Dear Bariatric Foodie: Know of a good Fritos substitute?

I so love getting food questions! I beg you guys to send them to me…and every once in a while someone does!
This is from Alicia N.:

Recently at work we celebrated Cinco De Mayo. One of the items served was Texas Caviar or Poor mans Caviar. According to my co-worker who made it you are suppose to serve it with Fritos. I had some Fritos but it’s good w/o the Fritos. My question is: Have you ran into or made something that tastes like Fritos w/o the guilt or bad choice in eating the chips or do you have any suggestions?

I ask this question as I’m sure there are other WLS’ers that would like to know this as well.

Thanks for asking this question Alicia! It’s a good one.

Opinions on things like chips vary across the post-op spectrum. Some post-ops eat them, some stay far away. I sort of take a stance in the middle. Salty/crunchy things are a trigger for me so I buy them when I have a clear purpose for them (like for a meal I’m serving where I am sure they will get eaten up). Otherwise, I usually skip even buying them.

I don’t know of a corn chip substitute (if you do, leave it in the comments so we can all benefit!), so in situations that call for such things, I tend to default to tortilla chips. Corn chips and tortilla chips are basically made from the same ingredients, but corn chips are cut differently and have some added flavoring and salt.

So…if you’re looking for some beneficial chips, here are my favorites:

Food Should Taste Good Multi-Grain Flax Tortilla Chips

FoodShouldTasteGood Multigrain Tortilla Chips, 6-Ounce Bags (Pack of 12)
Click any of the photos to go where you can order it!

Stats: Serving size is 10 chips, 140 calories, 6g fat, 18g carbs, 3g fiber, 3g protein

Where to find them: They are showing up at mainstream grocery stores now but I buy them at my local Whole Foods.

Why I like them: First off, flax seed is a great source of Omega-3’s. These chips are a good size, so don’t let the 10 chip serving size dishearten you (or your non-op family and friends). You can do wonderful things with 10 of these chips! They are crunchy, salty and just ever so slightly sweet (very satisfying). And on an unrelated note, their octagonal shape helps me to NOT spill the dip all over myself. Just sayin.

Trader Joes Soy Flax Tortilla Chips (sorry…no photo!)

Stats: Serving size is about 7 chips, 130 calories, 8g fat, 13g carbs, 4g fiber, 6g protein

Where to find them: Ummmm…yeah

Why I like them: Are you sensing a theme here with the flax seed? It’s easy to grind up and put in things like tortillas and it’s great for your body in its proper portion size. There are two flavors: regular and “spicy.” I put spicy in quotes because they are NOT spicy. I even gave one to my “hates all things spicy” friend and she said they were not spicy. They read like a less salty Dorito, if that makes any sense.

Genisoy Soy Tortilla Chips

Genisoy Nacho Cheese Soy Tortilla Chips, 6-Ounce Packages (Pack of 6)

Stats: Serving size is 23 chips (woot!), 110 calories, 3g fat, 14g carbs, 2g fiber, 8g protein

Where to find them: you can check their website for local offerings or you can go here.

Why I like them: As far as non-traditional tortilla chips go, this is a decent one. I only ever bought one bag to see how they tasted and they are pretty good. I got the lightly salted. I am the only weirdo in the world who really likes tortilla chips all by themselves. That being said, I missed the “conrness” (cornyness?) of tortilla chips when I ate these. The soy flax and the multi-grain both have that…something that corn provides (heartiness?) that this one is lacking just a wee bit. But it’s a fine choice and I didn’t mind them at all.

Of the three, I’d probably go with the TJ’s chips. They have a good flavor/nutrition tango going on.

And if you need a good idea on how to use them, here’s one. I’ll be posting another as BBQ season ramps up!

If you have a food question, hit me up! I love to answer them.


  1. Revival Soy and Kay's Naturals are also yummy!

  2. I might try the Trader Joe's tortilla chips. GIve me soy and flax any day! Yum. 🙂

    -Gastric Kitty

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