Black Bean Corn Tortilla Chips: Are They Healthy?

I just finished polishing off a bag of “Black Bean Corn Tortilla Chips”. Are they healthy?

In the world of foods these days, most everything is relative. Mostly, I go for the food which will likely cause the least damage and physical discomfort while providing nutrition — at the very least, caloric content.

The maker of this product is “Simply Nature”. When I decide to purchase processed foods, I am glad that their foods are an affordable option than causes less harm than other foods.

Here is what its packaging indicates:

What This Black Bean Chips Packaging Boasts…

  1. NON-GMO VERIFIED label, in keeping with the nongmoproject.org standards.
  2. Gluten-Free.
  3. Total fat 8 grams per serving.
  4. Dietary fiber 1 gram per serving.
  5. Zero sugars.
  6. No cholesterol.
  7. Good source of protein.

My Commentary on Each Boast…

  1. This product has legally passed the requirements for being considered GMO-free, which is great. This does not mean that it’s organic (meaning free of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and more (See Link at the end of this post ).
  2. Corn has gluten. It is not gluten-free, as the label states.
  3. Eight grams of fat per serving means 8 times 9 (calories per gram) = 72 calories of fat PER SERVING. Who eats one serving? Maybe somebody. OK, the package says there are 10 servings per container (i.e. bag). That means 80 grams of fat for the entire bag, which means 720 calories of fat for the bag. Always pay attention to the number of servings when working to determine how much fat is in a product. To continue with this line of thought, that means that if you had, say, 2160 calories a day and ate this bag of chips in that day, your fat intake would already be at 33% of your total intake for the day. If you were consuming 1500 calories, you’d be at about 50% of your fat intake for the day.
  4. Dietary fiber per serving is 1 gram. That is 1/38 of a male’s daily requirement (RDA) and 1/25 of a female’s (See Link 2 at the end of this post.) This is a really poor source of dietary fiber — unless you eat five servings or the whole bag, which would make it a decent source of fiber.
  5. Zero sugars. There is no added sugar. That’s a very, very good thing.
  6. No cholesterol. Of course there’s no cholesterol. Cholesterol is only found in animal products, like meats and dairy. Cholesterol is not found in plants or their byproducts.
  7. Not a good source of protein, although the labeling seems to suggest a very good source of protein by emphasizing BLACK BEAN in its title. However, if you eat half the bag, at 3 grams of protein per serving, you’ll wind up with 15 grams of protein for the day, which is a decent amount. 15 grams of protein (x4) would give you 60 calories of protein for the day (if you eat that half bag).

Wrapping It Up…

No, this is not an organic product, which leaves it open to containing pesticides, herbicides — even Roundup. However, a non-GMO label on a product is much more favorable than not…. Corn has gluten. I don’t know how it can legally say that it doesn’t. It might react differently in someone’s body than say, wheat, but corn has gluten. …This product is predominantly corn, yet the package labeling suggests that the primary ingredient is black beans because the BLACK BEAN lettering is so much larger and bolder and because BLACK BEAN comes before CORN TORTILLA CHIPS. There is actually more OIL per weight in this product than there are beans. So that seems deceptive, especially for those who are limiting or eliminating meat and/or dairy in their diet. Those of us in that category can get really excited about a bean product, knowing that getting sufficient protein in our diets is pretty important.

On a personal note, this is a product that I choose when, for example, I go shopping on an empty stomach after church on Sunday. I am largely able to avoid chips now, but if I DO decide on crunchy processed foods, it’s good to know these chips are there.

By the way, I get them at Aldi’s groceries stores, who distributes and sells the “Simply Nature” line of products.

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RELATED RESOURCES:

  1. Article: “The Shocking Difference between Organic and Non-Organic Foods”

2. Video: “Dietary Fiber: What Your RDA Looks Like”

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