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Fat-free foods offer healthy choices for snacking, but don't mess with the chips

February 18, 2014

In Kris Elliott's column this week, she offered some healthy tips for Super Bowl snacking.
Among other things, she noted that the Calorie Control Council and Snack food Association predicted that potato chips will account for 11 million pounds of snack food for the game's viewing audience today.
That's an awful lot of potato chips.
However, even though one person already has accused me of being a communist because I don't glue myself to the couch and devour the Super Bowl (I never have, I never will), I promise to eat some potato chips as a tribute to this event that brings normal life to a screeching halt for most of the country.
Of course I should note that I eat potato chips every day anyway, so I'm not executing any heroic measures here.
Potato chips are like water for me. A day without them would be a day without a good life. And today will be no different.
If it were absolutely necessary, I could live the rest of my days without cake, cookies and ice cream (although I might have to sneak an occasional taste of Yarnell's homemade vanilla), but I would have great difficulty eliminating potato chips. They are a culinary blessing of my existence.
When I'm ravenously hungry and can't find anything else to suit me, I'll make a potato chip sandwich. It will curb my hunger.
Said sandwich can be eaten plain or enhanced with Miracle Whip. Either way pleases my palate.
Pat Stuckey, the Courier's composing director, understands my passion for this treat. During an employee survey I once conducted for a column I was writing about people's favorite snacks, Pat's response was: "Potato chips. They're my favorite fruit."
She meant every word and I understood her perfectly.
Again in reference to the wise counsel of Kris, she suggested that low-fat potato chips could be substituted for traditional ones.
She's a smart, informed woman who is good at dispensing advice to help people live healthier lives. Kudos to her and all of those who do likewise.
But if my only option were a bland fat-free potato chip, I think I'd have to say "no thanks." I could willingly forgo it in favor of a paper napkin because they're equally tasty.
A high-fat diet isn't healthy. That's a given. I'm not going for that, but a diet without ANY fat would hardly be worth the effort.
I openly confess that I get my fat content from either the red Lay's Wavy bag or the company's blue Ruffles bag. Both are good; I switch from one to the other according to what grabs my eye on the store shelf.
Most of the time when I dine at a restaurant, I will order a salad. Or maybe a vegetable plate. I don't eat a lot of meat, although I really do like the chicken tenders promoted at a local eatery. Generally, I go for heart-healthy foods. BUT ...
I love those potato chips.
So, on Sunday when other folks are cheering for the Broncos or the Seahawks while chowing down on all sorts of goodies, I'll be enjoying my chips as I watch the Kitten Bowl or Puppy Bowl or maybe a movie.
And if for one brief shining moment I should tune in to THE GAME, I hope I can time it just right to catch some of the commercials. I will give the broadcast an A-plus for some of these from previous years, like the one showing the cat herders or the one featuring Robert Goulet promoting Emerald Nuts. And then, of course, the Clydesdales ...
These were pearls from the past.
In any case, I'm not cheering for either of the Super Bowl teams because, truthfully, I don't care which one wins. If I should have to give a "rah, rah" for anyone, it would be for the Cotton Plant Scrappers. That's still my favorite team.
Go, Scrappers!

Lynda Hollenbeck is senior editor of The Saline Courier.
lyndahol@yahoo.com

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