Are Plantain Chips Really Better For You Than Potato Chips?

When snack cravings strike, nothing is more satisfying than crispy, salty chip. But which chip is healthier, the plantain or the potato? If it's calories you're paying attention to, there's virtually no difference. According to The San Francisco Chronicle, both plantain and potato chips contain about 300 calories in a two-ounce serving. And in terms of the carbohydrate load, it's pretty close — plantain chips deliver 36 grams of carbs versus 29 grams for the spuds. 

But there are some vitamin and mineral differences worth noting. According to Healthline, while similar calorie-wise, plantain and potato chips differ in their vitamin A and C content. Both vitamins are powerful antioxidants that keep your skin healthy and boost your immune system. Vitamin A also plays a role in healthy vision, and vitamin C protects your tissues from damage (via WebMD). One two-ounce serving of plantain chips contains 12 percent of your daily vitamin A recommendation, and 16 percent of your suggested vitamin C intake (via Goya) . Potato chips deliver zero vitamin A, but slightly more vitamin C, providing 20 percent of your daily recommendation (via USDA). 

Potatoes also have additional vitamins and minerals to brag about. Compared to plantain chips, potato chips contain more vitamin E, most B-complex vitamins, and the minerals selenium, copper, potassium, and manganese (via Livestrong).

Are plantain chips healthier?

Let's get one thing clear here, we're talking about fried chips, a high-calorie, high-fat snack food that should be eaten in moderation (via Consumer Reports). When it comes to fat content per two-ounce serving, both potatoes chips and plantain chips deliver about 16 grams (via USDA).

And then there's the sodium issue. According to the USDA, one two-ounce serving of potato chips contains about 420 milligrams of it and one quarter of your recommended daily max according to the American Heart Association. The same amount of plantain chips clocks in at a much more respectable 114 milligrams (via USDA).

If you want to enjoy plantains while dodging fat and calories, create a healthier snack by baking the chips at home. Toss two peeled and thinly sliced green plantains with two tablespoons of olive oil, one teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Spread the plantains out, in a single layer, on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 17 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking (via Time). Before you know it you'll have a healthier version to munch on.