Treating yourself to your favorite snacks plays an important role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle – if you restrict yourself too much, you’re more likely to fall off the wagon and drop your healthy habits, explains the Siteman Cancer Center website. While they should not make daily appearances in your diet, both plantain and potato chips are fine when consumed in moderation and treated as treats. Both plantain and potato chips offer some nutritional value, and plantain chips have a few nutritional advantages over potato.
Basic Nutrition Information
Plantain and potato chips both contain roughly 300 calories per 2-ounce serving, and provide 15 percent of the daily energy intake in a standard 2,000-calorie diet. They both provide abundant carbohydrates – 29 grams per serving of potato chips and 36 grams per serving of plantain chips – which fuel your muscles, brain and other cells and tissues, and also offer a small amount of protein. Plantain chips contain slightly less fat than potato chips, at 17 grams compared to potatoes chips’ 21.
Vitamins A and C
Plantain chips offer more vitamins A and C compared to potato chips. Both vitamins help keep your skin healthy and benefit your immune system to keep you free of infection. Vitamin A also plays a role in low-light vision, while vitamin C’s antioxidant function protects your tissues from damage. A serving of plantain chips contains 786 international units of vitamin A — 34 percent of the recommended daily intake for women and 26 percent for men, set by the Institute of Medicine. It also provides 18 milligrams of vitamin C, or roughly one-quarter of the recommended daily intake for women and one-fifth for men. Potato chips contain just 11 milligrams of vitamin C and offer no vitamin A.
Opt for plantain chips as a lower-sodium alternative to potato chips. Limiting your sodium intake promotes life-long health, because a high sodium intake contributes to chronic health issues, including high blood pressure, stroke and kidney damage. A 2-ounce portion of potato chips contains 272 milligrams of sodium — 18 percent of your daily intake limit, established by the Institute of Medicine. An equivalent portion of plantain chips contains 115 milligrams of sodium, or just 8 percent of your daily limit.
Despite their nutritional value, plantains fall short compared to potato chips when it comes to potassium and vitamin E content. Potassium plays a central role in the function of your nervous system and it also helps your muscles function, while vitamin E affects blood clotting and blood vessel function. Each 2-ounce portion of potato chips boasts 931 milligrams of potassium, or one-fifth of your Institute of Medicine-recommended daily intake, while plantain chips offer just 446 milligrams. Potato chips also contain 3.8 milligrams of vitamin E — one-quarter of your daily recommended intake — compared to 2.8 milligrams in plantain chips.