How Healthy Are Kale Chips?

How Healthy Are Kale Chips?

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Kale chips can be a nutritious snack.

If you want a crunchy savory snack, consider munching on kale chips instead of potato chips. Kale chips provide more nutrients for fewer calories than potato chips. You can easily make kale chips yourself in just a few minutes by tossing torn pieces of kale with a small amount of olive oil and seasonings and baking them in the oven until crispy.


Kale is a good source of vitamins A, C and K. The 1.5 cups of kale required to make a 1 1/4-cup serving of kale chips contain 200 percent of the daily value for vitamins A and C as well as 885 percent of the DV for vitamin K. While some of the heat-sensitive vitamin C will be lost in the baking process, these chips will still be more vitamin-rich than potato chips. Each ounce of potato chips, or about a cup, provides only 9 percent of the DV for vitamin C, 8 percent of the DV for vitamin K and no vitamin A. Vitamin K is essential for clotting blood and helps keep your bones strong, you need vitamin A for good vision and vitamin C is necessary for forming collagen and healing wounds.


The kale used to make a 1 1/4-cup serving of kale chips provides 14 percent of the DV for potassium, 12 percent of the DV for magnesium and 15 percent of the DV for calcium. Potato chips are also a relatively good source of potassium, with 13 percent of the DV in each ounce, but provide only 5 percent of the DV for magnesium and less than 1 percent of the DV for calcium per serving. Magnesium and calcium help keep your bones strong, and magnesium and potassium may help lower high blood pressure.


Kale provides a variety of phytochemicals, or beneficial plant chemicals, including beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. Beta-carotene may help improve your immune function, and lutein and zeaxanthin keep your eyes healthy and limit your risk for macular degeneration, according to an article published on the AARP website. Macular degeneration is one of the main causes of vision loss as people get older.


The exact amount of calories, fat and sodium in your kale chips will depend on how much oil and salt you use, but these chips contain about 80 calories, 4 grams of fat and 435 milligrams of sodium in a 1 1/4-cup serving. Using other spices instead of salt will eliminate most of the sodium, and you only need a very small amount of oil misted on the kale to get it crispy and hold the seasonings on. People on blood thinners may want to avoid kale chips, since the kale is very high in vitamin K and will interfere with this medication.


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