What to Eat with Diabetes: Best Chips

Looking for a better snack chip? Try one of our 18 winners or finalists that are dietitian-approved and taste-tested. We conducted blind taste panels with more than 100 people, including people with diabetes, and awarded the top-rated pretzels, flavored chips, cheesy chips, plain potato chips, BBQ chips, and corn chips our Diabetic Living What to Eat seal of approval.

 

Please note that product information, packaging, and availability may have changed since our story first appeared. 

Taste-Tested and Diabetes-Friendly

It's not easy to find diabetes-friendly snack options -- especially foods that are notoriously unhealthful, such as greasy chips and salty pretzels. But we knew there had to be some delicious products out there. So we went on a mission to track down all the options that met our nutrition guidelines. Then we sent those products through a series of taste tests.

Some were too crunchy; others weren't crunchy enough. But after being tasted by more than 100 people, including people with diabetes, the best-tasting chips and pretzels rose to the top. The winner in each category received the Diabetic Living What to Eat™ award. Pop open a bag and taste how yummy healthful snacks can be!

Nutritional Guidelines

-- 200 calories or less
-- 5 grams total fat or less
-- 2 grams saturated fat or less
-- 0 grams trans fat
-- 25 grams carbohydrate or less
-- 250 milligrams sodium or less
-- At least 1 gram fiber per 15 grams carbohydrate

Pretzels Finalists

The pretzels in our taste test included a wide range of twists, rods, sticks, knots, and Os. Despite all the shapes, our tasters found their favorites among them. We liked that both of these finalists provide a good amount of fiber and a generous serving size.

Newman's Own Organics High Protein Pretzels
Per serving (22 pretzels): 120 cal., 1.5 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 230 mg sodium, 22 g carb. (4 g fiber, 1 g sugars), 5 g pro.

Ener-G Gluten-Free Wylde Pretzels
Per serving (44 pretzels): 130 cal., 3 g total fat (1.5 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 230 mg sodium, 24 g carb. (3 g fiber, 1 g sugars), <1 g pro.

Pretzels Winner

Snyder's Braided Twists Honey Wheat

Per serving (8 twists): 120 cal., 2 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 230 mg sodium, 24 g carb. (2 g fiber, 4 g sugars), 3 g pro.

Taster's comment: "There's a little bit of sweetness to these. They'd make a very filling snack."

Why it won: These pretzels were filling and substantial. We liked how they provide a snack that's sweet, salty, and hearty, while still being low in fat and calories.

Flavored Chips Finalists

The qualifiers in this category included any potato-base chips with an added flavor or seasoning that met our health requirements per serving.

Baked! Lay's Sour Cream & Onion Flavored Potato Crisps
Per serving (1 ounce): 120 cal., 3 g total fat (0.5 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 210 mg sodium, 21 g carb. (2 g fiber, 3 g sugars), 2 g pro.

Kettle Brand Baked Potato Chips Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper
Per serving (20 chips): 120 cal., 3 g total fat (0.5 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 110 mg sodium, 21 g carb. (2 g fiber, 0 g sugars), 3 g pro.

Flavored Chips Winner

And the winner of the Flavored Chips category is...

Rachel's Naturally Baked Potato Crisps Sour Cream & Onion

Per serving (14 chips): 120 cal., 3 g total fat (0.5 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 210 mg sodium, 21 g carb. (2 g fiber, 3 g sugars), 2 g pro.

Taster's comment: "The flavor is subtle but satisfying. I love the texture."

Why it won: Many tasters noted how these chips were perfectly seasoned, without tasting too tart or salty. We like the sturdiness of these chips and the fact that a serving of 14 chips contains 2 grams of fiber.

Cheesy Chips Finalists

It seems almost everyone likes a cheesy chip, and cheddar flavors were preferred among our tasters.

Kettle Brand Baked Potato Chips Aged White Cheddar
Per serving (20 chips): 120 cal., 3 g total fat (0.5 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 170 mg sodium, 20 g carb. (2 g fiber, 1 g sugars), 3 g pro.

Archer Farms Simply Balanced Aged Cheddar Baked Potato Crisps
Per serving (15 chips): 120 cal., 3 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 160 mg sodium, 22 g carb. (3 g fiber, 1 g sugars), 1 g pro.

Cheesy Chips Winner

And the winner of the Cheesy Chips category is...

Baked! Doritos Nacho Cheese

Per serving (15 chips): 120 cal., 3.5 g total fat (0.5 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 230 mg sodium, 21 g carb. (2 g fiber, 1 g sugars), 2 g pro.

Taster's comment: "These chips would totally satisfy a cheesy-chip craving."

Why it won: This baked version of classic Doritos provides the familiar cheesy flavor for half the calories and fat.

Plain Potato Chips Finalists

Sometimes you just can't beat plain potato chips. These finalists received top marks from our taste testers.

Trader Joe's Baked Potato Chips
Per serving (20 chips): 120 cal., 3 g total fat (0.5 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 135 mg sodium, 21 g carb. (2 g fiber, 0 g sugars), 2 g pro.

Baked! Ruffles Original Potato Crisps
Per serving (9 chips): 120 cal., 3 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 135 mg sodium, 22 g carb. (2 g fiber, 1 g sugars), 2 g pro.

Plain Potato Chips Winner

And the winner of the Plain Potato Chips category is...

Kettle Brand Baked Potato Chips Sea Salt

Per serving (20 chips): 120 cal., 3 g total fat (0.5 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 135 mg sodium, 21 g carb. (2 g fiber, 0 g sugars), 2 g pro.

Taster's comment: "These are the best chips in the bunch!"

Why it won: Tasters responded to this chip with an overwhelming two thumbs up. We think the serving size makes for a snack that is satisfying without loading you down with calories, fat, and salt.

BBQ Chips Finalists

The best chips in the category perfectly captured that barbecue flavor without tasting too salty or too sweet.

Rachel's Naturally Baked Potato Crisps Barbeque
Per serving (1 ounce): 110 cal., 2 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 160 mg sodium, 20 g carb. (2 g fiber, 2 g sugars), 2 g pro.

Kettle Brand Baked Potato Chips Hickory Honey Barbeque
Per serving (20 chips): 120 cal., 3 g total fat (0.5 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 150 mg sodium, 21 g carb. (2 g fiber, 1 g sugars), 2 g pro.

BBQ Chips Winner

And the winner of the BBQ Chips category is...

Trader Joe's Baked Potato Chips Hickory Barbeque

Per serving (20 chips): 120 cal., 3 g total fat (0.5 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 160 mg sodium, 21 g carb. (2 g fiber, 1 g sugars), 3 g pro.

Taster's comment: "Good crunch to these chips. Really nice flavor -- I'm getting some sweet onion taste and some smokiness."

Why it won: These chips had a slightly sweet barbecue flavor that tasters really enjoyed, and these have become a favorite baked chip snack in the Diabetic Living office, as well.

Corn Chips Finalists

Corn chips can be excessively greasy and salty, so we were pleased to find options that met our nutritional requirements.

Frontera Blue Corn Tortilla Chips
Per serving (1 ounce): 130 cal., 5 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 75 mg sodium, 20 g carb. (2 g fiber, 0 g sugars), 2 g pro.

Trader Joe's Salted Tortilla Chips
Per serving (10 chips): 130 cal., 4 g total fat (0.5 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 45 mg sodium, 21 g carb. (4 g fiber, 0 g sugars), 3 g pro.

Corn Chips Winner

And the winner of the Corn Chips category is...

Baked! Tostitos Scoops!

Per serving (14 chips): 120 cal., 3 g total fat (0.5 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 140 mg sodium, 22 g carb. (2 g fiber, 0 g sugars), 2 g pro.

Taster's comment: "The flavor is great, and these have the perfect amount of saltiness. Cool shape for scooping!"

Why it won: These chips are both tasty and functional, and a healthier choice than fried tortilla chips.

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