Sean Cate
Sean Cate
February 13, 2024 ·  4 min read

Are Doritos Healthy? 5 Reasons to be Wary of the Famous Chip

Shopping at the supermarket has become more complicated than ever these days. You’re bombarded with choices, labels, and different ingredients. Many of the products at the supermarket make odd claims, like “more fiber,” “now made with REAL cheese,” and “gluten-free.”

But do any of these labels hold any meaning? Likely, any food that has to talk you into buying it isn’t be beneficial for your health.

If you’re like me, you stick to what you like and know. It’s easier to avoid all those other crazy products and go for what you know is good. However, what if what you know is good happens to be a bag of Doritos, a pack of white bread, and fruit snacks for the kids? Let’s focus on Doritos for a moment: a go-to snack for many, but lately, there’s been talk about whether they’re good for us.

Obviously, we aren’t taking chips for their nutritional value; you’re reading this article because you know those foods aren’t great for you. Even if you’ve somehow managed to avoid television, advertisements, and the demand for healthier foods in schools and supermarkets, something inside you knows that it’s not right. Right? Let’s look at some of the potential problems with Doritos and why including too many of them too often in your diet is a bad idea.

Read More: 7 Easy Ways to Improve Your Gut Health: Recognize The Signs of an Unhealthy Gut

1. Mambo No. 40 & 6:

Explosion of colored powder on white background
Credit: Shutterstock

You know those vibrant colors that make Doritos so appealing? That isn’t all “action-packed cheesy flavor”, those are additives for aesthetic (and preservative) flair. Some of those artificial colors, like red No. 40 and yellow No. 6, have been linked to health issues like cancer and hyperactivity.1 Something to be mindful of

2. Dairy, Vegan, Gluten Restrictions:

Little cute Indian kid girl dislike breakfast holding sliced bread and thumbs down while having breakfast with a glass of milk, crackers and cookies in kitchen at home
Credit: Shutterstock

The majority of Doritos flavors contain dairy, so those are immediately off the table for vegans. “But vegans already have a restrictive diet, that doesn’t make Doritos bad!” And thats a good point. But there is a growing number of lactose intolerant folk who will also have some potentially bowel-churning memories if they munch on too many of those traingular bad boys.

Additionally, a fair number of Doritos flavors are glutenous, making them a bit of a tougher snack for those with celiac or gluten sensitivity. If you’re part of the few without a gluten or lactose issue, then please keep in mind the two points made before this one and the next three:

Read More: 9 Foods You Should Eat Regularly To Support Your Arterial Health

3. Nutritional Considerations? In MY Doritos?

oil, salt, sugar, unhealthy nutrition image
Credit: Shutterstock

Like most chips, Doritos aren’t exactly known for being nutritious. They’re high in sodium, fat, and calories (one chip is 1% of a standard daily fat intake, and 12 chips are 210mg of sodium), which really isn’t great for our health. It’s essential to keep an eye on portion sizes and choose snacks with better nutritional profiles.2 If you’re able to limit yourself to 12 chips in a sitting, then I applaud you.

Speaking of sodium, Doritos play host to sodium diphosphate; a compound that’s added to foods for a variety of reasons. Different studies warn of the potential health effects of added phosphates, but the FDA remains neutral, saying it’s likely safe.

4. Impact on Chronic Diseases:

g, sedentary lifestyle, compulsive overeating. Obese woman laying on sofa with smartphone eating chips
Credit: Shutterstock

Processed foods like Doritos can potentially contribute to chronic diseases like cancer and diabetes. That’s not something to take lightly. Ingredients like maltodextrin, commonly found in Doritos, have been linked to issues like high blood sugar (which in turn can cause hyperglycemia or diabetic issues).

5. Doritos Have Addiction Potential:

Binge Eating Concept. Portrait Of Funny Hungry Woman Enjoying Delicious Potato Crisps Holding Glass Bowl, Posing With Chips In Mouth Isolated Over Yellow Orange Studio Wall. Junk Meal Addiction
Credit: Shutterstock

Ever find yourself reaching for another handful of Doritos without even thinking? Are 12 chips in a serving really something people think about when they open the bag? That’s by design; because Doritos are designed to be addictive. The combination of fat, salt, and sugar can trigger similar parts of the brain as addictive substances do, leading to overconsumption and the myriad of potential health problems listed above.3

Read More: Choline Deficiency Can Trigger Fatty Liver Disease

What To Do About it

Avoiding these ingredients isn’t easy, you’ll either need to branch out to find replacements, or take a good hard look at your diet and wonder just what nutritional value chips are adding. I know, love that crunchy, salty chip taste. But you’re better off without them, especially if they’re a consistent staple in your house.

There are plenty of healthier snack options out there. Whole foods like fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds are much more nutritious alternatives, plus there are chips made from beans, lentils, and whole grains for a healthier crunch.

While Doritos may be a convenient snack choice, they have their fair share of concerns. From questionable ingredients to their impact on our health and the environment, there are valid reasons to think twice before grabbing a bag. If you do choose to continue consuming chips, look for brands that use whole oils, such as avocado, olive, sunflower, or coconut oil, and have less than five ingredients. The potato chips I buy have three ingredients: potatoes, avocado oil, and salt.

Read More: 10 Types of Cancer That Are Rising the Fastest


  1. Are Doritos Bad For You? Think Again Before Sucking That Orange Dust Off Your Fingers.” Green Matters. Bianca Piazza. December 18, 2023.
  2. The Unhealthiest Chips, According to Dietitians.” Eat This. Desirée O. April 19, 2023.
  3. The dirty truth about Doritos: What you’re really eating on Super Bowl Sunday.” Salon. Patrick Justo. February 1, 2015.