There's a reason people say you can't just have one chip. Considering they're crispy, salty and crunchy, it's no surprise chips are just about everyone's favorite party snack.
While most chips are free of gluten ingredients, you'll want to think twice before reaching for a bowl of communal chips, as they might be exposed to cross-contamination. If you're following a gluten-free diet, fill your bowl with chips you can trust.
Are Potato Chips Gluten-Free?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley and these grains' derivatives.
For the most part, chips are made of just a few ingredients: potatoes, salt, vegetable oil and any additional seasonings, according to the FDA. Generally, these are gluten-free and safe to eat if you're gluten-sensitive or intolerant.
But recipes will vary, depending on the flavors and added seasonings. Some flavors can be also made with malt vinegar or wheat starch, which both contain gluten, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation. Plus, there are plenty of potato chip-cracker hybrids out there that may contain gluten.
So, checking the packaging carefully is crucial (more on that below).
Are Tortilla Chips Gluten-Free?
As with potato chips, there's no firm guarantee that the tortilla chips at your favorite restaurant are gluten-free.
Some tortilla chips are made from ground corn but in other cases, these chips may be mixed with wheat flour, too, making them gluten-contaminated. Recipes and ingredients will vary, depending on the brand and chip type.
Where tortilla chips are concerned, it's important that you verify your bag is gluten-free.
How to Find Gluten-Free Chips
Even if the chips you're buying don't contain gluten, they may still be at risk for cross-contamination, which happens when gluten foods come in contact with other ingredients either through manufacturing or preparation, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation.
You can avoid the risk of cross-contact by choosing your chips carefully. Generally, you'll want to avoid ordering chips at a restaurant, unless the location is certified gluten-free. In some cases, gluten-free and non-gluten-free chips may be stored in the same containers or bowls, making contamination more likely.
At the grocery store, find a "Gluten-Free" label on the front package of the product. This label is regulated by the Food & Drug Administration and signifies that the food you're eating has less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten, which is generally safe for people with celiac disease to eat.
If you want even more security, buy foods that are labeled "Certified Gluten-Free" and are vetted by trusted third parties, like the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO). The GFCO has especially strict standards, certifying foods that have only 10 ppm of gluten or less, according to the organization's website.
Don't see a label? Read the ingredient list of any bag you decide to buy. Look out for any gluten-based ingredients and don't forget to check the allergen listing for wheat or gluten, too.
You can also search the web to find out if your favorite chips are safe to eat. Many flavors of Lay's, Fritos, Ruffles and Tostitos, for instance, are gluten-free, according to Frito Lay.
Gluten-Free Chips To Buy
If you're craving a bag of gluten-free potato chips, try one of these picks from trusted companies.
1. The Good Crisp Company Aged White Cheddar Potato Crisps
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $31 per 8-pack
2. Kettle Brand Sea Salt Potato Chips
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $8.94 for 6 packs
3. Deep River Snacks Original Sea Salt Kettle Chips
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $29.60 for 24 packs
4. Good Health Avocado Oil Sea Salt Kettle Chips
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $35 for 30 packs
5. UTZ Honey Barbeque Potato Chips
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $20.39 for 7 packs
6. Cape Cod Original Sea Salt Kettle Cooked Potato Chips
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $2.99
7. Uglies Original Sea Salt Potato Chips
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $14.99 for 4 packs
Gluten-Free Tortilla Chips
1. Real Food From the Ground Up Cauliflower Sea Salt Tortilla Chips
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $11.95
2. Late July Multigrain Sea Salt Tortilla Chips
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $40.90 for 12 packs
3. Garden of Eatin' Blue Corn Tortilla Chips
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $5.49 per bag
4. Siete Sea Salt Grain-Free Tortilla Chips
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $55 for 12 packs
5. Mission Sea Salt Tortilla Rounds
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $2.99
6. Barnana Organic Plantain Chips Acapulco Lime
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $29.99 for 6 packs
7. Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Tortilla Chips
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $13.90 for 8 packs