Welcome to the Great American “Lightly Salted” Chip Off! Four lightly salted potato chips aka low sodium potato chips bags have taken the challenge to compete for the best tasting lightly salted and low sodium potato chip. (Don’t forget National Potato Chip Day is March 14h!)
The prize? The highly coveted mirror ball chip trophy.
Why Lightly Salted Or Low Sodium Potato Chips
One word. Health.
I am a chip lover, a tater lover and definitely eat more than my share of taters and chips on a daily basis. Alas it became time to watch and lower the salt intake.
So my eyes wandered through the potato chip aisle and began focusing on the lightly salted versions of my favorite tater. The challenge began and which low sodium potato chip can win this coveted prize of the Best Lightly Salted Potato Chip by this seasoned and veteran tater chip tester.
Daily Salt Recommendation by the American Heart Association
The recent recommendations by the American Heart Association have lowered the recommended salt intake per day to 1500 milligrams.
Usually the salt shaker is not the main culprit of excessive salt intake, but processed foods and restaurant foods are the main culprits. Consumers lack control of the amount of salt used in restaurant and processed foods versus home cooking and their salt intake levels can be reflective of eating take out foods regularly.
Comparison Of Lightly Salted Potato Chips
Contender 1 Herr’s
Contender 2 Better Made
Contender 3 Lay’s
Contender 4 Pringles
Each bag promises 50% less salt. The size of the chips and chips per serving size are very similar and as the table below shows the nutritional value is almost identical per serving.
The Lays potato chips nutrition facts as listed on the bag also denoted thiamin, niacin, Vitamin B6 and zinc among small percentages in their chips. Pringles Lightly Salted comes in at 150 calories per 1 oz. 16 crisps serving, sodium 75 mg, Vitamin C 6%.
Taste Test Of Lightly Salted Potato Chips
If you are familiar or a fan of the Classic Lays Potato Chip then the taste of this chip is very familiar to you. The chips taste like regular Lays but simply a less saltier version. The Herr’s chips are the crunchiest of the three brands. Reminiscent of the crunchy kettle chips in texture thou not in taste. The Herr’s reminded me of brands marketed as ‘healthy’ or ‘natural.’ Again if you are familiar with the taste of the Better Made regular chips then the lightly salted version will be familiar. The taste and texture are the same just less of a salt taste. The Pringles Lightly Salted were my least favorite as they tasted flat compared to the regular flavor of Pringles.
Which Brand Won?
First I was more than pleasantly surprised that all the Lightly Salted Potato chips tasted as good as they did. So many times the lighter or fat free versions of foods are bordering on inedible or have undesirable ingredients added.
Do the potato chips of all 3 brands taste like potato chips? They do.
Do the potato chips of all 3 brands taste like fully salted chips? No.
Is it better to have the lightly salted chips as opposed to no chips? In my opinion yes, but that is taste subjective.
Can you train your taste buds to accept and enjoy the lightly salted version? See answer above and yes.
Each brand tasted like a lighter less salty version of their salted versions. I’m still pleasantly in shock to find three options I will purchase of low sodium potato chips. And I am a tough tater critic.
So as you may have surmised – it is a three way tie! I recommend all three brands depending upon your brand preference. If you like the brand with full salt then I would try that brand of the lightly salted first.
Another Tater Strategy
This strategy takes alot of discipline, but if potato chips are a dietary treat then the small 1 ounce packages can go along way to limit your salt and your intake. Of course this does take a great deal of discipline to only eat one bag! But some potato chips lovers may prefer to eat one small bag of salted chips as their quota for the day. Many chips can be purchased in bulk and are quite cost efficient. One box contains 50 1 ounce bags and are great for a work lunch or school lunch box. Another money saver is to purchase the multi snack box of lunch size chips and snacks for variety!