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Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Review of Plantain Chips: Inka vs. Turbana

This past summer while I was eating a grain free, gluten free diet and also cutting out things like potato chips and crackers, I missed having a snack with some crunch to it. Sure, carrot sticks and raw veggies are good. Even homemade kale chips are fine. But while I was travelling a lot, I wished there was something different that I could bring along and leave in a hot car all day that would still be tasty (and different from the plentiful raw veggies I was eating). Then I was introduced to plantain chips. These tasty snacks have the benefit of containing resistant starch, which is very good for gut bacteria.

I wanted to find a brand that contained palm olein, the palm oil that is from the palm fruit, because it is a "fat suitable for cooking" on the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol. Turns out I found two brands: Inka and Turbana.

Inka Chips, Turbana Plantain Chips

Both brands are made with the same ingredients (plantains, palm olein, and salt) and have a similar nutritional profile: 1 oz of Turbana chips contains 150 calories, 7 grams of fat, 20 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fiber, 1 gram of protein. while an ounce of Inka chips has 140 calories, 6 grams of fat, 20 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fiber and less than 1 gram of protein.

Inka Plantain Chips, Turbana Plantain Chips compared

Pictured on the left are the Inka chips, which are a bit more yellowish/golden brown than the pale Turbana chips on the right. These chips taste almost identical to me, except that the Turbana chips are saltier. The big difference when comparing these plantain chips is the texture, which is a direct result of the thickness of the chips:

Inka plantain chips, Turbana plantain chips review

As you can see, Inka Chips are quite thick and hearty. I love the feel of these; they are not brittle but definitely crunchy. The super thin Turbana Chips on the right are almost as thin as potato chips and are very light and crispy. That, coupled with the extra saltiness, makes these literally addictive to me! I had a hard time stopping with these (a response similar to how I feel eating potato chips). You can just sit and much these by the handful, they are so good! But for me they turned out to be a trigger (for overeating), so my plantain chip of choice is Inka Chips. They're delicious too, but when I eat them I can tell I am eating thick crunchy slices of plantain, and I don't get pulled into a faux-potato-chip drive to eat.

I recommend both brands! Just decide what your goals are:
Healthier chip substitute that will easily replace your potato chips? Turbana.
Crunchy, lightly salty snack that is healthier than crackers? Inka.

Have you tried these or other brands of plantain chips? What are your thoughts?

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