Are Takis bad for you? Takis (also referred to as Taquis) are an incredibly popular corn tortilla-based chip snack made by the Barcel company in Mexico. These fried and rolled chips are delicious and even considered almost addictive by some. Without question, however, there are some serious health concerns involved with eating this well-known snack food.
Are Takis Bad For You? Answer: Yes
The short answer is yes, Takis present several health concerns. Like many snack foods and treats, they are something that should be enjoyed only very occasionally.
The problems with Takis lie in the snack’s ingredients. The chips have high levels of unhealthy ingredients such as MSG (Monosodium glutamate), trans-fats, saturated fats, artificial colors and flavors, and sodium, and have virtually no real nutritional value.
Possible Side Effects
Takis come in a wide variety of flavors. It is the brand’s range of spicy varieties that are both the most popular and most problematic. The seasonings used in the spicy flavors can cause problems such as indigestion, diarrhea, irritation of the stomach, and a burning sensation in the throat.
It has been established that intensely hot snacks like the spiciest varieties of Takis can cause gastritis, especially in children. In 2013, there was a well-publicized case of a child in Los Angeles who ate more than 20 bags of spicy snacks per month developing a serious case of gastritis from erosion of the stomach lining. Dr. Martha Rivera of White Memorial Medical Center revealed that she sometimes sees five or six gastritis cases in children in one day, caused by overconsumption of spicy snacks.
The sodium in Takis can lead to problems such as dehydration, bloating, and headaches. Long-term overconsumption of sodium-laden products can cause serious health issues such as high blood pressure and heart disease. The MSG that is also added to Takis is another health hazard.
MSG, which is comprised of sodium, water, and glutamate, is a controversial food additive used as a flavor enhancer that is known to frequently cause a number of different side effects in sensitive people, such as nausea, headache, weakness, chest pain, blurred vision, flushing, heart palpitations, sweating, facial tightness or pressure, and burning, tingling, and numbness sensations in the neck and face and other areas of the body.
Not everyone reacts to MSG, but those who do experience the symptoms listed above are described as suffering from “MSG symptom complex”. This used to be referred to as “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome”, as MSG was heavily used in Chinese eating establishments in the United States.
It is believed that Takis contain preservatives that have been established as detrimental to general health. The snack’s level of trans-fats is also highly problematic. Trans-fats are made by mixing hydrogen in liquid vegetable oils, rendering the oils in a more solid state. Many trans-fats are referred to as partially hydrogenated oils. Trans-fats are often used because they are cheap to make and easy for manufacturers to use. Trans-fats are considered so harmful that their use in food service establishments has been restricted or at least reduced in a number of countries (Canada, Switzerland, and Denmark, for example) and cities and states (such as, for example, Baltimore, New York City, and California).
One reason trans-fats are bad for you is because they increase your level of bad (LDL cholesterol) and compromise your level of good (HDL) cholesterol. Eating large amounts of trans-fats puts you at much greater risk of stroke and heart disease, as well as possibly type 2 diabetes.
The saturated fats found in Takis are also problematic. Saturated fats will increase your LDL cholesterol levels, rendering you at greater risk of stroke and heart disease. Saturated fats are fat molecules with carbon molecules that lack double bonds between one another. This is because hydrogen molecules saturate the carbon molecules. Some examples of foods with high levels of saturated fats include butter, lard and cream, beef fat, fatty beef, lamb, poultry with skin, pork, and cheese. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that adults consume a maximum of 13 grams of saturated fat a day in an average 2,000 calorie per day diet.
The artificial colors found in Takis are another worry. While it hasn’t been proven, some research groups believe that there is a possible connection between some artificial food dyes and illnesses such as cancer and ADHD. A consumer advocacy group called the Center for Science in the Public Interest has argued that artificial food coloring presents significant health risks. The group published a report implying that damage to DNA (also called genotoxicity) might be caused by these chemicals.
Are Takis Vegan?
Takis Fuego that are sold in the United States are vegan. However, other varieties may contain milk and whey which makes them not vegan.
Healthier Alternatives to Takis
Beanitos Healthy, Vegan Black Bean Chips with Sea Salt, High Protein and Low Carb Tortilla Chips:
Click on the picture to check prices and reviews on Amazon:
“Are Takis Bad for You?”, https://www.isitbadforyou.com/questions/are-takis-bad-for-you
“Spicy Snacks Giving Children Gastritis”, http://ca.complex.com/pop-culture/2013/11/spicy-snacks-giving-children-gastritis
“Spicy chips, snacks are harmful for kids, doctors warn”, http://abc7.com/archive/9326321
“TAKIS Mini Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips by Barcel”, http://www.mexgrocer.com/brand-takis.html
“Is MSG as bad as it’s made out to be?” http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20151106-is-msg-as-bad-as-its-made-out-to-be
“Living in Color: The Potential Dangers of Artificial Dyes”, https://www.forbes.com/sites/rachelhennessey/2012/08/27/living-in-color-the-potential-dangers-of-artificial-dyes/#2a9aff92107a
“The Side Effects of Artificial Colors”, http://www.livestrong.com/article/457555-the-side-effects-of-artificial-colors