Money latest: The ‘German classic’ that’s a healthier and cheaper alternative to crisps | UK News

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By Ollie Cooper, Money team

It can be hard to balance getting nutritious foods that make you feel good without spending a lot.

In this series, which ends today after digging into yoghurt, bread, pasta, fruit juice and plant-based milk, we’ve tried to find the healthiest options in the supermarket for the best value.

Sunna Van Kampen, founder of Tonic Healthwho went viral on social media for reviewing food in the search of healthier choices, has given his input for the past six weeks.

And for the final part of the series, we’re looking at the nation’s favourite snack: crisps. 

The series does not aim to identify the outright healthiest option, but to help you get better nutritional value for as little money as possible.

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We’re a people obsessed: in the UK, we get through six billion packets of crisps a year.

Sunna has three easy tips for finding the tastiest options that are kinder to your body…

1. Understand the fat facts

“Typical crisps can be oil sponges and contain over 30% fat from low-quality vegetable oils that have been fried,” Sunna says. 

“What we are on the lookout for those that buck the trend and stay away from the fat.” 

So, he says, aim for crisps that contain less than 15% total fat.

2. Fibre up your snack time

“While crisps aren’t exactly salad, some can offer more nutritional value than others,” Sunna says.

“Check the labels for options that have more fibre or protein.”

These help you feel fuller for longer and also keep your digestive system happy.

3. Portion control

“It’s easy to demolish an entire bag in one sitting – however, many brands offer multipack bags that are portion-controlled, usually around 25g a bag,” Sunna says.

Sticking to these helps to manage calorie intake and stops overindulging.

The big picture

“Small changes might not immediately seem like a lot but if you eat a bag a day with your lunch, we are talking about up to a whopping two litres of oil cut from your diet over the course of the year,” Sunna says,

“This is not permission to eat crisps every day (enjoy as an occasional treat) but rather an indication of how small changes add up quickly overtime.”

The good news is Sunna’s recommendations are all similar in price to their popular, fattier rivals – so you don’t need to make a bigger investment to reap some health benefits. 

We’ve included the prices for the brands’ standard multipacks at Tesco – correct as of time of writing. 

Walkers Oven Baked – £1.95 for six-pack

“Around £1.95 for a pack of six, these crisps are baked, not fried, slashing the fat content to 13%, so a great option.”

Popchips – £2.25 for five-pack

“These have just 13% fat content as they’re popped rather than fried so are a great way to go reducing fat without compromising on the crunch.”

And for some non-crisp options…

ProperCorn Popcorn – £2 for six-pack

Often described as “the healthier, lighter option”, Sunna says ProperCorn “isn’t actually the best option on the market for fat content at 17.4%”.

That being said, you do get “double the fibre of standard crisps at 10.9g per 100g”. 

At only £2 for a pack of six, it’s well-priced, too.

Snack A Jacks – £2.20 for five-pack

“At only 8.3% fat per 100g, it’s a great option at £2.20 for a pack of five.”

Penn State Baked Pretzels – £1.50 for 175g bag

Now for Sunna’s winner.

“The German classic is a great option at only 4.6% fat per 100g,” he says.

One downfall is that they are not available in portioned bags, so be careful with the whole 175g bag for £1.50.

Want another option altogether?

“If you want to be even healthier, consider the switch to nuts, seeds or even dried cheese snacks,” Sunna says.

“Higher in calories yes, but higher in good healthy fats too and are more satiating which will limit the chance of overeating.”

The nutritionist’s view– from Dr Laura Brown, senior lecturer in nutrition, food and health sciences at Teesside University…

“Baked instead of fried crisps is definitely a way forward as well as the popcorn suggestion,” she says.

“We should also be aiming to look at the amount of protein and fibre found in products. For example, lentil and pea snacks are growing in popularity due to their higher protein and fibre values, so the focus should be more on looking for ingredients other than potatoes, oil and salt. 

“I also feel ‘crisp’ based snacks made in an air fryer are becoming more popular. These can include a wholemeal wrap with a small amount of oil added, and placed in the air fryer with paprika and other seasoning added for flavour. 

“Also, chickpeas in the air fryer make for a super delicious protein and fibre rich snack. They are cheaper than crisps and lower in fat since no oil has to be added.”

Read more from this series… 

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