification found that 100% of SunChips contained DNA sequences that are known to be present in the Monsanto-owned insecticide commonly marketed as RoundUp.

Natural Flavor: The word "natural" is used very broadly and could be extremely misleading to the common consumer. In reality, natural flavor is not necessarily healthier or more beneficial than an artificial one. Although marketed as containing natural flavor, large corporations, such as Frito-Lay keep the actual ingredients of these flavorings a closely guarded secret. The chemical compounds found in these "natural flavors" are nothing but a long list of complex names and chemicals that are hard or impossible to pronounce. The ingredients in these natural flavors alone can account for more than half of the entire ingredient list to the final product.

Maltodextrin: SunChips are found to contain maltodextrin, which has been enzymatically derived from genetically modified corn. Why is this added to the chip ingredients? Maltodextrin is a highly processed lab-made compound that can cause gastrointestinal issues in many consumers. It is a slightly sweet additive that is present, in part due to the unrelenting addiction most people have to sweet, sugary foods. The thought being that the sweeter a food is, the more a person would want to eat it.

A single serving of SunChips is 1 ounce, which equates to 11 servings per bag. Immediately we notice that more often than not, a serving size would typically be larger than one ounce, as 11 servings per bag may be stretching it a bit for the common consumer. In this single ounce serving, you will be ingesting 140 calories, 120 mg of sodium and 6 grams of fat. Taking into consideration the typically larger portion size than calculated in the nutrition information, you can see how easily the calories, salt, and fat intake can climb to surprisingly high levels.

As you could imagine, regularly ingesting these types of man-made chemicals can be harmful to your health. Some aspects may present themselves faster than others. 

Possible short-term side effects

  • hypertension
  • gastrointestinal problems
  • allergic reaction to certain ingredients

Possible long-term side effects

  • cancer
  • hormone disruption
  • reproductive damage
  • digestive disorders
  • obesity
  • high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • heart attack

Ingredients to be aware of

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Garden of Eatin' Chips

  • Organic blue corn
  • Sea salt seasoned
  • Non-GMO Project Verified
  • Convenient snack size
  • No artificial flavors
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Desmond Richard
Published on: 03-12-2016
Last updated: 11-30-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Desmond Richard
Published on: 03-12-2016
Last updated: 11-30-2023

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