Whether you’re watching your favorite TV show or playing a video game, Doritos are always there to make the experience even better.
What’s even better is that they are available in a variety of flavors, so you can find the perfect one to suit your mood.
They are not only America’s most favorites snacks but are also popular in many other countries around the globe.
But hold on, are Doritos healthy?
Unfortunately, the answer is a resounding no. In fact, there are a number of reasons why you should never eat Doritos.
Short answer: Doritos are not healthy for your as they are made from genetically modified corn and are high in calories, fat and sodium. In addition, they include artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors and many other unhealthy ingredients.
In this post, I have compiled a list of 7 reasons you should never eat Doritos.
But first, let’s look at the ingredients used in Doritos.
What are Doritos made of?
The exact ingredients in Doritos vary depending on the flavor.
However, Doritos contain a long list of ingredients(more than 30), some of which includes
- Vegetable oil
- Maltodextrin (corn or wheat)
- Corn starch
- Lactose & Fructose &dextrose
- Skim milk
- Corn syrup solids
- Monosodium glutamate
- Cheddar cheese
- Whey protein concentrate
- Refined wheat flour
- Natural and artificial flavors
- Artificial colors (Red 40, blue 1, yellow 5, yellow 6), Color(160c)
- Anticaking agent (551)
- Acidity regulators (330)
- Flavor enhancers(627,631) and Spices & condiments.
The plethora of ingredients in Doritos is the root of their delicious and flavorful taste.
I will not go into detail about these ingredients as it would make this post unduly long and possibly boring for some people.
Let us move on to the main section of this post.
7 Reasons why Doritos are not healthy for you
1. They are created with genetically modified corn
Doritos are made using genetically modified corn, meaning the corn’s DNA has been changed.
While many organizations and food authorities claim that genetically modified (GM) foods are safe for human consumption, some studies deny these claims.
Some studies have indicated that genetically modified foods may cause common toxic effects in humans, such as hepatic, pancreatic, renal, and reproductive effects, triggering an allergic reaction, immunologic parameters or progression of cancers.
What’s worse is that manufacturers do not mention on the label that foods are developed by genetic manipulation as this would affect their business, which is not a good practice.
The debate on the impact of GM foods on humans is controversial and concerning. As a result, it’s best that you avoid consuming these foods.
2. They are highly processed
Doritos contain different oils such as corn, canola, sunflower and palmolein.
These oils go through a hefty of processing which makes these oils highly processed and low in nutritional value.
And then, the Doritos are further fried in these already processed oils, making the end product highly processed.
Studies have shown that eating highly processed foods has been linked to many serious health issues, such as being overweight, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, depression and irritable bowel syndrome.
3. They are high in sodium
Sodium is expected in Doritos but their addictive taste can make one eat more than they should, potentially leading to consuming too much sodium in their diet.
One serving of 28g of Doritos contains about 180-190mg of sodium, which might appear low upon first glance. However, it is essential to note that most people do not stop at only one serving of Doritos.
Most of us get the recommended amount of sodium from the regular diet, and eating snacks like Doritos adds extra sodium to the diet.
Studies have shown that a high-sodium diet increases the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, kidney disease, gastric cancer, and osteoporosis.
Additionally, eating too much sodium can cause dehydration which may result in headaches, fatigue and dizziness.
4. They contain artificial sweeteners
The use of artificial sweeteners in food has been a common practice. They are not just added to replace sugar but also to make your food more flavorful.
However, the use of artificial sweeteners has been controversial for many years.
Doritos also contains two artificial sweeteners: Maltodextrin and dextrose.
Maltodextrin has a high glycemic index, which increases people’s risk of elevated blood sugar levels. Additionally, some studies have found that Maltodextrin can negatively affect your gut health.
On the other hand, dextrose has been linked to certain side effects in large amounts, such as swelling, weight gain and increased blood sugar levels.
However these artificial sweeteners are safe to consume in small amounts, but these days every food product contains them, which increases the risk of eating too much, resulting in health issues.
Furthermore, snacks like Doritos are a big NO for people who have diabetes.
5. They contain artificial colors
Doritos are packed with unnecessary artificial colors that might make it look Doritos appealing but are not good for your health.
Doritos uses 4 types of artificial coloring(blue 1, yellow 5, yellow 6 and red 40), all of which are highly concerned and linked to various health issues.
For example, Yellow 5, also known as, Tartrazine, is associated with behavioral changes, restlessness, depression and difficulty with sleeping in studies.
Some studies have also been shown to cause hives and asthma symptoms.
Also, yellow 5, yellow 6, and red 40 have been found to be contaminated with cancer-causing substances such as benzidine and cause hypersensitivity reactions(especially in children) in studies.
However, as per FDA, these cancer-causing substances are present in safe levels in food dyes.
But what if you overeat food with artificial coloring or eat multiple food products with artificial coloring? Is it safe?
6. They are high in calories and fats
If you are on a diet, it’s better to stay away from Doritos as they can hinder all your efforts.
Doritos are high in calories and fats. A serving (28g) of Doritos contains around 150 calories and 8g fat. And it’s practically possible that you won’t stop at only one serving of Doritos.
The combination of corn with high calories, fat, sodium, artificial sweeteners, color and flavors in Doritos can make you gain excess weight and fat around your waistline.
Not only this, but if you continue to eat snacks like Doritos, you might also lead to obesity.
7. They are addictive
Doritos are addictive, which is one of the reasons they are so detrimental to your health.
They contain addictive ingredients like fats, artificial colors, flavors, lactic and citric acid, buttermilk, and MSG.
These ingredients in Doritos play tricks on your mind and tongue, making you want to eat more and more.
For example, Lactic and citric acids in Doritos increase saliva release, which triggers the urge to eat more. Then, MSG, or Monosodium glutamate, is a 100-year-old flavor enhancer known for giving food an umami taste.
Not to forget, the artificial coloring and other flavors that make Doritos really addictive and hard to resist.
Being addictive, in and of itself, is not a downside to Doritos, but the ingredients that make it addictive are not healthy for you.
Even if these ingredients are present in small amounts in Doritos, they are now commonly available in every food product, which increases the risk of eating too many of these harmful ingredients.
Are Doritos healthier than potato chips?
When analyzed nutritionally, Doritos do not significantly differ from potato chips.
However, Doritos are slightly higher in calories, fat and sodium than many potato chips. Additionally, most of the ingredients are the same, but Doritos uses more ingredients overall.
Here is a nutritional comparison of Doritos to popular potato chips in the market.
In short, Doritos can’t be considered as healthier than other potato chips on the market because they’re high in calories, fat, and sodium.
Also, the more ingredients a food product has, the greater the risk.
How many Doritos should you eat?
The question should not be how much Doritos one should eat but why Doritos should be eaten at all.
At first, you should not eat Doritos at all, but if you are eating them for a long or are addicted and can’t stop, you should limit your serving of Doritos to only 28g or 10-12 chips a day.
While Doritos certainly satisfy your cravings for bold flavors and crunchy textures, they are not healthy for you.
They are made from genetically modified corn, are high in calories and sodium. Additionally they contain processed and unhealthy ingredients such as artificial sweeteners and colors.
Personally, I avoid these processed foods as much as I can and opt for natural foods or foods with less processing.
The next time you reach for a bag of Doritos, think twice! Your health is worth more than a momentary snack.
However, if you have the power to control your intake, it’s up to you.
See you in the next post.
FAQs about Doritos
Doritos are both baked and fried. The triangles are first baked, and then they are fried in oils.
Anything highly processed, low in nutrients, and high in calories, salts, and fats are considered junk food. According to this, yes, Doritos are junk food.
Not all, but some flavors of Doritos, such as nacho cheese and sweet chilli, are not gluten-free. Always check the allergen information on the packet before buying.
Not Doritos do not have pork in them.
Doritos comes in different sizes of bags. A single bag of Doritos (66g) comes with about 330 calories.