Are Baked Hot Cheetos Healthy? Let’s Find Out

Baked Hot Cheetos have become the spicy snack of choice for spice lovers worldwide. And why not, they are baked and have less calories and fat than regular hot Cheetos.

As a result, many people choose them over regular hot Cheetos assuming they’re healthy choice.

But are they really?

Short answer: Baked hot Cheetos are not healthy as they are high in empty calories and contain harmful ingredients like maltodextrin, artificial flavors, and colors.

Read more about Baked hot Cheetos nutritional value, ingredients, and why they may not be as healthy as they seem.

Also read: Are Popchips Healthy? 5 Reasons They’re Better Than Other Chips

Nutrition facts about Baked hot Cheetos

Here are the nutrition facts for a single serving(28g) of Baked hot Cheetos:

  • Calories: 130
  • Carbohydrates: 20g
  • Sugar: less than 1g
  • Total fat: 5g
  • Saturated fat: 1g
  • Trans fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Protein: 2g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sodium: 230mg
  • Potassium: 130mg

Ingredients in Baked hot Cheetos

The ingredients that are found in Baked hot Cheetos include:

Enriched cornmeal

Enriched cornmeal is the main ingredient of Baked hot Cheetos. It is a type of cornmeal that has been fortified with nutrients that were lost during the corn milling process.

Vegetable oils

Baked hot Cheetos uses various vegetable oil such as Corn, Canola, or Sunflower.
These oils help to give the Cheetos Fa crispy texture and prevent them from sticking together.


Salt is one of the main ingredients in Baked hot Cheetos that provides a distinct flavor.

Monosodium glutamate(MSG)

It is a common food additive used to enhance the flavor of Baked hot Cheetos.

Yeast extracts

It is a seasoning made from the by-products of the brewing industry. Yeast extract is high in Umami and is used as a flavor enhancer.

Hydrolyzed corn protein

It is a type of protein that has already been broken down into smaller peptides using hydrolysis. It is commonly used as a flavor enhancer to help improve the texture and nutritional value of the food product.

Sodium diacetate

It is a mixture of sodium acetate and acetic acid, often used to control molds and bacteria growth in food products.


It is a tasteless white powder derived from cornstarch used as filler.

Artificial colors

Baked hot Cheetos is full of artificial colors such as Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Yellow 6, and Yellow 5.

Flavor enhancers

In addition to MSG, Baked hot Cheetos uses two other common flavor enhancers, namely Disodium Inosinate(631) and Disodium Guanylate (627)

Other ingredients include Skim Milk, Sugar, Cheddar Cheese, Citric acid, Lactic Acid, Garlic powder, Buttermilk, Natural flavors, Whey, Whey Protein Concentrate,

5 Reasons Baked hot Cheetos are not healthy

1. Source of empty calories

Baked hot Cheetos are a major source of empty calories, as they provide approximately 95% of their calories from fat and processed carbs.

As per studies, consuming empty calories increases the risk of chronic diseases such as inflammation, weight gain, obesity, and diabetes.

So, if you’re wondering whether Baked hot Cheetos will add any nutritional value to your diet, the answer is no.

2. Contain risky flavor enhancers

Baked hot Cheetos use a variety of flavor enhancers to provide a unique and delicious taste.

These flavor enhancers include MSG or monosodium glutamate, Disodium Inosinate(631), Disodium Guanylate (627), and Sodium diacetate.

While the food authorities approve these flavor enhancers, some studies show they can pose health risks.

For example, MSG is one of the most common and controversial flavor enhancers used in food.

While it is deemed safe, studies have shown that overeating can result in various health issues, such as headaches, obesity, hepatic damage, and reproductive malfunctions[1].

On the other hand, flavors like Disodium Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate have been associated with behavioral problems in children, gastrointestinal issues, and allergic reactions when consumed in large doses.

Moreover, If you are sensitive to flavor enhancers, it is best to avoid Baked hot Cheetos.

3. Use of maltodextrin

Another controversial ingredient that is found in Baked hot Cheetos is Maltodextrin.

It is a white powder made from starch that is often used as a thickener or filler in processed foods.

Maltodextrin has a high glycemic index(105-185). It can spike blood sugar levels making it a risky food ingredient for people with diabetes.

In addition, research has found that maltodextrin has the potential to alter the gut microbiota, killing the good bacteria in your gut.

Furthermore, consuming too much of it can result in weight gain and digestive issues such as bloating and diarrhea.

4. Loaded with artificial colors

Baked hot Cheetos might look appealing, but they are actually full of artificial colors that can be harmful to your health.

These artificial colors include Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Yellow 6, and Yellow 5.

As per studies, Red 40 or Allura Red AC has been associated with allergies, neurobehavioral effects, and worsening behavior in children with ADHD[2]. It has also been linked to cancer in some animal studies.

On the other hand, artificial colors like yellow 5 and 6 have been found to induce problems like hives, asthma, and skin rashes. They are also found to be contaminated with benzidine and other carcinogens[3].

5. High in sodium

Baked hot Cheetos are high in sodium containing 230mg per serving.

That’s about 15% of the daily ideal sodium limit (1500mg) set by the American Heart Association.

Although this is not an extremely high sodium content, consuming Baked hot Cheetos in moderation becomes important, if you are limiting sodium in your diet.

Are Baked hot Cheetos good for weight loss?

Baked hot Cheetos might have 50% less fat than regular Cheetos, but they are still not a good option for weight loss.

This is because they are significant source of empty calories and contain various processed ingredients such as maltodextrin, artificial flavors and colors.

If you want to lose weight, it’s better to include unprocessed foods in your diet.

Note that weight loss depends not only on one food but overall diet and lifestyle.

Are baked Cheetos better than regular Cheetos?

Baked Cheetos are better than regular Cheetos as they have 23% less calories, 54% less fat, and 8% less sodium. However, both variants are processed and packed with the same ingredients.

Here is a quick comparison of the nutritional value of baked Cheetos to regular Cheetos.

NutrientsRegular CheetosBaked Cheetos
per 28g serving

Final words

Even though baked hot Cheetos have fewer calories, fat, and sodium than regular hot Cheetos, they are still not healthy.

They are significant source of empty calories, contain maltodextrin, and are loaded with risky flavors and artificial colors.

In addition, they are not a good option for your weight loss diet.

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Here are a few other posts that might also be helpful for you:


Are Baked hot Cheetos vegan?

Baked hot Cheetos are not vegan due to their dairy content including cheese and milk ingredients which come from animals.

Do Baked hot Cheetos cause cancer?

Baked hot Cheetos do contain artificial colors that have been linked to cancer, but there is no strong evidence to suggest that eating them causes cancer.

Are Baked hot Cheetos Processed food?

Yes, Baked hot Cheetos are a processed food as they are made from processed ingredients like maltodextrin, flavors and artificial colors.

Can you eat Baked hot Cheetos Daily?

Baked hot Cheetos are not recommended to eat on daily basis as they lack in essential nutrients and are source of risky ingredients such as maltodextrin, flavors and artificial colors.

Can Baked hot Cheetos be considered low-fat food?

Baked Hot Cheetos may have 5g of fat per serving, which is lower than other similar snacks, but they cannot be considered low-fat.
A food must have 30% or fewer of its calories come from fat in order to be considered low-fat.

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Yatender is the founder of Investohealth! He provides thoroughly researched, unbiased reviews analyzing packaged foods' ingredients, nutrition, and health impacts. Join him on a quest for healthier, more informed eating habits.

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