We all love them – potato chips are a stress relief for many while being stuck in traffic, while shopping, watching movies, or even at home as a dinner substitute. They are highly popular as a snack or a meal for every generation.
You may have a lot of arguments about the healthy nutrients potatoes contain, and you may partly be right. Potatoes themselves are rich in vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 reinforces your immune system, lowers your blood pressure, and boosts your eye health in general. However, you don’t get any nutritional value when you fry, bake, or combine them with a lot of sodium.
The famous potato chips are loaded in oil and sugar when they are quickly fried. What is even more, they are full of trans fats, which double the calories when consuming potato chips. All this together creates a risky atmosphere for several diseases, including heart disease, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and even cancer.
This is the reason why The Environmental Law Foundation of California warned and filed notices against some companies, including Pringles, Kettle Chips, and Lay’s, because of the content of their potato chips.
Their potato chips includes high amounts of acrylamide, which is an ingredient causing cancer or even neurological disorders and is formed when food is baked, roasted, or fried at a high temperature. Apart from acrylamide, a 3-year-long study conducted by the European Union in 2007 revealed more than 800-heat induced compounds, 52 of which might be carcinogens.
The danger of acrylamide
The highest level of acrylamide can be found in starchy foods that are rich in carbohydrates (French fries and potato chips). Actually, any food that is cooked on temperatures above 250F/120C may contain acrylamide. This is also true about coffee – it contains acrylamide as well!
A shocking study of Swedish scientists in 2003 examining the level of acrylamide in potato products, bread, coffee, biscuits, and coffee, found that there was a daily average intake of 31 μg/kg. These levels are proclaimed by both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as harmful to people’s health.
Acrylamide intake has been linked to cancer, including breast cancer, postmenopausal endometrial and ovarian cancer as well.
Apart from being carcinogen, it can also cause the development of neurological conditions in the case of workers who worked in the environment where acrylamide had been used in cosmetics and plastics.
Even though this dangerous chemical is regulated in the drinking water we take daily, it is not regulated in the food that we consume. Therefore, if you want to avoid it as much as possible, you should steam and boil the food, not bake or fry it. The cooking time should be shortened as well, so that food remains healthy and nutritious. Whenever the food gets browner and drier, this chemical is present in higher amounts. Nutritionists also provide a cooking tip – you should soak potatoes for 15 to 30 minutes before cooking so that they keep their nutrients.
A nutritious alternative to potato chips
If you are too concerned about this chemical and alarmed about your own health, we will help you. You shouldn’t be scared as there are many nutritious alternatives that can be used in your diet, one of which is the coconut curry chickpeas. This is a healthy snack and a good source of protein, fiber, zinc, iron, and folate. The crunchy coconut curry chickpeas contain a lot of minerals: magnesium, calcium, and potassium, and are enriched with sea salt.
Chickpeas – nutrition benefits
They are often called garbanzo beans, and are one of the oldest crops in the world, consumed with the same popularity for over 7,500 years. Chickpeas are often included in various healing diets to nourish the body, as they offer many health benefits:
– reduce blood pressure;
– help in digestion;
– lower the risk of heart disease;
– inhibit cancel cells formation, and inflammation;
– stimulate collagen production.
One cup serving of chickpeas contains 268 calories, 14.5 grams protein, 12.5 grams dietary fiber, 4.2 grams fat, 84% manganese; 71% folate; 29% copper; 28% phosphorus; 26% iron; and 17% zinc.
Here is a recipe that will make you forget about potato chips:
Coconut Curry Chickpeas
For three people, you only need as few as five minutes to prepare and cook for around 30-40 minutes.
What you need:
– 2 tablespoons coconut oil;
– 2 tablespoons curry powder;
– 2 cans organic, low-sodium chickpeas;
– Sea salt.
How to prepare the recipe:
First, wash the chickpeas with water thoroughly and let them dry off. Then prepare the oven: preheat it to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, put the curry powder and the coconut oil in a large bowl and mix them. After you had mixed them well, add the chickpeas.
Now you will need to use your hands to coat them well in the spice and the oil. Use a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to set the chickpeas. Finally, add some sea salt and put them to be baked. Bake until the color is lightly brown. After 30-40 minutes, the food is ready. Enjoy this healthy and nutritious meal!