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F is for For the Love of Chips: 5 Factor Snack Chips vs Kettle Brand Baked vs Jenny Craig Bruschetta Veggie Chips

Harley Pasternak's 5 Factor Snack Chips are a hill of beans. In a good way.
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Harley Pasternak's 5 Factor Snack Chips

They got me with Sour Cream'n'Onion. Then they got me with BBQ and Sea Salted. But they'll keep me with 10 grams of protein and five grams of fibre.

They are Harley Pasternak's 5 Factor Snack Chips. I bought three boxes. And I've been pushing them on friends like a dealer looking for new business.

Pasternak's first attempt at a healthy potato chip needed a liberal dusting of protein powder to meet his nutritional requirements -- high protein-and-fibre content fills you up so you no longer feel snack-y. Not content with his first attempt, which he says were more like a supplement than food, he found inspiration for his new 5 Factor Snack Chips in Japan.

bean inspiration

"I found people eating chips that were made out of mung beans -- they were just mung bean and salt," explains Pasternak, who was in town last week to appear on The Shopping Channel. "They were so high in protein and fibre, with hardly any fat and with nothing added to get to those protein and fibre levels."

Further inspiration came from Singapore, lentil-based snacks also high in protein and fibre, and low in fat. "I thought, what if we combine beans and lentils together so the chip would be high in protein and in fibre -- but let's do the North American flavours, like bbq, sour cream 'n' onion, and sea salt, that makes people identify with a traditional chip. And let's air-bake them instead of deep-fry."

eats like a meal

The chips, which took about four years to develop, fit into the 5 Factor Diet program as one of the five small meals per day Pasternak (and many other health pros) advocate. "I wanted to create snacks people already enjoy eating: chips, cookies, cakes and bars. I didn't want to go into pills and powders and potions," he explains. "I want the 5-Factor lifestyle to be about a lifestyle not about a diet. I want people to eat and enjoy all the things they normally do."

At first glance the sodium content is a bit of a shocker. "Sodium is always going to be high in savory snacks, but if you look at the volume of the bags, it's basically the equivalent of two to two and a half time of another bag of low-cal chips," comments Pasternak. But if you have sodium issues, maybe these aren't for you? Either way, let's compare labels:

Kettle Brand Baked potato chips

Kettle Brand Baked Potato Chips (mentioned by Pasternak)
28 g per bag
120 calories
3 g fat (3 per cent)
110 mg sodium (5 per cent)
2 g fibre (8 per cent)
3 g protein

Harley Pasternak 5-Factor Snack Chips

5 Factor Snack Chips in Sour Cream 'n' Onion
57 g per bag
220 calories
6 g fat (9 per cent)
860 mg sodium (36 per cent -- Sour Cream 'n' Onion)
620 mg sodium (26 per cent -- BBQ)
580 mg sodium (24 per cent -- Sea Salted)
5 g fibre (18 per cent)
10 g protein

Jenny Craig Veggie Bruschetta Chips

Jenny Craig Bruschetta Veggie Chips
21 g per bag
100 calories
5 g fat (7 per cent)
200 mg sodium (8 per cent)
1 g fibre (7 per cent)
1 g protein

Now I know it looks crazy when I compare the Jenny Craig veggie chips to the 5 Factor chips and do a zero-guilt dance. But note: the Jenny Craig chips are intended as an occasional snack. I use the 5 Factor chips as a savoury alternate to the 240-calorie, 4 g-fibre, 15 g-protein, 19g-sugar "Canada" bar that is part of my daily JC nutrition intake. They come in at 20 calories less than the bars. Okay, and 5 grams of protein less.

Sarah, my JC counselor, has reserved judgement until she can check the chips out herself; guess I'll have to share one more bag.

Incidentally, even with having been travelling to NYC for a couple of days and to France for about a week, I'm still down 8.2 lbs -- and 14 inches. Hoping to crack that 10-lbs-gone mark soon.

Are you a chip fan? Does all these math-like numbers make sense? Would you try the 5 Factor chips?

Harley Pasternak's 5 Factor Snack Chips are available via