Kale Chip Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Kale chips

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Kale chips are a crunchy snack made with kale leaves (Brassica oleracea). The dark green leaves are either fried, baked, or dehydrated under low heat. Kale chip products may include other ingredients such as cashews, sunflower seeds, tahini, and a variety of seasonings for flavor. While kale chips used to be found only in health food stores, the snack is now commonly found in most grocery stores' snack aisle.

Kale chips can be an excellent source of vitamin K and vitamin A. Depending on how they are prepared, kale chips may also be a significant source of fat, but consumed in moderation, this snack can be a nutrient-rich addition to your diet.

Kale Chip Nutrition Facts

There are many different brands of kale chips. One can also make the snack at home. Each variety includes different ingredients that will change the nutritional information. The USDA provides the following nutrition information for one small single-serving bag (28g) of kale chips made with kale, sunflower seeds, white vinegar, nutritional yeast, and sea salt.

  • Calories: 140
  • Fat: 10g
  • Sodium: 380mg
  • Carbohydrates: 7g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugars: 1g
  • Protein: 7g


There are 140 calories and 7 grams of carbohydrates in a single 1-ounce bag of kale chips. A single 1-ounce serving of kale chips contains about 3 grams of fiber and only 1 gram of sugar. The rest of the carbohydrates in kale chips is starch.

However, keep in mind that the ingredients used to make the chips vary from brand to brand. Different ingredients can change the nutrition facts substantially.

For example, Trader Joe's Kale Chips provides 120 calories, 12g of carbohydrate, and 2g of fiber per serving while Brad's Crunchy Kale Chips provides 90 calories, 7 grams of carbohydrate, and 2 grams of fiber per 1-ounce serving. Homemade kale chips may provide as little as 58 calories per serving.

The glycemic index (GI) of kale chips has not been recorded. But the glycemic load of a 1-ounce serving of kale is estimated to be about 1, making it a very low-glycemic food. Glycemic load takes portion size into account when a food's impact on blood sugar is estimated. Adding oil to kale to make chips would not change the glycemic load.


There are about 10 grams of fat in a small bag of kale chips. The type of fat can depend on what type of oil is used for frying the chips. According to USDA data, you are likely to consume about 1 gram of saturated fat in a serving of these chips. The rest of the fat is likely to be monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat.


A single serving of kale chips provides 7 grams of protein.

Vitamins and Minerals

USDA data shows that kale chips are an excellent source of vitamin A, providing about 3000 international units (IU) or about 60% of your recommended daily intake. The chips are also an excellent source of iron, providing 7.2mg or about 40% of your daily needs. And you'll get a small amount of vitamin C (4.79mg or about 8% of your daily needs) from kale chips.

The USDA does not provide additional micronutrient data for kale chips. But a 1-ounce (25g) serving of kale is an excellent source of vitamin K and calcium.

Health Benefits

Any health benefits you gain from consuming kale chips are likely to come from the nutrients in kale. The oil used to prepare the chips is most likely used in small enough quantities that it doesn't contribute any substantial benefits.

Strong Healthy Bones

Vitamin K is important for good bone health. If you are deficient in vitamin K, you are at a higher risk for osteoporosis. Research on postmenopausal women has shown that vitamin K supplementation can have a positive impact on bone health.

Taking a supplement can increase your vitamin K intake, but getting it from food comes allows you to benefit from other nutrients, like calcium, that can also boost bone health. Researchers have identified kale as a food source of important bone-health nutrients.

Keep in mind that the amount of calcium you get from consuming a serving of kale chips can vary. For example, one brand of chips (Brad's) states that you'll get about 4% of your daily calcium needs when you consume a single 1-ounce serving. But a different brand (Trader Joe's) provides a Nutritional Facts label stating that a 1-ounce serving provides 10% of your daily needs. This variation may be due to the ingredients used to make the chips.

Cardiovascular Benefits

Researchers have studied kale and other foods identified as "superfoods" for the health benefits they provide regarding disease prevention. Authors of a study published in a 2015 issue of Nutrients stated that kale and lentils, along with other foods are rich in prebiotic carbohydrates and dietary fiber, can potentially reduce risks of non-communicable diseases, including obesity, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

Also, the authors of another research review compared different vegetables to evaluate their benefits for heart health. Kale (along with broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and other leafy greens or cruciferous vegetables) provided the greatest cardiovascular health benefits.

Better Bowel Health

The National Institutes of Health points out that the fiber in kale is important to help keep your bowel movements regular. A single serving of kale chips provides 3 grams of fiber. By comparison, a single serving of potato chips provides less than one gram of fiber.

According to the USDA's 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, adults should consume 22–34 grams of fiber per day depending on sex and age. Kale chips can help you to meet that goal and provide other important nutrients.

Promotes Healthy Vision

The substantial vitamin A in kale chips helps to promote healthy vision. The type of vitamin A in kale is provitamin A, and the most common type of this micronutrient is beta carotene. Kale chips may provide up to 2421mcg of beta carotene, although it may vary by brand. Beta carotene supplementation has been associated with a decreased risk for vision loss related to aging.


There are a few different ingredients in kale chips that may cause allergy. If you have known allergies—especially nut allergies—you should check the ingredients list to be safe.


It is possible to be allergic to the main ingredient—kale—but published reports of kale allergy are rare.

There is at least one report of a woman with oral allergy syndrome reaction after consuming kale. Symptoms included swelling of the mouth and itching of the nose, mouth, and eyes. Experts advise that if you suspect an allergy, speak to your healthcare provider and possibly avoid eating problematic foods in their raw form.

Nuts and Seeds

Many kale chips list nuts (particularly cashews) and seeds (such as sunflower seeds) as primary ingredients. Allergies to nuts and seeds are well documented.

Those with a tree nut allergy should probably avoid kale chips. However, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI), just because you are allergic to one tree nut doesn't necessarily mean that you are allergic to another. The organization advises that symptoms of a tree nut reaction may be severe, so they advise that those with a known tree nut allergy carry epinephrine at all times.

Seed allergies are also a known issue. The AAAAI also notes that poppy seed, sesame seed, mustard seed, and sunflower seeds may cross-react. If you have a known allergy to any seeds, seek your healthcare provider's guidance before consuming kale chips that include sunflower seeds as an ingredient.

Adverse Effects

It is not likely that you would experience adverse effects from consuming kale chips. If the chips are very salty and you over-consume them, it is not uncommon to feel bloated from the excess salt intake. You may also feel some stomach discomfort from the fiber if you eat a lot of them and are not used to eating high-fiber foods.


There are many different brands of kale chips and many different flavors. For example, you might find nacho-flavored kale chips, spicy kale chips, sea salt kale chips, jalapeno kale chips, and even ranch-flavored kale chips. The chips can also be made at home with seasonings of your choosing.

When It’s Best

Kale is generally harvested in colder temperatures, usually in the fall or early winter. If you make kale chips at home, you may find the best ingredients at that time. But many grocers carry kale all year long.

Prepackaged kale chips are available all year long. You'll find them in the snack food aisle of the market.

Storage and Food Safety

How you store kale chips depends on how they are made. If you purchase kale chips at your grocery store, follow the guidance on the package. Most bags include a "best by" date. Generally, you can store the chips in your pantry for several weeks.

Kale chips do not require refrigeration and do not freeze well. Some packages include a desiccant packet—a small white package that absorbs moisture and helps the food to last longer.

If you make kale chips at home, you can keep them fresh by storing them in an airtight container. After you dehydrate, bake, or fry the chips, place them in a baggie or other resealable container and remove as much air as possible. Some people also put a few grains of rice in the container to absorb moisture and keep the kale chips crispy longer.

How to Prepare

If you want to make your own kale chips at home, you can control the ingredients and choose oils and seasonings that fit into your food pattern.

To keep the fat content lower, baking or dehydrating the chips is the smartest choice. Use a food dehydrator to make the chips or simply bake kale leaves at a very low temperature.

To make the chips, start with large kale leaves. They will shrink when you bake them, so don't worry if the leaves seem too large when you begin. Remove the tough stems and tear each leaf in half or in thirds.

Once the leaves are prepared, wash them and then toss them in a bowl with a tablespoon of olive oil. Then, add your favorite flavors. Some people add cayenne pepper, nutritional yeast (for a cheesy flavor), sea salt, or whatever mix you prefer. Lay the leaves on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.

Bake the leaves in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for about 10–15 minutes or until they are crispy. After they have cooled, transfer the chips to an airtight container for storage or enjoy them as a snack or healthy side dish.

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