potato chips vs hash browns for breakfast

Potato Chips vs Hash Browns: Which is Better For Breakfast? (WITH STATS)

Why can’t I eat potato chips for breakfast?

This question of potato chips vs hash browns has been rolling around in my head for a while, and has me wondering if it is really so bad to eat potato chips instead of hashbrowns in the morning for or with your breakfast. That burning thought in mind, I went down a rabbit hole and the result is this breakdown on which is better for breakfast, hash browns or potato chips.

Disclaimer: These numbers are based on some basic assumptions about your potato chips and hash browns. How they are made will make a significant difference. For example, if you deep fry your hash browns, most of the differences below will even out, but most of us don’t make them fast food style.

They Are Just Potatoes After All…

At first look, there isn’t much difference in the starting ingredients between hash browns and potato chips. At the core, these are just potatoes, oil, and salt. If there is really any difference between hash browns and potato chips, it is in the preparation.

Potato Chips: Thinly sliced potatoes that are deep-fried or baked until crispy. They are typically seasoned with salt and other flavorings.

Hashbrowns: Grated or finely chopped potatoes that are pan-fried until they are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. They are often seasoned with salt and pepper.

Nutritional Breakdown: Chips vs Hash Browns

Potato chips seem like an easy answer for a quick breakfast, but are they really the best choice overall? They are definitely the faster choice, even if you use ready to cook hashbrowns. But there is more to consider in the hash brown vs potato chip battle than just convenience.

  • Potato Chips: Generally high in fat and calories due to the frying process. They often contain added preservatives and flavorings. They provide some carbohydrates but are low in protein and other essential nutrients.
  • Hashbrowns: Usually lower in fat and calories compared to potato chips if they are pan-fried with minimal oil. They provide a good amount of carbohydrates and can be a source of fiber, vitamins (like vitamin C and B6), and minerals (like potassium) if made from fresh potatoes.

The Volume To Calorie Ratio Matters

When it comes down to it, you want to feel full when you are done eating breakfast. Ounce for ounce, potato chips are roughly three times more calorie dense than hash browns. That means you will get three times as much volume of breakfast for the same amount of calories.

This also means that to at least theoretically feel as full, you would have to eat three times as many calories in potato chips as you would if you had eaten hash browns. Now I can say from experience that I will eat way more potato chips than I will eat hash browns without thinking about it. I’m guessing the reality is that you would eat 9-10 times more calories to feel as full.

Vitamins and Minerals: Which is the Healthier Choice?

When you stack hash browns up against potato chips, it’s clear that hash browns come out on top in the nutrition game. With important vitamins such as Vitamin C and minerals like potassium packed into them, choosing hash browns for your breakfast is a smarter move health-wise.

The reason for this is that the extra processing and high heat frying that potato chips go through leach out or destroy many of the nutrients. Compared to hash browns, especially freshly grated ones made with the skins on, potato chips are a nutrient desert.

Potato Chips Hashbrowns
Volume: About 1 ounce (28 grams) of potato chips.
Calories: Approximately 150 calories.
Nutritional Content (per 1 ounce/28 grams):
Total Fat: 10 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 gram
Carbohydrates: 15 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Fiber: 1 gram
Sodium: 150-200 milligrams
Volume: About 3 ounces (85 grams) of hashbrowns.
Calories: Approximately 150 calories.
Nutritional Content (per 3 ounces/85 grams, pan-fried with minimal oil):
Total Fat: 5-7 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 gram
Carbohydrates: 20 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Fiber: 2 grams
Sodium: 300-350 milligrams (varies with added salt)

Taste and Texture: Satisfying Your Morning Cravings

For breakfast lovers, how food feels and tastes is really important for kicking off the day right. When you bite into potato chips, their crunchiness gives a great snacking joy that’s hard to resist because of how crispy they are. On the other hand, hash browns have this cozy vibe going on with their soft inside and a golden brown crust that makes them special. If you’re into home fries or lean more towards the crunchy goodness of french fries, picking between these two popular potato dishes boils down to what kind of texture gets your morning hunger satisfied.

The Crunch Factor: Why Potato Chips Might Be More Tempting

Potato chips are just easy to eat, there is just no denying it. If you aren’t paying attention it is real easy to eat a whole bag over the course of the day, one handful at a time. They just are satisfying to crunch and the fat/salt combo makes our tongues happy.

The Comforting Appeal of Hash Browns

Hash browns are a breakfast favorite, known for their cozy and satisfying vibe. You get the salty crunchiness on the outside, along with the warm softness inside that just says happy. I like mine on the crispy side, just to accentuate that duality between the soft and crunchy textures.

Convenience and Preparation Time

Now comes the big reason people might be tempted to turn to potato chips as their breakfast potato of choice, convenience.

Quick Breakfast Solutions: Are Potato Chips the Answer?

When you’re running late, grabbing a bag of potato chips might feel like the easiest breakfast option. I’m definitely guilty of downing a few handfuls of chips instead of making breakfast.

Even though they’re handy and quick, they don’t really have what your body needs to start the day right. Plus, they are likely to leave you less satisfied and feeling hungry a lot sooner.

Hash browns: The better but slower choice

Pretty obviously, when it comes to nutrition, hash browns are the hands-down winner. The problem is that they do take longer to prepare than simply opening a bag of potato chips. There are some things that you can do to make cooking hash browns faster and easier. Here are a few ideas on how to incorporate hash browns into your breakfast, without making it take all morning.

Frozen Hashbrowns

  • Pre-packaged frozen hashbrowns are a time-saver. Simply heat them in a skillet with a little oil, or bake them in the oven according to the package instructions.
  • Microwave option: Some frozen hashbrowns can be microwaved for a quicker option, though they may not be as crispy.

Pre-Shredded Potatoes

  • Store-bought pre-shredded potatoes (often found in the refrigerated section) can be quickly cooked in a skillet with minimal preparation.
  • Tip: Squeeze out excess moisture with a clean kitchen towel before cooking to help them crisp up better.

Make Ahead and Reheat

  • Batch cooking: Prepare a large batch of hashbrowns over the weekend and store them in the fridge. Reheat portions in the microwave or skillet as needed during the week.
  • Freezing: Cooked hashbrowns can be frozen in portions. Reheat directly from the freezer in a skillet or microwave.

If you are strategic and plan ahead you can cook your hashbrowns while you are doing other things and it will take barely any more time than scarfing a bag of chips. Plus it will be better for you.

Are Hash Browns or Potato Chips Better For Breakfast?

When it comes to the battle of potato chips vs hash browns for breakfast, the clear winner in all regards but convenience is hashbrowns. Hashbrowns offer a better nutritional profile, as well as more volume to help carry you through the day without feeling hungry. If you are pressed for time in the mornings, some creativity and planning can make incorporating hashbrowns into your morning a breeze and get you putting that bag of chips back on the shelf.

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