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These Tasty High Protein Chips are Dietitian-Approved

May 28, 2024
Wilde Brand

Chips are one of America’s favorite snack foods — in fact, in the U.S., we eat about 1.85 billion pounds of potato chips per year, more than 6.5 pounds per person. And these days, we’re chip-ifying much more than potatoes. From root vegetables to seaweed, you can find all kinds of crunchy, salty snacks that fit the chip description. Between our love of chips and the trend toward eating more protein, it’s no wonder that high protein chips are now a thing. 

Companies have turned to protein-rich ingredients like whey, egg whites, cheese, lentils, and more to satisfy your craving for crunch. We spoke with preventive cardiology dietitian Michelle Routhenstein to learn whether these high-protein chips are actually good for us, and what to look for and avoid when shopping for better-for-you snacks. 

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What to look for in high-protein chips

As with any food, choosing chips made from whole, recognizable ingredients will provide better nutrition and potentially stave off common chronic diseases. Routhenstein recommends checking the ingredient list before making a purchase. “Rather than being swayed by marketing claims, scrutinize the actual composition,” she says. “Opt for protein derived from natural sources like beans, nuts, and seeds. Steer clear of chips laden with excessive added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium.”

And remember that it’s not just about protein. “While protein is crucial for muscle health, blood sugar regulation, and longevity, it’s essential to complement it with fiber,” says Routhenstein. “Fiber facilitates digestion, enhances feelings of fullness, and aids in regulating cholesterol levels, promoting overall heart health and sustaining energy levels throughout the day.”

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans by the USDA, adult men and women should consume between 25 and 32 grams of fiber per day and between 34 and 52 grams of protein per day (though other sources recommend a higher protein intake). 

Related: 10 Surprisingly Tasty High-Protein Snacks from the Grocery Store

What makes a snack high in protein

Routhenstein defines a snack as high in protein if it contains at least 5 to 10 grams of protein per serving. This will be relative to the rest of your diet, though. If you tend to eat higher-protein meals (containing 20 or more grams per meal, for example), then you may not need as much protein from your snacks to reach your daily goals. 

The best high protein chips at the grocery store

If you’re looking to swap out your potato chips with something that offers a little more nutrition and satiety, consider these higher-protein options made from quality ingredients:

1. Kibo Lentil Chips

These simple plant-based chips are made with lentils (which are naturally high in protein and fiber), corn flour, pea protein, and salt. They’re baked instead of fried, which means they’re not loaded with processed oils. Routhenstein likes to serve them with veggies and hummus for a well-rounded snack. “This combination is high in protein, and offers essential vitamins and minerals, including potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6, promoting heart health and overall well-being,” she says. 

Buy it: Kibo Lentil Chips 

2. Wilde Protein Chips

Despite looking very similar to potato chips, the primary ingredient in these thin crisps is chicken breast, a lean protein source. The chips are further fortified with egg whites and flavored with chicken bone broth, which gives them a deeply savory flavor. They have 10 grams of both protein and fat per serving, and less than 1 gram of sugar. 

Buy it: Wilde Protein Chips

3. Sonoma Creamery Cheese Crisps

If you love cheese, these super crunchy chips are for you. They’re made with savory Parmesan cheese that’s melted and crisped up into a rich and satisfying shelf-stable snack. Each serving offers 10 grams of protein with 2 grams of fiber, and they’re especially tasty crumbled over a salad. 

Buy it: Sonoma Creamery Cheese Crisps

4. Flock Chicken Skin Crisps

Another chicken-based chip option comes from Flock. These crisps are intensely crunchy and satisfying. They’re made from chicken skins, so they’re slightly higher in fat and offer an impressive 13 grams of protein per serving with no sugar. The chips come in several flavors, including a spicy Nashville option for heat seekers.

Buy it: Flock Chicken Skin Crisps

5. Lesser Evil Power Curls

Though not technically chips, these airy and crisp puffs will satisfy the same hankering. They’re grain-free, made with cassava flour, which is a fibrous and protein-rich root. They get extra protein from egg whites to offer 6 grams per serving with no added sugar. 

Buy it: Lesser Evil Power Curls

6. Nordic Catch Dried Cod Bites

Don’t knock it til you try it. These rounds of freeze-dried cod fish are loaded with a whopping 29 grams of protein per serving with 0 grams of fat or carbohydrates. They’re made from nothing but wild-caught Icelandic cod and sea salt, offering a snack that’s rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fats

Buy it: Nordic Catch Dried Cod Bites

7. Epic Provisions Baked Pork Rinds

This non-poultry option for meat-based chips evokes the rich pork cracklings popular in Southern cuisine, but lightened up. The pork rinds are baked, not fried, which leaves them airy, light, and super-crunchy, not laden with greasy oil. These chips offer 11 grams of protein with just 2.5 grams of fat per serving and no added sugars. 

Buy it: Epic Provisions Baked Pork Rinds

Read next: 7 Low-Sugar Protein Bars and Bites You Can Make

Disclaimer: We only recommend products we seriously love and want to share. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which includes affiliate links.

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