Are Plantain Chips Healthy?

We all cannot stop munching on the crispy salty potato chips once we open the chips pack. The munching goes on and on until there is none left in the bag.

They are just so addictive and delicious!

With all the amount of potato chips you have consumed so far, I am pretty sure you have seen or heard “Plantain Chips” in the chips aisle at your local grocery store.

if you have heard about them, then you know the deal!

Do not worry if you have not heard or ever seen Plantain chips!

You might know then as “Banana Chips” as they are commonly called by this name and not as “Plantain Chips”.

After all this, if you still have no clue then allow me to enlighten you.

I have gathered up all the important information you need on Plantain Chips and presented it to you in a concise manner in this article.

So, let us dive right in!

What is Plantain actually?

Plantain is a starchy fruit that looks a lot like a banana.

Unripe plantains are firms and green, but when they ripe they are yellow and begin to look more like bananas.

Hence why they are often confused as bananas.

Plantains sweetness increases when they change from green to yellow and eventually turn black.

Yes, you read that right! They turn black too.

However, they are never as sweet as bananas.

When they are fully ripe, they are still uncooked and need to be cooked because they are starchy.

They are a rich source of fiber, vitamins A, C, and B-6, and the minerals magnesium.

Plantain can be cooked in various ways.

It can be fried, baked, boiled, and even eaten mashed just like potatoes.

Plantains can be easily turned into chips. Which are often referred to as banana chips.

Now, we move on to our main concern.

So are these chips healthy?

Most of us try to steer clear of potato chips and think that plantain chips are more virtuous and less refined alternative.

Plantain chips are assumed to be healthier than potato chips.

Now this is wrong.

it is a worldwide misconception, then plantain chips are heather than potato chips.

Even though plantains are some fruit, when they are prepared into products like plantain chips, they are essentially considered as a processed or a junk food.

The same way potato chips are considered as a junk food.

Fried chips are fried chips, whether they are made of potato, banana, or the less-sweet banana relative plantain.

And most plantain chips are fried, rather than baked, which means that they are rich in fat as well as carbohydrates.

Many of these chips (both; plantain and potato chips) have sugar and salt added, not to mention a high fat content among other contents.

Let us compare some nutritional contents that both the chips contain to have a slight better idea of which is healthier: potato chips or plantain chips?

Let’s talk about the contents of Plantain chips:

Calories:

Let us start with calories.

if we compare their calories then we find out that both plantain and potato chips contain about 300 calories in a two-ounce serving!

They both provide 15% of the daily energy intake in a standard 2000 calorie diet!

So technically there is no difference.

Carbs it contains:

Now if we compare in terms of carbohydrates then we see that the carbohydrates load is a pretty close competition.

The carbohydrates fuel you muscles, brain, tissues, and other cells.

Plantain chips serve 36 grams of carbs while Potato chips give 29 grams.

So, this shows that plantain chips are higher in carbs content.

What about Fat content?

Moving on to the fat content.

Here we can see that calorie wise, the fat content is pretty similar too.

potato chips contain about 21 grams of fat content while, plantain chips deliver about 16 grams of fat content per two ounce serving, according to USDA.

So, plantain chips contain slightly less fat than potato chips.

Sodium content:

Limiting your sodium intake promotes life-long health, because a high sodium intake contributes to chronic health issues, including high blood pressure, stroke, and kidney damage.

According to the USDA, one two ounce serving of potato chips contains about 420 milligrams of sodium which is about 18 percent of your daily intake limit, established by the Institute of Medicine.

And this is also, one quarter of the recommended daily maximum consumptions according to the American Heart Association.

Now the same amount of plantain chips contains 114 milligrams of sodium according to USDA.

This is just 8 percent of your daily limit.

This proves that plantain chips are a lower-sodium alternative to potato chips.

Let us move on to the vitamin and mineral differences for further clarifications.

Vitamin Content:

Vitamin A and C is present in both, plantain, and potato chips.

However, their content is different.

Both vitamin A and C are powerful antioxidants that keep the skin healthy and boost the immune system.

Specifically, vitamin A plays a role in healthy vision, on the other hand, Vitamin C protects your tissues from damage.

One two ounce serving of plantain chips contains 12 percent of vitamin A (786 international units of vitamin A). This is 34 percent of the recommended daily intake for women and 26 percent for men, set by the Institute of Medicine.

Plantain chips also provide 16 percent of vitamin C consumption, or roughly one-quarter of the recommended daily intake for women and one-fifth for men.

Now If compared to potato chips, potato chips contain zero vitamin A and 20 percent of your daily recommended consumption of vitamin C.

It is also worth to mention that according to Livestrong, potato chips contain more B complex vitamins, minerals selenium, copper, and manganese.

Potassium and Vitamin-E Content:

Potassium plays a huge role in the function of nervous system and helps in muscle functioning.

While vitamin E okays a huge role in blood clotting and blood vessel functioning.

once two-ounce portion of potato chips contain 931 milligrams of potassium, which is one-fifth of your Institute of Medicine-recommended daily intake.

While plantain chips contain just 446 milligrams.

Potato chips contain 3.8 milligrams of vitamin E which is one quarter of your daily recommended intake.

While on the other hand, plantain chips contain only 2.8 milligrams of vitamin E content.

Omega fatty acids:

Plantain chips have small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids which is about 7 percent of the recommended intake and large amounts of omega-6 fatty acids which is about 69 percent of the recommended intake.

Furthermore:

Here is a detailed description of plantain chips contents and their percentages present.

Every 100 grams of plantain chips has minerals like:

  • 5 percent of the daily value (DV) for iron
  • 17 percent of the DV for potassium
  • 17 percent of the DV for magnesium
  • 6 percent of the DV for phosphorus
  • 22 percent of the DV for copper
  • 12 percent of the DV for manganese
  • 8 percent of the DV for vitamin A
  • 5 percent of the DV for vitamin B1 (thiamin)
  • 5 percent of the DV for vitamin B3 (niacin)
  • 22 percent of the DV for vitamin B5
  • 27 percent of the DV for vitamin B6
  • 9 percent of the DV for vitamin B9 (folate)
  • 36 percent of the DV for vitamin C
  • 34 percent of the DV for vitamin E
  • 24 percent of the DV for vitamin K

If you compare plantain versus potato chips, you will find equivalent amounts of most of the same vitamins and minerals.

In some cases, there are even more of certain vitamins and minerals in potato chips, like vitamin E, most B-complex vitamins, selenium, copper, potassium, and manganese, as mentioned above.

If you want to enjoy plantains while dodging fat and calories, create a healthier snack by baking the chips at home.

Let us find out more about it!

Healthier Plantain Chips Options

The whole point of making your own plantain chips at home is that you can control how much oil you use and how many different types of spices you can add to boost the flavor without the fat.

I researched and jotted down two simple, easy, and quick plantain chips recipe just for you!

RECIPE

  1. Toss two peeled and thinly sliced green plantains with two tablespoons of olive oil, one teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
  2. Spread the plantains out, in a single layer, on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 17 minutes, turning slices over after about 8 min.
  4. Watch closely after turning, since the chips can burn quickly.
  5. Once they are ready, pour them in a bowl and serve.

Now you may enjoy a healthier version of plantain chips to munch on!

Ending Note

While plantain chips are a source of some vitamins and minerals, they are still a fried, processed food just like potato chips.

It is no hidden fact that cooked plantains are nutritionally very similar to a potato, calorie-wise, but contain more of certain vitamins and minerals.

Either way, both, plantain chips and potato chips should be consumed in moderation.

Happy Munching!

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