Are Fritos Healthy?

Who doesn’t love a quick snack after a hectic work or workout? Snacks like Fritos are available over the counter in every kitchen. You must rip the packet open and start munching on its tangy and spicy flavors. But is eating Fritos healthy for you? 

Let’s find out.

Is Fritos Healthy?

Anything that says “fried” or “deep-fried” is unhealthy for the consumer. This is a basic thumb rule that everyone must know. Fritos is deep-fried cornmeal. In short, Fritos are not a healthy snacking option. 

Fritos come in different flavors, and different flavors have different ingredients. The lightly salted and original and other flavors.

Let’s analyze this snack a little more to know its pros and cons.

Ingredient Analysis:

Frito original & lightly salted variants contain only three ingredients, i.e., Corn, Corn Oil, and Salt.

However, the Fritos flavored variants contain a lot of artificial flavors and additives. For example, Fritos® Chili Cheese Flavored ingredients are:

‘Corn, Corn Oil, Whey, Salt, Spices, Maltodextrin (Made from Corn), Cheddar Cheese (Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Canola Oil, Potassium Chloride, Tomato Powder, Monosodium Glutamate, Onion Powder, Natural Flavors, Romano Cheese (Cow’s Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Dextrose, Sugar, Buttermilk, Sodium Caseinate, Annatto Extracts, Butter (Cream, Salt), Citric Acid, Sunflower Oil, Garlic Powder, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate, and Caramel Color.’

Fritos® Chili Cheese Flavored ingredients
S. No.CriteriaOriginal & Lightly Salted FritosFlavored Fritos
 1. Whole ingredientsYesYes
 2.Artificial ingredientsNoYes
 3.Level of ProcessingHighHigh
 4.Harmful ingredientsNoYes
 5.Carbs to Fibre RatioLow (16/1)Low
 6.Glycemic indexLow (40)

Nutritional Info Analysis:

Please note that the nutritional info mentioned on the pack is per serving and not for the entire pack. The values must be multiplied by 9 to understand the amount consumed per pack accurately. This table will highlight some nutritional facts for the Fritos original variant.

S. No.HeadNutritional Facts per Serving (28g)Nutritional Facts per Pack  (262.2g)
 1. Calories1601440
 2.Fat10 g90 g
 3.Sodium80mg7.2 g
 4.Carbohydrate16 g144 g
 5.Dietary Fibre1 g9 g

Hence, it is a calorie-dense product. An adult male should consume between 2000 to 3000 Calories per day. A single packet of chips can add 1440 calories to your day.

Product Suitability:

Based on the above-detailed analysis, we can easily conclude for whom this product is suitable.

S. No.Suitable forOriginal & Lightly Salted FritosFlavored Fritos
 1. VegansYesNo
 2.DiabetesYesNo
 3.VegetarianYesYes
 4.PBWF DietNoNo
 5.KetoNoNo
 6.Gluten-FreeYesNo

Pros & Cons

Before concluding, let’s review the pros and cons of Fritos to understand if they are healthy.

Pros:

  1. Uses Whole Ingredients. The original and lightly salted variants are preservative and artificial Flavors free.
  2. They have a low glycemic index and will not cause a sudden spike in your blood sugar levels.
  3. They are Trans Fat-Free and do not have any MSG.

Cons:

  1. They are highly processed food. Processed foods have been labeled as the ones that cause “an epidemic of obesity” and the increased rate of long-term illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.
  2. Low Dietary Fibre (ratio 0f 16:1)
  3. They are deep-fried.
  4. The flavored variants include artificial flavors and additives.

Verdict: Is Fritos Healthy?

To sum it up, having Fritos of a limited quantity is not essentially bad. However, they are not as healthy as you think them to be. While eating Fritos in small or controlled proportions is not bad, it is crucial to know that excessive eating can have detrimental side effects. Also, occasionally indulge in the original and lightly salted variants only and avoid the flavored versions.

Tips

So, how to enjoy this while not counting your calories? Here are some tips:

1. Buy in less quantity

In any case, do not hoard these snacks on your shelves. Buy only 2 or 3 packets at max. Also, do not eat all the packets in one day. 

2. Keep them somewhere where they are not quickly accessible

Do not leave them on your dining tables or kitchen counters. I repeat, do not leave them there! They will become easily accessible to you, and you will eat them. 

Hide them behind jars or put them on top shelves where your hands do not easily reach. If you are tall and are worried you might take them out easily and gobble them, we recommend keeping them in a box or basket and putting them on the lower shelves. Taking them out will take extra effort. 

3. Have someone track 

If you feel you will still take them out, no matter how many oceans or mountains it takes you to cross, then we recommend a friend, your partner, or your family member to track how many packets are there. Tell them to ensure that you do not pick up the packet for at least a week, 14 days, a month, or a year (up to you if you are that dedicated).

About the author

Dana describes herself as a culinary enthusiast who loves to taste and experiment with new food items. Along with being a foodie, she is also extremely health conscious.

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