Are sun chips healthy?

Exactly how are Sun Chips healthy if you follow a diet that asks how are Sun Chips gluten free? Yet some ask how are Sun Chips Keto friendly when asking how are Sun Chips baked… We might also question why are Sun Chips vegan if certain ingredients fall into question. Let’s explore the Sun Chip nutrient list a bit closer.

Are Sun Chips Healthy?

It’s not every day that you encounter a promoted snack that’s a healthier choice. If you knew that Pepsi was behind the promotion of Sun Chips, would it sound like a healthy product? It’s 100% certain that Sun Chips are a Frito Lay snack, however- their distribution is a merger with PepsiCo that helps distribute food and beverages all over the US. This snack gets credit for including whole grains and leaves out excessive preservatives.

Frito Lay also maintains that Sun Chips are low in fat and indeed are baked instead of fried. An interesting fact to include is that the production plant which produces Sun Chips is actually Sun-Powered! In a move to reduce their carbon footprint, Frito Lay switched to solar power to run their Sun Chip factory and relies on less backup coal power in return. This makes Sun Chips an eco-friendly snack.

Just by overlooking the low-fat aspect of Sun Chips, this snack is high in sodium. An average serving suggestion packs 6 grams of fat with an additional 120 Milligrams (on average) of sodium. Yikes! The demand for saltier sun chips was of course not an accident since many of the flavors that are the most popular are ones packed with salt rather than sweeter taste profiles. On the grade scale, Sun Chips earn a C- as an overall healthy choice.

Are Sun Chips Baked?

With so much advertising that Sun Chips promotes healthy whole grains and images of the sun, you might forget that this is a product from Frito Lay. Everything at Frito Lay is fried in Sunflower or Canola oil. Just look at the list of ingredients, they didn’t lie, since it’s clearly a product that’s fried. It’s not such a heavy amount of oil, and Frito Lay most likely uses methods to remove as much oil as possible before Sun Chips are packaged.

The most common way to remove excess oil is obviously drying the surface with pulverized and flavored salt! The advertising uses the word baked as a way to make consumers feel they are buying a healthier product. If you want healthy, eat a Triscuit instead.

Are Sun Chips Vegan?

Sun Chips are promoted as Vegan by Frito Lay but are actually not Vegan-friendly. The controversy mainly comes from the use of GMO corn which has long been debated by many vegans who feel this is an ethical misuse of ingredients. The second issue comes from utilizing Palm oil which is another ethical issue due to how palm oil is harvested. The third issue is largely concerning the use of Pork enzymes that contribute to added flavors.

In the past, these enzymes were used until they were supposedly removed to certify for Haram, Kosher, and Vegetarian guidelines. While the enzyme aspect has been removed, this still leaves another hidden fact that many flavors do still include dairy products that are not completely vegan or vegetarian-friendly at all.

A quick look at their ingredient list will tell you immediately if your favorite Sun Chips have cow’s milk products or cheese cultures within the flavoring ingredients.

Are Sun Chips Gluten Free?

Another sad part about Sun Chips is the base ingredient used to make them. They are using wheat flour which contains gluten. Since all Sun Chips are made using wheat flour, this is why they heavily advertise they are wheat grain snacks. Frito Lay has also announced that none of their Sun Chips are produced unless they are using wheat flour. So unfortunately this means that they’ll all contain gluten.

Those who are sensitive to gluten allergies or have celiac disease are highly advised to avoid Sun Chips at all costs. Frito Lay has further created Sun Puffs which reports that it’s not using wheat flour but still uses the same production line where gluten products are made, so there is still the chance of cross-contamination. The best step is to avoid both of these products completely.

Are Sun Chips Keto?

At first, you’ll be glad to know that Sun Chips have an attractive amount of calories versus carbs which immediately make this snack look keto-friendly. This is supported by 140 calories and only 17 carbs. What makes Sun Chips not so good for the keto diet is the addition of high levels of High-Glycemic sweeteners! You might know these as sugar and maltodextrin which are not advised for keto diets.

These are exactly the type of sweeteners that ultimately raise blood sugar levels and prevent ketosis. The presence of sunflower (or canola) oil is another big pitfall for Sun Chips and has proven to show they will be inflammatory for your body. One claim is that these oils are produced under high heat and there is no nutritional value leftover. Others have claimed that these oils have replacement chemicals added that can be harmful to your body.

As proof of this claim, we have dug deep to support or give any proof which uncovers the following information for these two oils.

Sunflower oil

The extraction of sunflower oil is done using very low heat and sometimes uses hexane to extract the oil. Heat will destroy sunflower oil and causes it to become rancid. This is the reason sunflower oil is not processed using heat. Hexane methods use an extraction method where food-grade hexane is turned into steam and exposed to crushed sunflower seeds. The steam is anywhere between 122 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit -or basically, to the boiling point.

This process is carried out for a few seconds and does not damage the oil in any form. After this, the oil is rolled out using compression presses to collect as much of the oil and is easily separated from the crushed and flaked seeds.

Conclusion: Debunked claim of chemicals added or lack of nutritional content.

Canola oil

The same production methods are used and both will use compression and hexane methods to get the oil out of the seed. Canola oil is also sensitive to high heat and will degrade and start to become rancid if exposed to high heat. This is all an effort to produce a product that will remain shelf-stable for several months.

Conclusion: Debunked claim of chemicals added or lack of nutritional content.

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