Terra Vegetable Chips – Are they suitable for Paleo, Keto and Whole30?

We all like to have a snack every once in a while, even when on a diet. The thing is that foods like Terra Vegetable chips can cause a lot of confusion when you’re on a grain free diet. Thankfully, we’ve done a little bit of digging to find out more about whether Terra chips are suitable for a snack every now and again when you are following Paleo or Whole30 diets.

So, are these chips Paleo compliant? Technically, the original Terra Vegetable Chips are generally not seen to be Paleo. This is because they use certain oils such as sunflower, safflower and canola oil. The chips are fried so they aren’t considered paleo despite the fact that they are made out of sweet potato and taro, which are root vegetables that are compliant with the diet.

Of course, as you can probably imagine there’s been a lot of back and forth in the community about this. As such, we’re going to do a deep dive into the different answers to this question. If you are still looking for a snack then we will also cover a couple of additional options that you can use that will be totally fine for a Paleo diet.

The Ingredients Present in Original Terra Vegetable Chips – Paleo Compliant?

So, it’s time for a deep dive. How exactly did we determine that these chips should not be touched if you are on the Paleo Diet? Well, it’s simple. If you research the ingredients in the chips – something that’s not overly simple to do, mind you, since the entire list of ingredients is pretty hard to find – you can come to a conclusion.

On the Terra website, the following information is provided:

‘Original Terra Chips – Ingredients: A seasonal mix of root vegetables (taro, sweet potato, taro [colored with beet juice]) canola oil, and/or safflower oil and/or sunflower oil, salt.’

But what exactly does this mean about your favorite snack? Here’s more information on each of these ingredients. 

  • Sweet Potatoes – these are usually pretty good for a Paleo diet. They are a little bit high on the glycemic index range, which isn’t necessarily ideal for Paleo, but they are still suitable. They are generally a great choice for after a workout thanks to this since they will give you a great burst of energy. These, along with yams, have been eaten in a lot of Paleolithic cultures that have been rigorously studied.
  • Taro – This is a great low glycemic food. As such, it’s a staple of the Paleo lifestyle. It has generally been eaten on a regular basis by the Kitavans, a group of people that have historically followed Paleo diets.
  • Taro (colored with Beet Juice) – It’s worth looking at video footage of how these chips are dyed. Beet juice is generally used to get that red color. We don’t really know much about this particular beet juice, but we would hazard a guess that the brand uses freshly juiced beets. In this case, the taro chips would be suitable for Paleo. Of course, not everyone likes to assume that it will be fine, in which case it may be better to keep these chips out of your diet.
  • Canola Oil – This oil is not suitable for a Paleo diet. Canola oil comes from canola oil, and this oil has components that are not good for animals and humans. The oil was created to be a kind of rapeseed that would reduce the bad parts of the oil. Unfortunately though, some animal studies have demonstrated that there are still some problematic effects on the health caused by consuming Canola oil. You need to use high amounts of heat in order to make the oil too, and this means that any omega 3 in the oil that would be good for you is destroyed.
  • Safflower Oil – Again, this is another one of those vegetable oils that you really should stay away from if you are following a Paleo diet. The oil contains a fatty acid ration that isn’t ideal for the diet. Not only that but it is also prone to rancidity, and can be quite inflammatory.
  • Salt – The community seems to be undecided about whether salt is okay for a Paleo diet, though a lot of people will try to build it into their diet. If you are following a strict Paleo diet though then it’s usually best to stay away from salt.

In summary, there are a lot of ingredients in these chips that can work well for the Paleo diet such as root vegetables, but the oils most certainly are not a good choice for this kind of diet. What we have found above also seems to mimic the views of the general Paleo community when it comes to these chips. Of course, most of the time people won’t deep dive into the reasons why they don’t find the chips to be suitable for Paleo.

Are These Chips Fried or Baked?

You may not be surprised to learn that for the most part, Terra chips are generally fried in vegetable oil, as mentioned by Consumer Reports. Unfortunately this means that you will not reap the benefits that you will usually get from the vegetables in the chips thanks to the oil. This of course is not stated on the Terra website. As such, we would prefer to make it clear how we are making our conclusions in this article.

There are other nutritionists that have suggested that the chips are dehydrated and they are then put in a fryer to achieve the taste that they are most known for.

There’s actually a Food Network special covering Terra Chips. If you watch the footage from the programme then it does appear to be clear that the chips are fried. They are dipped into hot oil towards the end of the manufacturing process.

Many food companies in the U.S. actually don’t need to provide customers with this kind of information, and as such you are not going to find it on the company website. All they will tell you is the ingredients present, and they must do this in accordance with the law.

Problematic Reactions to Terra Chips Ingredients When Coming Off Paleo

Here’s an example of some issues you may encounter with certain snack foods. It’s a little extreme, but hear us out. This example came from the blog called My Big Fat Grain Free Life.

In the blog, the writer recalls the issues she had with putting Terra Chips into her diet after she had been isolating certain foods from her diet, following a Paleo diet that was regulated by her doctor.

Eventually she was told that it was time to bring foods back into her diet by the doctor. She then began to add the foods back into her diet, starting off with Terra Chips.

When she introduced them back into her body, she started getting awful itching on the back of her neck, ear lobes, arms and shoulders. The itching was so bad that it was keeping her awake through the night.

She continued to eliminate foods from her diet throughout the month, until eventually she took the Terra chips out of her diet. By doing this, her itching began to cease. When the week was over, so was the itching.

She double checked that the Terra Chips were the problem by bringing them back into her diet. By eating a mere two Terra chips, she was itching all over again by the next morning.

This may seem a little bit dramatic, and sometimes foods just don’t agree with certain people. These things could happen to all of us though. We may not even pay attention to it because there are so many things going on. Your body could be affected by the amount of sleep you’re getting, whether you are sick, what the weather is like and work stress. These things can all cause health issues, but what we eat can massively affect how we feel physically.

There’s a good chance that someone else could get a bad reaction to Terra chips too since one person has experienced such a reaction.

A Few Other Great Alternatives to Terra Chips that Work For The Paleo Diet

If you are really craving some vegetable chips much like Terra Chips, you need not worry. There are Paleo experts that will have recipes online. For instance, on thepaleodiet.com you can find some crunchy veggie chips that are to die for. On The Paleo Mom website, there are some sweet potato chips too. Alternatively, you can even make some butternut squash chips. The possibilities are endless and they usually taste a lot better when they are made at home too! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do these chips work with a Whole30 diet?

Unfortunately for all of you Terra Chips fans who are doing a Whole30 diet, the answer is no. These chips are not suitable for the Whole30 lifestyle. In fact, you can’t use any store bought chips on this diet. You can look at the Whole30 official Can I Have guidelines to find out more.

Is it possible to eat Terra Chips if you are on a Keto Diet?

Technically you can eat little portions of Terra chips when you are following a Keto diet. With that being said, they contain a high glycemic index and lots of carbs thanks to the sweet potatoes and taro. As such, they may not be suitable as your first choice of carb. You can get a massive 13 carbs in one serving measuring one ounce if you look at the nutrition label. That’s a lot of carbs!

Are there any Terra Chips that are Paleo compliant?

The short answer is no. There aren’t any Terra vegetable chips that work with a Paleo diet. This is because they all have safflower oil, canola oil and sunflower oil. They are certainly not appropriate for a Paleo diet. It will be better if you simply make your own Paleo friendly chips at home.

Are Terra Chips bad for you?

It’s important to note that everything should be eaten in moderation, whether it’s something healthy or otherwise. With that being said, the chips are full of saturated fat, fat and calories. Sure, you’ll get a decent amount of fiber with these chips but they are by no means a healthy snack. You’d be better off sticking to some fruit if you want a healthy snack.

Can you eat chips on Keto?

In theory, you could eat chips on Keto. It ultimately depends on how heavily you are following the guidelines. They can be a good choice if you are on a Keto diet and want a snack in the middle of the day, but make sure that you are eating them in moderation. There are much healthier snack options out there that would be more suitable, such as fruits, vegetables and protein sources. It’s better to reach for these before the potato chips if possible.