Are Simply Cheetos Healthy? Here Is The Answer

Are you one of those who found yourself reaching for a bag of Simply Cheetos as snacking but feels guilty about your snack choice afterwards? 

You’re not alone.

Simply Cheetos are a popular cheese-flavored snack made by the Frito-Lay company. 

They are similar in appearance to regular Cheetos but are marketed as healthier with no artificial colors and flavors. 

And while they come in three delicious flavors, including White Cheddar(Puffs), White Cheddar(Crunchy), and Jalapeno(Puffs), are Simply Cheetos healthy?

Short answer: Simply Cheetos are not very healthy as they are low in nutrients, moderate in sodium and contain highly processed ingredients. However, they are better than regular Cheetos and can be consumed in moderation.

Read on to learn more about Simply Cheetos, including its ingredients, protein and sodium content, and more.

Also read: Are Terra Chips Healthy? Truth About These Vegetable Chips

What are the ingredients in Simply Cheetos?

The exact ingredients in Simply Cheetos may vary depending on the flavor. However, they are made up of Enriched corn meal, Sunflower oil and Cheddar cheese as the main ingredients.

Here is the table showing the ingredients in all three flavors.

Simply Cheetos flavorsIngredients
White Cheddar(puffs)Enriched Corn Meal (Corn Meal, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Sunflower Oil, Cheddar Cheese (Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Whey, Maltodextrin (Made from Corn), Sea Salt, Natural Flavors, Sour Cream (Cultured Cream, Skim Milk), Torula Yeast, Lactic Acid, and Citric Acid.
White cheddar with jalapenoEnriched Corn Meal (Corn Meal, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Sunflower Oil, Cheddar Cheese (Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Maltodextrin (Made from Corn), Skim Milk, Sea Salt, Whey, Natural Flavor, Buttermilk, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Yeast Extract, Jalapeño Pepper, Citric Acid, Spice, Lactic Acid, and Milk Protein Concentrate.
White cheddar(crunchy)Enriched Corn Meal (Corn Meal, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Sunflower Oil, Cheddar Cheese (Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Whey, Sea Salt, Maltodextrin (Made from Corn), Natural Flavors, Sour Cream (Cultured Cream, Skim Milk), Torula Yeast, Lactic Acid, and Citric Acid.

Let’s know about some of these ingredients.

Enriched corn meal: It is a type of corn meal(coarse flour) fortified with vitamins and minerals like niacin, thiamin and iron.

Sunflower oil: It is a type of vegetable oil derived from sunflower seeds. Although it is high in monounsaturated fats, it is highly processed and a significant source of calories in Simply Cheetos.

Cheddar cheese: Every Simply Cheetos flavor contain Cheddar cheese which is a mix of Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, and Enzymes.

Whey: It is a protein derived from milk. It contains all the essential amino acids and is easily digestible.

Sea salt: It is a type of salt derived from the evaporation of seawater. It is less processed and considered healthier than table salt.

Maltodextrin: It is a food additive made from corn. It is used to thicken food products and is highly processed.

Natural flavors: Simply Cheetos uses natural flavors among each flavor. However, what and how many flavors are used is not known.

Torula Yeast: It is a food additive used to improve the flavor or texture of food. It’s often used as an alternative to MSG in food products.

How much protein is in Simply Cheetos?

Simply Cheetos are low in protein containing just 2g per serving(28g). That’s the same amount of protein as in regular Cheetos.

This might be disappointing for those looking for a high-protein snack. However, it’s important to note that Simply Cheetos are not marketed as a high-protein food.

So if you want to increase your protein intake, it’s better to look out for other snack options.

Here is how Simply Cheetos protein compares to other Similar snack brands.

BrandsServing size(g)Protein(g)
Simply Cheetos282

How much sodium is in Simply Cheetos?

Simply Cheetos are moderate in sodium containing 210 to 280mg per serving, depending on the flavor. The white Cheddar(puffs) flavor has the highest sodium content(280mg).

According to American Heart Association, adults should ideally limit their daily sodium intake ideally to 1500mg a day.

Consuming a single serving of Simply Cheetos can provide up to 18% of the daily sodium limit.

While this may not be too much, most people eat enough sodium through their regular diet.

Snacks like Simply Cheetos are made addictive by adding various flavors, which increases the risk of overconsumption resulting in excess sodium intake. 

Also read: Are Quest Chips Healthy? Here Is The Answer

Though Simply Cheetos contains sea salt, which is less processed than table salt, it’s still important to consume in moderation and as a part of a balanced diet.

Here is how Simply Cheetos sodium compares to other Similar snack brands. 

BrandsServing size(g)Sodium(mg)
Simply Cheetos28210-280

Are Simply Cheetos baked or fried?

Simply Cheetos are baked and not fried. Even so, they contain 9-10g of fat per serving, mostly from sunflower oil. This is 60% more fat than in baked hot Cheetos.

Even though Simply Cheetos are baked, they are considerably high in fat. However, there is no trans fat, and most of the fat is unsaturated, i.e. good fat.

Are Simply Cheetos good for weight loss?

Simply Cheetos are not the best snack for weight loss, as they contain processed ingredients such as maltodextrin and sunflower oil, with moderate sodium and low fiber content(less than 1g).

In addition, Simply Cheetos are moderate in calories(160) as per the serving size(28g). And if eaten in excess amounts can quickly add up calories to your diet.

However, eating Simply Cheetos in recommended servings will not likely impact your weight. Therefore, you can eat them in moderation on a weight-loss diet.

Remember that weight loss depends not on only one specific food but on your overall diet and lifestyle.

Are Simply Cheetos processed?

Simply Cheetos are processed snack food containing ingredients like maltodextrin, sunflower oil, and salt. All these ingredients are highly processed.

Processed food are foods that have been altered in some way from their original state. These foods are often high in calories and use harmful ingredients.

Does this mean you should avoid Simply Cheetos?

Despite being processed, Simply Cheetos are OK to eat in moderation.

It’s also worth noting that Simply Cheetos are less processed than regular Cheetos because they don’t contain artificial colors or flavors.

Are Simply Cheetos vegan?

Simply Cheetos are not vegan-friendly as they contain ingredients like cheddar cheese and sour cream made from milk.

Are Simply Cheetos gluten-free?

Simply Cheetos are gluten free as the main ingredient is corn meal, which does not contain gluten. Additionally, None of the other ingredients contain gluten.

Are Simply Cheetos better than regular Cheetos?

Simply Cheetos are better than regular Cheetos for various reasons, such as.

  • Simply Cheetos are free from artificial colors and flavors. The flavor in Simply Cheetos comes from real cheese, giving them a more authentic taste.
  • Simply Cheetos has more snack quantity in the same serving size compared to regular Cheetos. This means that you can enjoy a larger quantity of chips without consuming as many calories or fat.
  • Simply Cheetos does not contain MSG, a flavor enhancer some people are sensitive to.
  • Simply Cheetos uses sea salt(less processed) instead of table salt(highly processed).

Final words

Simply Cheetos are not a very healthy snack because they are low in nutrients, have a moderate sodium content, and contain highly processed ingredients like maltodextrin and sunflower oil.

However, they are free of artificial colors and flavors and are a better alternative to regular Cheetos.

If you enjoyed regular Cheetos but felt guilty afterwards, Simply Cheetos may be a less guilty option for you.

Despite all of this, be sure to consume them in moderation.

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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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