Are Fritos Unhealthy? Are They Good Or Bad As A Snack?

Fritos corn chips

Grabbing a packet of crunchy Fritos for your healthy tea time snacks? Think again! 

Fritos is a popular appetizing snack and their most important ingredient is corn. This might give you the impression that this is healthy. Well, it is not. The sole reason behind this is that corn used to make your favorite Fritos are highly processed by frying and topping it with sodium, by which it loses its nutritional value. 

What are Fritos chips made out of?

The 3 principal ingredients in Fritos chips are corn, salt, and oil.

The initial process of making Fritos chips involves breaking down the starch of corn by cooking it in water.

The corn is then cleaned and ground into masa. This masa is molded into the signature shape of Fritos and sprinkled up with salt, making it a rich savory.

Finally, these chips are fried and voila! Your crunchy appetizer is ready to munch. 

This is different from Lay’s in the sense that the main ingredient here is potato. Like potatoes, corn is also high in calories, sodium, and fat.

Corn chips have approximately 489 calories in 100 grams of serving, while potato chips have approximately 542 calories in 100 grams of serving. This slight difference in calories does not make corn chips much healthier than the other and both should be consumed wisely.

That said, let’s bring our attention to some important nutritional facts and their presence in Fritos chips.

ALSO READ: What happens if you eat noodles every day?

Do Fritos chips have dairy?

On average, about 30 million American adults suffer from dairy allergies, and in a country where lactose intolerance is high, the food industry should be very alert and vocal about their dairy ingredients. Also, know your health status and always check the ingredients before chomping on your favorite food.

Fritos is an American-originated corn chip and it markets some of its flavors as “dairy-free chips”. These include

  • Fritos Honey BBQ flavor corn chips
  • Fritos Original corn chips 
  • Fritos Lightly Salted corn chips 
  • Fritos Scoops corn chips 

These flavors are liked and consumed by the majority of Americans. 

Do Fritos chips have gluten?

Gluten is a form of protein contained in wheat. Gluten is not considered to be unhealthy but there are people diagnosed with celiac disease and they require Gluten-Free food intake.

People with celiac disease have a sensitive small intestine that struggles to digest gluten. It is unfortunate to state that around 3 million people in the US suffer from this celiac disease.

Fritos chips contain corn as their primary ingredient and are mostly gluten-free. There are four variants that are distinctly marketed thus. This includes 

  • FRITOS Lightly Salted Corn Chips
  • FRITOS Original Corn Chips
  • FRITOS Reduced Fat Original Corn Chips
  • FRITOS Scoops! Corn Chips

Do Fritos chips have MSG?

Let’s throw some light on MSG (monosodium glutamate). It is found a lot in fast food and processed food. MSG is known for its ability to intensify flavor and taste. Regrettably, MSG intake causes adverse effects such as –

  • Headache 
  • Obesity 
  • Weakness
  • Fast heart rate 
  • Pain in the chest 
  • Perspiration 
  • Metabolic syndrome

It is advisable to avoid the consumption of MSG food.

Most of the Fritos chips do not contain MSG. Here are the three flavors that are distinctly marketed as “no-added MSG”:

  • FRITOS Lightly Salted Corn Chips
  • FRITOS Original Corn Chips
  • FRITOS Scoops! Corn Chips

Are Fritos chips vegan?

Fritos has three vegan varieties – 

  • Fritos Original corn chips
  • Fritos Scoops corn chips 
  • Fritos BBQ flavor corn chips

The other Fritos chips are not vegan. The non-vegan variants of Fritos include

  • Frito Spicy Jalapeno flavor corn chips 
  • Fritos Twists Honey BBQ flavor corn chips 
  • Fritos Chili Cheese flavor Corn chips 
  • Fritos Flamin’ Hot flavor Corn chips

Fritos Spicy Jalapeno flavor includes non-vegan ingredients such as whey & sour cream. Fritos Twists Honey BBQ flavor has honey, while Fritos Chili Cheese flavor contains cheese. Fritos  Flamin’ Hot flavor has buttermilk in it.

Are Fritos chips ok for diabetics?

A snack for diabetics needs to be high in protein. Craving for a bunch of crunchy and crispy Fritos chips may not be a good option despite it being made from corn as it is highly processed and has high carbohydrates and very little protein. Diabetics can choose snacks such as dry fruits and nuts. 

Are Fritos chips bad for cholesterol?

Fritos chips have high cholesterol as it is fried and tossed in a lot of salt. Corn is high in fiber, whereas potatoes are high in potassium. If we eliminate the step of processing, and frying, and baking it instead, it makes for a healthy and tasty alternative to control bad cholesterol. But this is unfortunately not the case.

Can Fritos cause diarrhea, heartburn, bloating, and constipation? 

Even though Fritos chips are high in fiber due to their corn base, they can give you diarrhea when they are left undigested. On the contrary, Fritos can also cause constipation and bloating to some as it has a high amount of fat and salt. These Fritos are deep-fried which may cause heartburn as well.

Are Fritos chips keto-friendly?

Choosing Fritos chips as your snack buddy during a Keto diet plan is a bad idea, as they have high carbohydrates – of up to 15 grams.

Despite these criticisms, the popularity of Fritos remains high. In recent times, Frito-Lay has put in efforts to launch healthier versions of chips such as – 

  • Tostitos baked has 50% less fat scoops chips
  • Lay’s baked has 65% fewer fat chips 
  • Lay’s kettle cooked has 40% less fat potato chips
  • Ruffles baked has 65% fewer fat chips

ALSO READ: Is there bat poop in Doritos?