Stacy’s Pita Chips: Whole Grain Hoax?

If you’re like me, you like a high-carb, nutritionally void snack every once in awhile. Enter Stacy’s Pita Chips. Somehow, pita chips have gotten a not-altogether-deserved “health halo” in the consumer’s eye. They’re usually only slightly healthier than regular chips, due mostly to the fact that they’re baked (with some fat added) instead of fried. They are generally low in fiber and high in salt – your standard carb-y snack food. Not bad, but not great.

Stacy’s (which isn’t the cute, independent brand you think it is – but rather just another Frito-Lay brand), now comes in “Multigrain”. Great – so at least they took care of the low fiber problem of the original “Simply Naked” version, right? Not exactly. Stacy’s is just one in a long line of products pushing a Multi-Grain faux food: brown packaging, a few flecks of seeds in the product, and an almost identical white flour ingredient list as the original flavors.

Here’s how it breaks down with Stacy’s: 10 “Simply Naked” (original) chips have 130 calories, 1 gram of fiber. The “Multigrain” flavor has 140 calories in 9 chips and 2 grams of fiber. Double the fiber, isn’t that good?

Not if you look at the ingredient list: both flavors start out with “enriched wheat flour” – a.k.a. white flour – not a good sign for a first ingredient if you’re looking for a whole grain food. Further down the “Multigrain” ingredient list you do find some whole wheat flour and stone ground whole wheat flour – but don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re eating a “100% whole grain” food. There might be some whole grain in there, but it’s relatively unchanged from the original version.

Just another example of how you can’t rely on a food’s packaging or the manufacturer’s claims on the front of the package – the devil is in the details – and in this case, the details are in the Ingredients List.