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Learn How To Snack Your Way To Weight Loss

You don't have to give up snacks just because you're eating healthy. Here are some smart snack choices – and a recipe for healthy potato chips to make at home.

Do you love to snack but despise all the fat and calories in your favorite chips?

You don’t have to give up snack foods—even if you’re a healthy eater. You just have to make smart choices. Virtua registered dietitian Donna Wixted, RD, advises eating 2 snacks a day that are under 200 calories each.

If potato chips are your favorite, here’s a recipe for crunchy, healthy potato chips you can make at home.

Guilt-free Potato Chips (1 serving is 1 cup)

What you’ll need:

  • 2 large potatoes (russet, Yukon gold, or sweet), scrubbed
  • Spices (salt, pepper, garlic or onion powder, dill, cayenne)
  • Regular or olive oil cooking spray (such as Pam)

Prepare the potatoes: 

  1. Slice the potatoes with a mandoline for a 1/16-inch thick (paper-thin) slice.
  2. Drop slices into cold water and soak for 15 to 20 minutes or until ready to use (not necessary if using sweet potatoes).
  3. Remove slices from water and pat them dry with paper towels, working in batches. Dry potato slices well for crispier chips!

Microwave instructions: 

  1. Spray parchment paper with cooking spray and place it sprayed-side-up on a microwave-safe plate.  
  2. Place potato slices on the parchment paper and season as desired.
  3. Cover with another piece of parchment paper that’s been sprayed with cooking spray (placing the sprayed side against the potatoes).
  4. Microwave the potatoes on high for around 5 minutes, checking every 60 seconds, until they’re lightly browned and slightly curled on the edges.
  5. Repeat for remaining potato slices. 

Air-fryer instructions: 

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees. 
  2. Lightly spray potato slices with cooking spray and season as desired. 
  3. Spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray, and place potato slices in the basket in a single layer. 
  4. Air fry for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. 
  5. Increase the temperature to 400 degrees and flip the potatoes slices, if needed.
  6. Air fry the potato slices for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until crisp and lightly browned. 
  7. Repeat for remaining potato slices. 

If you can't have chips without dip, make a healthier French onion dip with these ingredients: 

  • 2 cups fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup dried, minced onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients until well-combined, and chill for an hour before serving. 

Find healthy snacks in the store

When buying snacks in the store, READ THE LABEL for important factors that will help you choose a healthier snack:

  • Look at the “Nutrition Facts” on the label for fat, saturated fat, and sodium: Food packaging can’t say “low-fat" or "low-sodium” unless the percent of daily value (PDV) is less than 5%.
  • Check ingredients: The first ingredient in a healthier snack should be whole grain (whole wheat, whole rye, corn), vegetables such as potatoes, carrots or beans, or whole nuts. Avoid “enriched” ingredients.
  • Follow the portion size: A healthier snack won’t be healthy if you eat 3 or 4 servings of it. Stick to the recommended portion size or buy portion-controlled snack bags when available.

Here are some healthier grab-and-go snacks you can find in your grocery store (taste-tested and approved!):

Lesser Evil – Snack Chips and Sticks

Pop Chips

Terra Chips – Exotic Vegetable Chips

Blue Diamond 100-Calorie Almond Packs

Beanitos – Snack Chips

Wonderful Pistachios

Late July – Multigrain Tortilla Chips

Get help with healthy eating

Virtua registered dietitians can help you create a healthy eating plan that includes your favorite snacks. Schedule an appointment online today