Pringles are one of the most popular brands of potato chips that were first introduced in 1968 in America. Today it is sold in more than 140 countries around the world, including Canada, Australia, Singapore, and India.
They are made from a combination of potatoes, wheat, corn, and rice combined with vegetable oils and are usually seasoned with salt, onion powder, and other flavorings.
There are different flavors of Pringles out there, such as original, pizza, cheddar cheese, barbeque, salt & vinegar, etc.
All the flavors of Pringles are known for their unique taste and mouth-watering crunchiness.
And while Pringles are delicious to eat, the question remains – are they healthy for you?
Short answer: Pringles are not healthy for you as they’re loaded with unhealthy ingredients such as artificial sweeteners, addictive flavor enhancers, and processed vegetable oils. Also, they are high in calories, sodium, and saturated fat and may contain acrylamide(a carcinogen substance) which increases the risk of many health problems such as high blood pressure, weight gain, and cancer.
If you want a more detailed overview, read on to the end of this post, as I have compiled a list of 7 reasons why Pringles aren’t healthy for you.
7 Reasons Pringles are not healthy for you
1. High in sodium
While salt is one of the most common ingredients in chips, it is worth noting how much salt your chips contain.
A single serving (28g) of Pringles has 130mg to 190mg of sodium, depending on the flavor.
While this may seem like a small amount of salt compared to the daily limit of 2300mg, it is important to remember that salt is addictive and can make you eat Pringles more than you should.
An average person gets enough sodium in their diet from their regular diet. Eating Pringles on top of that boosts the overall sodium levels in the body.
In the long run, high sodium levels in your body can lead to many serious health problems, such as inflammation, dehydration, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
Although you can choose the Lightly Salted flavor of Pringles, limiting your sodium intake is still important.
Here’s the sodium content of the most popular flavors of Pringles:
|Salt & vinegar||180mg|
2. Uses processed vegetable oils
Pringles uses different types of oils among its flavors, such as palm oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil.
While these oils are common in the food industry, it is not widely known that all oils are highly processed and therefore classed as processed foods – i.e., foods with empty calories and low nutrients.
Processed oils are highly refined and have been stripped of their natural nutrients. They are also high in unhealthy fats and chemicals that can have detrimental effects on your health.
What’s more, some of these oils are not only bad for your health but also detrimental to the environment (a cause of deforestation), such as palm oil.
However some sources claims that company have stopped cooking Pringles in palm oil since 2014, but while I was doing the research I found palm oil as ingredient in many flavors.
3. Presence of acrylamide
One of the most harmful ingredients in your Pringles can be acrylamide.
Acrylamide is a known carcinogen found in foods such as French fries, coffee and potato chips.
This compound is not added intentionally to the potato chips, but they are formed naturally when the potatoes or carbohydrate-rich foods are cooked(such as frying, roasting, or baking) at high temperatures.
Acrylamide has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals, but it is unclear if it causes cancer in humans.
However, some sources state that acrylamide is capable of causing nerve damage in humans, including muscle weakness and impaired muscle function coordination.
Also, you don’t know how much of it is in your chips, and the company doesn’t list it because it is not added from their side.
4. Use of artificial sweeteners
The sugar in Pringles might be low, but it is packed with artificial sweeteners such as maltodextrin and dextrose.
While these artificial sweeteners are safe to consume, they don’t come without risks.
Maltodextrin has a very high glycemic index, which poses a risk of spiking your blood sugar levels. This can be harmful, especially for people with diabetes and insulin resistance. It is also believed to affect gut health and trigger allergies, weight gain, gas, and bloating.
On the other hand, eating too many foods containing dextrose can increase your risk of diabetes, obesity, and heart, kidney, and liver disease.
5. Use of flavor enhancers
The use of flavor enhancers has been common in the food industry. These are used to improve food taste, smell, and appearance.
Pringles uses three flavor enhancers.
- 627 (Disodium Guanylate)
- 631(Disodium Inosinate)
- 635 (Disodium ribonucleotides)
While these flavor enhancers are deemed safe by food authorities, they pose many health risks, such as vomiting, nausea, headaches, and allergic reactions like swelling of the tongue or eye, watery eyes, and a runny or blocked nose.
In addition, many flavors of Pringles use an additional popular flavor enhancer called MSG or Monosodium Glutamate. While this ingredient is recognized as safe, its use is still debated.
As per studies, the use of MSG can have toxic effects on health, such as metabolic disorders, obesity, brain toxicity, hepatic damage, CRS, and reproductive malfunctions.
Although these effects are possible when you eat too much of it, as every food manufacturer uses this ingredient in its food products, it’s possible to overdose on it without knowing.
6. Highly addictive
Many people wonder why Pringles are so addictive.
The answer is that Pringles use a combination of flavor enhancers, with artificial sweeteners and sodium, which all make Pringles taste so good that they are hard to put down once you start eating them.
In fact, eating a single cane of Pringles is quite possible in one go, which increases the health risks.
7. Not good for weight loss
If you are trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight, having Pringles in your diet is not good.
Pringles are not good for weight loss as they are high in calories, fat, and sodium, use artificial sweeteners and are highly addictive, which makes them hard to resist leading to unwanted weight gain.
Not only this, but if you continue to eat them, they might lead you to serious health issues such as obesity or diabetes.
Are Pringles healthier than regular chips?
When analysed nutritionally, Pringles are not significantly different from other regular chips. However, Pringles contain less sugar and sodium but more saturated fat and moderate calories than regular chips.
Here is a comparison of the most popular chip brands.
Additionally, Pringles contain extra ingredients that regular chips don’t have, such as dextrose, mono- and diglyceride, flavor enhancer (635), etc.
If you are choosing Pringles over other regular chips because you think they are healthier, you are mistaken. Yes they are low in sugar and sodium but overall they are not a healthy option for you.
Note that most popular chip brands use similar ingredients, with only slight variations.
How many Pringles should you eat in a day?
We know it can be challenging to refrain from overeating Pringles once the box is open. However, the key is to maintain moderation.
A single serving of Pringles (28g) generally contains 15-20 chips, depending on the country. For example, a single serving of Pringles in the USA is 28g, whereas, in India, it is 25g.
If you have strict health goals, limiting your intake of Pringles to 10-13 chips a day is advisable.
FAQs about Pringles
No Pringles are not glulten-free as most of the flavors are made with wheat strach.
Yes Pringles or any other packaged food product falls into the category of processed food.
A sinlge chips of Pringle can contain anywhere between 7-10 calories based on the flavor and country.
All flavors of Pringles whether they are labelled as baked or not are always fried.
Pringles are espensive because the packaging is higher quality and there are more chips in the can. They don’t sell air like other chips brands. A 134g can of Pringles usually contains 80-90 chips in India. The number of chips in a can of Pringles varies based on the flavor and country.