Are Pita Chips Really Better For You?

When many of us think of delicious pita bread, we envision filling it with healthy veggies or perfectly seared meats. Perhaps you imagine slathering this Middle Eastern delight with protein-rich hummus, and topping it with some hydrating cucumbers (via Bodrum). Even in chip form, pita conjures up images of a healthy spread. But does that really mean we can give the pita chip a "healthy" thumbs up?

To answer this common snack conundrum, we have to start from scratch. The three main ingredients in pita bread are white flour, oil, and salt (via Washington Post). A pita chip is merely pita bread sliced into an easy-to-dip triangle shape and either baked or fried to crunchy goodness. And a snack where the main ingredient is a refined grain such as white flour isn't the best thing to mindlessly nibble on while settling in for an evening of Netflix binging, as consuming too many refined grains can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and certain cancers.

Be aware of portion control when snacking on pita chips

Yes, pita chips can be made with whole grain flour. And it is a plus when they are baked and not fried (per Health). Though there are some brands of pita chips that contain as much fat and sodium as a decidedly unhealthy bag of Doritos. If you're desperate not to give up your post-lunch work snack of pita chips, try making your own to control the contents and portions. Take one pita and drizzle it with a little olive oil and salt before throwing it into the oven to bake. At least then you'll be able to keep track of exactly how much you are snacking on while distractedly going through your inbox.

Pita chips may often be marketed as a healthy snack choice (via Dr. Axe), and the accompanying hummus or greens can leave you fooled into thinking you're enjoying something good for you. When it comes to ranking chips, surely pita chips wouldn't receive the ill-fated trophy of absolute worst for your health. But that doesn't mean you should be enjoying a family-sized bag for yourself on a daily basis.