When Potato Chips Are Good For You


Terra Blue Potato Chips

We hear all kinds of bad stuff about potato chips:

They make you fat,

They are extremely unhealthy,

They block your arteries,

They are full of salt,

They contain carcinogenic ingredients, etc.


Can there possibly be any benefits to this junk food?

Apparently yes. Potato chips are often heavy on salt and that is an essential mineral. When you exercise or exert yourself especially when it is hot outside, your body tends to loose water rather rapidly.  A hand full of potato chips can make a big difference in how you will feel – in your energy level and in your mood.


Energy and Sports Drinks


Energy drinks contain salt, more sugar of course, but salt is an indispensable ingredient for water retention and therefore for your overall health.

In his article “Why You Need Salt  During Prolonged Exercise in Hot Weather” Dr. Mirkin, says the following:

You need extra salt in your food when you exercise in hot weather: If you don’t take salt and fluids during extended exercise in hot weather, you will tire earlier and increase your risk for heat stroke, dehydration and cramps.

 Not taking in salt when you exercise for more than two hours can prevent you from retaining the water that you drink. It can also block thirst, so you may not know that you are dehydrated. Thirst is a late sign of dehydration. You lose water during exercise primarily through sweating, and sweat contains a far lower concentration of salt than blood. So during exercise, you lose far more water than salt, causing the concentration of salt in the blood to rise. You will not feel thirsty until the concentration of salt in the blood rises high enough to trip off thirst osmoreceptors in your brain, and it takes a loss of two to four pints of fluid to do that. 1


Do We Eat To Much Salt As Is?


That depends on your diet.  If you eat fast foods, restaurant foods, commercially pre-packaged foods, deli, pizza and the like, chances are you getting way to much salt in your diet. Because salt makes food taste good and it is a great preservative.  About 80 percent of dietary salt of North Americans comes from processed and commercially prepared foods.


Can You Become Salt Deficient?


‘Vegetarians and people who limit meat are at increased risk for salt deficiency because plants are naturally low in salt. Meat, fish and chicken naturally contain far more salt. Most processed foods are high in salt because manufacturers know that salt makes food taste good and is also a preservative.’ 2


Ingredients, Ingredients, Ingredients


There are always better and worse products on the market.  You can find potato chips made with better quality potatoes, better and less oil and better salt, like sea salt and Himalayan salt. In fact, good quality salt, such as Himalayan salt, has many minerals and nutrients that are very beneficial for your body.


Moderation is The Key


If you are feeling tired, lethargic, or having cramps you probably need some salt in your system.

However, if you are planning to eat an entire family size bag of potato chips, you will very likely consume unhealthy calories and gain several pounds.  All you need is about a hand-full of potato chips to restore the salt balance in your body.

Over to you.

If you have any comments or suggestions, please post them below.


1 http://www.drmirkin.com/archive/7079.html

2 http://www.drmirkin.com/archive/7079.html

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