Sensible Portions, the maker of Garden Veggie Straws, advertises them as a healthy option in the snacking world.
They say their veggie straws beats the likes of fattening potato chips and similar grab and go snacks.
While these snacks are a little better than potato chips, I’d argue that this is not the case.
Before you chew me out, grab something healthy, and let me show you why I think Garden Veggie Straws are an unhealthy choice for your daily snack.
Why Are Veggie Straws Not Healthy?
While Garden Veggie Straws have actual vegetables in the ingredients, we need to look closer.
The components of veggie straws by Sensible Portions and alternative brands are as follows:
- Potato Starch and Flour
- Corn Starch
- Tomato Paste
- Spinach Powder
- Beetroot PowderSalt
- Canola, sunflower, and safflower oils
- Other preservatives
So, let’s break it down. You may have noticed the first few things on the list.
While veggie straws do have tomato, spinach, and beetroot in the recipe, potato starch and flour are on there too.
Besides, canola, sunflower, and safflower oils are further down the list.
Don’t get me wrong, though. I think veggie straws are great snacks.
They are crunchy, salty, and tasty.
But, I think of them more like fancy Pringles more than I think of them as a healthy alternative chip.
The company behind veggie straws has a great marketing strategy, but do not be fooled into thinking that they are more robust than others.
Are Veggie Straws Better Than Other Chips?
Let’s learn about the specifics of veggie straws.
To answer the question, it depends on the kind of chip.
Based on single servings, here’s a breakdown of veggie straws and various potato chips from highest to lowest calories:
- Cheeto’s -170 cal
- Lay’s -160 cal
- Ruffles -160 cal
- Fritos Original -160 cal
- Pringles -150 cal
- Tostitos -140 cal
- Beanito’s -140 cal
- Sun Chips -140 cal
- Cheeto’s Baked -130 cal
- Garden Veggie Straws -130 cal
- Pop Chips -130 cal
- Lay’s Baked -120 cal
- Ruffles Baked -120 cal
It looks like for a variety of chips offered in our market today, Garden Veggie Straws are certainly healthier than some of the more classic types.
However, it seems that Lay’s and Ruffles Baked style potato chips have them beat.
Even Cheeto’s Baked is on the same level as the veggie straws, which is impressive since the original Cheetos chip is one of the higher calorie chips on the list.
So How Did Baked Potato Chips Beat Veggie Straws?
The difference between the highest calorie chips and the lowest calory chips has nothing to do with vegetables, and more to do with oil content.
To make a great tasting chip, you generally need oil to fry them in.
And since every ounce of oil is about 120 calories, this ingredient is the main reason why chips are higher in calories than most other snack foods.
If you’re adding in the salt content, you can count on Garden Veggie Straws as not very healthy chips to consume at all.
Should I Stop Consuming Them?
With anything, moderation is key.
While this snack can end up contributing to weight gain rather than helping you lose weight, having it once or twice per week is not a bad option.
However, nothing beats actual vegetables in terms of calorie impact and satisfaction.
While they’re not salty, learning to consume more vegetables in your diet is proven to help you lose weight.
Not convinced? Here’s a breakdown on the calorie counts of vegetables and veggie straws per serving:
- One Medium Potato – 163 cal
- Garden Veggie Straws – 130 cal
- One Cup Of Broccoli – 50 cal
- One Carrot – 41 cal
- One Green/Yellow/Red Pepper – 37 cal
- Several Sticks Of Celery – 18 cal
- 6 Grape Tomatoes – 16 cal
While the medium potato is a joke, I did place it there to illustrate just how much of a difference there is between veggie straws and actual vegetables.
If you wanted more nutrition for similar calorie levels, you might as well want to eat a real potato rather than potato chips.
While preparing and consuming vegetables isn’t the best option for those that desire taste, I find that sprinkling table salt on vegetables or dipping them in a small amount of dressing is very tasty.
Just ignore the oil. It’s healthy too because these vegetables are full of nutrients that your body needs.
Eating more vegetables can even improve your body’s hydration because they are full of water content.
Hey, Veggie Straws Still Have Vegetables In Them. What Gives?
Okay, so veggie straws still have some vegetable paste and powders in them.
Some. Like, very few.
So little that it’s negligible compared to the potato starch and flour that are also in them.
The standard recommendation for a healthy serving of vegetables is 2-3 cups per day.
A single serving of veggie straws doesn’t make the cut for the number of nutrients your body needs.
Also, there is more oil in them than you think, and your body will only use that oil for fatness, not fitness.
Again, I love veggie straws. But don’t think of them as completely healthy for you.
But They Are Still Great Snacks For Children
These little straws are unhealthy for you. So what?
They are certainly a better option than traditional potato chips.
However, if you thought that they were better than baked potato chips, you might want to change that view since they are slightly lower in calories.
Who would have thought of that? However, veggie straws are fantastic because Sensible Portions designed them for children.
The straws are small to grasp and perfect for their tiny hands.
Giving out veggie straws is undoubtedly easier than preparing and serving your children fresh-cut vegetables every day.
Like other potato chips, they generally don’t expire for a long time.
You can use them for family outings, doctor visits, quick lunches, and a myriad of other activities.
The trick would be to use them only when you need them.