Chips…Who Doesn’t Love Chips? (A quick guide to avoiding gluten when enjoying chips)


I have always been a generally healthy eater, but one major food weakness has always been chips…its hard control my eating around good chips. Before being diagnosed with celiac disease I treated myself to favorites, such as Doritos and Fritos Chili Cheese. However, once I moved to a gluten-free lifestyle, I had to give them up. For me, giving up my favorite chips from childhood was much more difficult than avoiding the pastas and breads. It’s painful to even think about it – I want some Doritos!!!

Anyway, wiping up the tears and moving on…the good news is that there are so many great gluten-free options out there in the chip world. Corn and potatoes are often the  main ingredient in chips, and since they are both gluten-free, this helps in allowing the chip makers to provide some great gluten-free snacks.  Some gluten-free options are old-school (Plain Lay’s) while there are others you may never have even heard of, such as Riceworks and Way Better Snacks.  In some cases, chip makers are using brown rice as the base and this makes for a great, slightly thicker, and very crispy chip (Lundberg and Riceworks to name two).

Here are a few things to look for when selecting chips and some of our recommendations for best gluten-free chips:

1)  Read the label: Ok, this one is obvious, but the lesser number of ingredients the better chance that they are gluten-free.  Some manufacturers now have GF or certified GF stated on the package – but you have to look carefully. For example, Frito-Lay generally prints “Gluten-Free” in small type by the ingredient list. For reference, here is a list of gluten-free chips from Frito-Lay.

2)  If you don’t know for sure, go simple. If you haven’t done the research to make sure a specific brand is GF, this is the safest way to go. For example, it’s almost always safer to choose plain potato chips over the same company’s flavored (BBQ, Sour Cream and Onion, etc.) chips.

3)  The main concern with a lot of chips is cross-contamination. Doritos uses gluten-free ingredients, but Frito-Lay states that they “may be manufactured on the same lines as products that contain gluten”. I’ve tried to eat them and my stomach proves this to be true. If the ingredients are gluten-free, check for the “manufactured in a facility that handles wheat, tree nuts, etc” statement or check their website where this question is probably answered in an FAQ – for example Riceworks is answered here.

Our favorite and totally GF chips:

If you love Doritos, try these…

  • Riceworks – Sweet Chili and Salsa Fresca  (they have several other flavors also)
  • Way Better – Sweet Chili (they have several other flavors also)
  • Lundberg – Sante Fe Barbecue (they have several other flavors also)
  • Meijer Black Bean & Salsa – may be hard to believe, but this store brand chip is the real deal.  If you live by a Meijer store and have a chip craving, check these out.  

Potato Chip brands that are good to go – and readily found at most stores!

  • Kettle
  • Boulder Canyon
  • Cape Cod
  • Ruffles
  • Lay’s Classic and Deli Style

Tortilla Chips

  • Food Should Taste Good (they make a large variety of great products)
  • Way Better Snacks (they make a large variety of great products)
  • Tostitos Scoops
  • Fritos
  • Garden Fresh
  • Donkey Chips
  • Garden of Eatin’

I’m sure we missed some good brands out there, so tell us what your favorite gluten-free chips are in the comment section below.

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