Are all packets of crisps equally nutritious?

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David Michaels

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Are all packets of crisps equally nutritious?
« on: 26/11/2011 14:01:02 »
David Michaels  asked the Naked Scientists:

I notice most packets of crisps (potato chips), usually about 28 grams, are all around 150 calories.  

It seems like "fishy" chips (groan).  Can these all be true ? (do they just burn the stuff and measure the heat give off ?)  Are all the foods going to make you gain the same weight ?  That is, is all the energy absorbed into the bloodstream or does some of the energy get excreted.  I heard that you can get energy out of poo on your podcast, so some of the calories must go straight through (I download your podcasts and listen to them on the way to work)

I am a chemist, and really hope your show keeps growing.


What do you think?
« Last Edit: 26/11/2011 14:01:02 by _system »


Offline CliffordK

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Re: Are all packets of crisps equally nutritious?
« Reply #1 on: 08/01/2012 21:34:26 »
Potato chips are pretty much deep fried potatoes...  consisting of potato + oil.  Perhaps some added low calorie seasonings. 
Anyway, so I'm not surprised that they would have similar caloric content.  Your nutrition label doesn't list things like saturated fats and trans fats which may have some health consequences.

There is a brand that makes reconstituted, baked potato chips with less oil, and thus less fat and fewer calories.  There are also several brands of corn chips, other chips that would have different characteristics. 

As far as the portion being absorbed.  I would again assume that all potato chips would be similar, and are made of things like starches and fats that are readily absorbed by the body.

There certainly are a number of foods that are hard to digest including fiber and cellulose, seeds such as blackberry seeds, and etc.  I agree that there may be a difficult to assess bio-availability that is poorly documented on product labeling.  Some people consider certain vegetables as having "negative calories".  I.E. they take more energy to digest than the body gets back out of them. 

Personally, I believe my excrement is not only dependent on what I eat, but how much of it.  So, if I'm dieting, I might leave very little in the toilet...  but, after a big meal, more gets left in the toilet.