SunChips, a product of Frito-Lay, are billed as a more healthful alternative to potato chips and other snack chips. With 30 percent less fat than potato chips and no cholesterol or unhealthy trans fats, the chips are marketed as a better alternative for someone looking for a salty snack. Before grabbing a bag for your own snack, though, you should read through the nutritional information to understand how it affects your own diet.
The serving size for Sun Chips is 1 oz., according to the nutrition facts label. A standard-sized bag purchased at the grocery store contains about 11 servings of the chips. Use this serving size as a frame of reference when considering the nutrition information. You may be eating multiple servings in a sitting without realizing it and that can affect your daily diet, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports.
Original SunChips have 140 calories per serving and 50 calories are from fat. The calorie count in a particular food is a measure of the amount of energy you get from it, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The number of calories you should eat each day varies depending on factors such as activity level, weight and age. If you eat 2,000 calories, a serving of SunChips amounts to 7 percent of your daily caloric intake.
A serving of Original SunChips contains 6 g of total fat, which is equal to 10 percent of the maximum daily recommended intake if you eat a 2,000-calorie diet. The fat in the chips includes 1 g of saturated fat -- 5 percent of the maximum recommended intake -- as well as 3.5 g of monounsaturated fat and 1.5 g of polyunsaturated fat. Total fat intake should be kept to less than 65 g if you follow a 2,000-calorie diet, according to the USDA's Food Guide Pyramid. Saturated fat should not exceed more than one-third of your total fat intake.
SunChips contain 120 mg of sodium in every 1-oz. serving, which represents 5 percent of the maximum recommended daily intake for the electrolyte. Your body depends on an adequate supply of sodium for many vital life functions, but too much can increase your risk for hypertension, a serious health condition that makes you more likely to suffer a heart attack, the USDA reports. For this reason, you should consume no more than 2,400 mg of sodium each day.
SunChips are made from whole grains, so they will add to your daily carbohydrate intake. Each serving contains 19 g of total carbohydrates, which is 6 percent of the daily intake recommendation for someone who eats 2,000 calories a day, according to the nutrition label. The carbs in the chips include 3 g of dietary fiber -- 10 percent of the recommended intake -- and 2 g of sugars.
SunChips are not a particularly good dietary source for protein, but you will get 2 g per serving. Chances are, though, that you get more than enough protein from the other foods you eat every day. The USDA's Dietary Guidelines do not even include a daily intake recommendation for protein because it is so common in the typical American diet and deficiencies are rare, the FDA reports.
Vitamins and Minerals
Most people don't eat chips because of the nutrition they provide the body, but SunChips do contain small amounts of several essential vitamins and minerals. Each 1-oz. serving contains 6 percent of the recommended daily intake for vitamin E; 4 percent of the recommended intake for phosphorus and magnesium; and 2 percent of the recommended intake for vitamin B6, thiamin, niacin, zinc and iron.