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Do blue corn chips meet the criteria for blue vegetables? Are there any phytonutrients left in a blue corn chip? Does the process of converting blue corn into a corn chip introduce so much saturated fat and salt that the food is unhealthy to eat on balance?

Blue corn chips do not count as a vegetable (but the salsa you might dip them into does!).  They are made from blue corn, which is actually a grain, not a vegetable.  There are many different forms of corn – blue corn, maize, popcorn, sweet corn, to name a few.  It is sweet corn that is eaten as a vegetable.  Sweet corn is a variety of maize that has naturally altered genetically from field corn and is picked when immature.  It contains more sugar and water than the forms of corn that are used as grains.

 When blue corn is ground to make chips, it is possible that some of the phytochemicals would be lost, and likely some are retained.  Such an analysis is expensive to conduct, and that data is not yet available. 

The amount of saturated fat and salt in blue corn chips will depend on the brand.  Generally, oils are used to prepare the chips, and most oils do not contain saturated fat, although the processing could produce trans fats, which are act similarly to saturated fat.  Your best bet is to read the label to identify how much fat, saturated fat and trans fat the chips contain.  Look for baked varieties, which would likely contain much less fat, and sometimes less salt.

 

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