What Vegans Need To Know About LAY'S Baked

Even though LAY'S Baked is still a potato chip, they're a much better way to get your snack cravings satisfied. Still full of that salty and savory flavor with a crispy crunch, many fans enjoy the lack of added grease that can sometimes be found on regular fried potato chips. With 65% less fat than the average chip, it seems like Lay's is onto a really good thing with their harm reduction comfort snack. And while less fat is good, that may not be the primary thing others need to know, such as the information required for an animal-free vegan diet

Fortunately, the original flavor of LAY'S Baked is indeed vegan (via Veg Knowledge), just in case anyone was wondering.

While we wouldn't necessarily call this a health food list item, it definitely ranks as dairy-free and animal-free with dried potatoes, corn starch, corn oil, sugar, sea salt, soy lecithin, dextrose, and annatto extracts. Things get stickier when you start checking out the additional flavors of these baked chips. Plant-based eaters will want to double-check the ingredient list closely.

Not all baked flavors are created equal

While LAY'S Baked original flavor may be vegan-friendly, not all flavors are created equal – and that includes both barbecue and the sour cream and onion. The sour cream variety probably doesn't come as a surprise, but we've been tricked before such as learning that Oreo cookies are actually vegan (via Fresh n Lean). The sour cream flavor lives up to its name however with added ingredients including cultured skim milk, whey, and sour cream (cultured cream, skim milk).

In a sneakier surprise, the barbecue flavor isn't vegan-friendly either. 

The grill-friendly flavor contains what is likely a small amount of dairy listing in the middle of the ingredient breakdown "Natural Flavors (Contains Milk)." Those with sensitivities may also want to know that this variety contains soy in the form of soybean oil, which is a commonly avoided food.

So, while the original LAY'S Baked may be a great "healthy junk food" for most, check closely for each additional flavor if you have food intolerances, allergies, or follow a specific dietary plan such as plant-based eating.