Tortilla chips made from white or yellow corn and potato chips made from fried potatoes are a staple of American junk food. Unfortunately, the fat used to cook both types of chips increases the calories per serving without increasing the nutritional value, making them a fairly unhealthy snack that you should eat only in moderation.
Both tortilla chips and potato chips are high-calorie snacks. A 100 g serving of plain white corn tortilla chips contains 489 calories, while 100 g of plain potato chips contains 542 calories. The calorie-dense nature of tortilla and potato chips is due in part to the frying process used to cook chips. Flavored chip such as barbecue potato chips can be even higher in calories. For example, according to Calorie Lab, about 100 g of sour cream and onion potato chips contains around 670 calories.
According to the USDA Nutrient Database, 100 g of regular tortilla chips have a total of 65.56 g of carbohydrates; the same amount of potato chips has 50.81 g. In tortilla chips, the carbohydrates break down into 5.3 g of dietary fiber, 1 g of sugars -- primarily sucrose -- and 6.75 g of starch. The carbohydrates in potato chips break down into 4.4 g from dietary fiber, 0.37 g from sugars and the rest from a mix of starch and other carbohydrates.
Protein and Fat
Neither tortilla nor potato chips are particularly high in protein; however, they are high in fat. A 100 g serving of potato chips contains 6.56 g of protein but a whopping 36.4 g of fat. The same amount of tortilla chips contains 7.79 g of protein and 23.36 g of fat. The types of fat can vary from brand to brand, because different manufacturers use different fats. Look for chips that do not use any trans fats.
Vitamins and Minerals
Any type of salted chip -- including both potato and tortilla chips -- contain fairly significant amounts of sodium. However, tortilla chips also contain relatively high levels of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and fluoride. They also contain B vitamins and small amounts of choline and vitamin K. Potato chips are even higher in potassium and are also rich in magnesium, phosphorus and fluoride. Like tortilla chips, they also contain traces of the B vitamins, vitamin C, choline, and vitamin K.