If you like chips (and judging by the fact there is an entire aisle full of them at the grocery store, you probably do) there is a good chance you have tried Pringles. Perhaps, like many people think, they are a slightly healthier alternative to traditional potato chips… especially the baked variety? Well, look before you leap. In fact, the first thing you need to know is that they are not even made with real potato. This fact was emphasized by the makers if Pringles themselves when they tried to argue their product should not be subject to taxes levied on luxury foods in the UK. The Pringles Company made it a point to argue that their product was not luxury as it was not even a real potato chip technically.
Pringles are in fact made with rice, wheat, corn and potato flakes that are pressed into thin sheets by machine. From there they are fried in GMO oil and blown dry. Powdered flavors are then added. However, as bad as the ingredients, processing and “powdered flavors” sound, this is not the worst part about Pringles. No, the worst part is a chemical byproduct created when high carbohydrate food is cooked at high temperatures. This chemical by-product is call acrylamide.
While Pringles are not the only snack products that contains acrylamide, according to a 2005 report, all commercial potato chips tested contained acrylamide in levels ranging from 39-910 times the legal limit. Those potato chips that claimed to be baked, did not test any better. In fact, many baked chips had levels of acrylamide even higher than the fried ones!
The dangers and risks from consuming acrylamide are serious! It is classified as a carcinogen linked to various forms of cancer. Which is why it should be avoided whenever possible. Natural snacks like fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds are always a better choice!