One of the foods that many of my weight-loss clients identify as their weakness is potato chips. This doesn't surprise me since its one of the foods most highly associated with obesity.
The problem with potato chips is that they are easy to eat in large quantities (who can eat just one?), and they are very calorically dense. People also tend to crave them because they hit all the right salty, fatty, sweet (a lot have added sugar), carby, notes that we find addictive.
I never tell my clients to cut out a food altogether (although I recommend it for sugary soda!) if its something they love. I either tell them to work a reasonable amount it into their daily calorie limit, or find a healthier alternative that satisfies the craving.
For potato chip lovers, a lower calorie alternative may be these new snacks, Spokes, created by a Canadian company. Spokes are an air-puffed potato snack that has just 40 calories a cup, compared to 137 per cup for regular potato chips.
They are available in 9 flavours and are gluten-free and nut-free, and preservative free.
The company sent us BBQ and Salt & Vinegar flavours to sample and both disappeared in seconds. I asked my friend, a salty/carby snack addict, to weigh in. She loved the amount of seasoning, which she found was not overpowering, and adored the lightness and non-greasiness of Spokes, and gave both flavours equal marks. Little A, felt the BBQ could have more flavour but, overall, really enjoyed them too. Big A didn't get home from dance class in time to try the BBQ, which is her favorite chip flavour, but found the Salt & Vinegar a bit too salty (though she doesn't like S&V chips anyways). I tried the BBQ and thought they were really good. Salt & Vinegar doesn't do it for me so I didn't try them. From Adam's frequent dips into the bowl, I am guessing he enjoyed the Spokes quite a bit too!
So, do I recommend Spokes? If you are looking for a lower calorie alternative to regular potato chips, I absolutely do. But keep in mind they are not 'nutritious'. As I always say, the healthiest snacks are not found in the snack food aisle. They are always fresh fruits and veggies, nuts, seeds, unsweetened yogurt, etc. But I do think the 80/20 rule is a good dietary approach, so if you eat nutritious, whole foods 80% of the time, you can probably afford to include some treat (void of nutritional value) foods in there on occasion.
Disclosure: The company sent us the product to review, but all opinions on this blog are our own.