Plantain vs Potato Chips – Which Are Healthier

Plantain Chips

Plantains are the less-sweet, starchier equivalent to the banana. Also, unlike bananas, they are usually cooked before eating.

In general, plantains are used as vegetables in the kitchen in the same way as taro, potatoes, yam, breadfruit, and sweet potatoes. Also, when consumed raw, they have a bitter taste.

Nutrition Facts

100g of plantain chips contains:

  • 559 calories;
  • 4.2g Fiber – 17% daily value;
  • 1.7g Protein – 3% DV;
  • 0.1mg Thiamin – 5% DV;
  • 0.1mg Riboflavin – 6% DV;
  • 0.9mg Niacin – 5% DV;
  • 0.5mg Vitamin B6 – 23% DV;
  • 35mcg Folate – 9% DV;
  • 0.5mg Panthothenic Acid – 8% DV;
  • 6mg Calcium – 1% DV;
  • 0.8mg Iron – 4% DV;
  • 59mg Magnesium – 15% DV;
  • 63mg Phosphorus – 6% DV;
  • 700mg Potassium – 20% DV;
  • 390mg Sodium – 16% DV;
  • 0.0mg Copper – 1% DV;
  • 0.3mg Manganese – 15% DV;
  • 35.9g Total Fat – 55%DV;
  • 9.4g Saturated Fat – 47%DV.

Health Benefits

Folate

Folate, also known as vitamin B9, is especially important in the formation of red blood cells (that transport oxygen around the body) and for maintaining a healthy nervous system.

Other health benefits of folate include:

  • boosts fertility;
  • reduces the risk of heart disease;
  • boosts the immune system;
  • prevents depression;
  • helps preserve bone health;
  • fosters positive mood;
  • reduces the chance of kidney diseases;
  • promotes liver health;
  • slows down the aging process;
  • reduces the risk of cancer development;
  • promotes fetal development and healthy pregnancy.

In addition, low levels of vitamin B9 are linked with an increased risk of breast cancer.

100 grams of plantain chips have 35mcg folate that is about 9% of the daily recommended intake.

Dietary Fiber

Plantains are a good source of fiber, a type of carbohydrate that regulates digestion and helps the body maintain a healthy digestive tract.

Fiber also moves slowly through the digestive tract and reduces cravings to aid in weight loss by promoting fullness and satiety.

Additionally, research has concluded that patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus have improved blood sugar and insulin levels while patients with type 1 diabetes who consume foods rich in fiber have lower blood sugar levels.

100 grams of plantain chips have 4.2g fiber that is approximately 17% of the daily recommended intake.

Manganese

Manganese is an essential trace mineral which is required for the formation of connective tissue and bone, processes controlling reproduction, brain function, and lipid and carbohydrate metabolism.

Symptoms of manganese deficiency include:

  • sterility and sexual impotence in men;
  • nausea;
  • abnormal bone development;
  • dizziness;
  • digestive disorders;
  • vomiting;
  • retarded growth;
  • bone loss;
  • high blood sugar;
  • skin rash.

100 grams of plantain chips have 0.3mg manganese that is about 15 percent of the daily recommended intake.

Sweet Potato Chips

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Sweet potatoes have been discovered in Peru dating all the way back to 8,000 B.C. There are over 400 varieties of sweet potato, differentiated by their flesh and skin color, ranging from yellow, cream, and pink to orange or purple.

From baked and boiled potatoes to chips and fries, it is easy for these spuds to turn into dietary staples, particularly if you grew up loving and eating them.

Nutrition Facts

100g of sweet potato chips contains:

  • 496 calories;
  • 3.5g Fiber – 14% daily value;
  • 3.5g Protein – 7% DV;
  • 23671 IU Vitamin A – 473% DV;
  • 9.8 mg Vitamin E – 49% DV;
  • 24.5mcg Vitamin K – 31% DV;
  • 0.1mg Thiamin – 6% DV;
  • 0.2mg Riboflavin – 9% DV;
  • 2.1mg Niacin – 10% DV;
  • 0.5mg Vitamin B6 – 27% DV;
  • 37mcg Folate – 9% DV;
  • 1.6mg Panthothenic Acid – 16% DV;
  • 71mg Calcium – 7% DV;
  • 2.5mg Iron – 14% DV;
  • 65mg Magnesium – 16% DV;
  • 145mg Phosphorus – 14% DV;
  • 925mg Potassium – 16% DV;
  • 35mg Sodium – 1%DV;
  • 0.5mg Zinc – 4% DV;
  • 0.4mg Copper – 21% DV;
  • 1.3mg Manganese – 67% DV;
  • 2.1mcg Selenium – 3% DV;
  • 24.7g Total Fat – 38% DV;
  • 2.2g Saturated Fat – 11% DV.

Health Benefits

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that may help protect your cells from damage. Studies have shown that the intake of foods rich in vitamin E reduces inflammation levels both on your skin and within your body, helping maintain a youthful skin.

Moreover, vitamin E plays an essential role in preventing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol from oxidation. Lastly, this vitamin strengthens the capillary walls and acts as a natural anti-aging nutrient within the body.

100 grams of sweet potato chips have 9.8 mg of vitamin E that is about 49 percent of the daily recommended intake.

Vitamin Ad

Sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene, a type of carotenoid that gives the root vegetable its bright orange color. The beta-carotene in orange veggies and fruits is converted into the form of vitamin A, only when our bodies require.

A regular diet rich in foods that have beta-carotene may help protect against prostate cancer, according to a study that was done at the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition.

Symptoms of vitamin A deficiency include the following:

  • a buildup of keratin on the conjunctiva;
  • night blindness;
  • dry eyes.

100 grams of sweet potato chips have 23671 IU vitamin A that is about 473% of the daily recommended intake.

Iron

Iron is an essential mineral for the proper function of hemoglobin, a protein required to carry oxygen in the blood.

Other important roles of iron in the human body include:

  • metabolizing of protein;
  • proper im­mune functioning;
  • resistance to stress;
  • red and white blood cell production.

Low iron intake during pregnancy substantially increases the risk of low birth weight and premature birth. Low iron levels may lead to iron deficiency anemia, which is the most common form of anemia in the US. Symptoms of anemia include:

  • difficulty concentrating;
  • dizziness;
  • weakness;
  • fatigue.

100 grams of sweet potato chips have 2.5mg iron which is about 14% of the daily recommended intake.

Side Effects

Sodiumsalt

Both types of chips are usually eaten with added sodium. A high intake of sodium can cause an increase in blood pressure, that can lead to heart failure, stroke, kidney disease, and coronary heart disease. Also, some people feel excessively thirsty after a salty meal or become bloated due to the water retention.

Saturated Fat

These chips contain unhealthy saturated fat. According to research, saturated fat can raise your LDL and total cholesterol levels which can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus and heart disease

Bottom Line – Plantain vs Potato Chips

Image credit – https://www.flickr.com/photos/mjlynch/7575542440

In conclusion, sweet potato chips are healthier than plantain chips due to the substantially higher content of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin E, manganese, and iron as well as due to a lower content of saturated fat and sodium.

References

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/plantain
https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hn-2148003
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/263096030_Sweet_Potato_Ipomoea_batat