There has been a surge of various brands of Banana, Cassava and Plantain Chips on the supermarket shelves lately. After the Soldanza brand (originally manufactured in the Dominican Republic) took off, Brand Jamaica followed suit. That’s a good thing! Soldanza Plantain Chips were actually not that healthy anyway, considering its 10% Saturated Fat content.
Note that as much as we love Banana Chips or Cassava Chips, they have too much Saturated Fat and sodium. Jamaicans are already prone to high blood pressure.
If you are looking for a similar taste with larger sized chips, locally made St. Mary’s Plantain Chips (slightly salted) and National Chachita’s Plantain Chips (lightly salted) are the brands for you! Healthy and tasty. A win-win with enough chips in the bag.
Both brands have 0g Trans Fats, 0mg Cholesterol and an impressively low percentage of Saturated Fat, 6%. They are not equal to or less than the ideal 5% Saturated Fat, but they are close enough. They are also slightly/lightly salted so the sodium content is low enough and not off the charts like others on the market. Another important factor is fiber. Do they keep you fuller for longer? They aren’t whole grain or whole wheat, but have a small amount of fibre that can do the job of sustaining your energy and curbing hunger between meals.
If you decide to have Plantain chips as a side to your meal instead of a snack, that is a good idea as well. For instance, to replace Rice and Peas alongside Jerked Chicken. You will end up consuming fewer calories and it’s a difference from the monotony, especially if you spice up the taste with a little guacamole or chimichurri sauce.
One should eat 5/6 meals per day depending on how long you are awake for and that includes 2 snacks. A typical 5-meal day should have the order of Breakfast, Snack, Lunch, Snack, Dinner.
So keep it Jamaican and incorporate these healthy snacks in your diet today!
By: Gabrielle Burgess (Certified Personal Trainer & Sports Nutritionist)
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