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Food Showdown: Banana Chips vs. Chocolate Raisins

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Editor's Note: We are excited to announce that SparkPeople's popular "Food Showdown" feature now has a new home here on the dailySpark! Every Saturday, we will be posting a different round of food duos to battle it out in a survival of the healthiest.Try to guess which food is the best choice and check after the jump to see if you picked the victor! Be sure to let us know what you think of Food Showdown, and to share your ideas for future food comparisons in the comments section below. Happy reading!

People will add all kinds of things to fruits and veggies to disguise their natural flavors and make them more appealing. Canned fruits stew in corn syrup, dried fruits are covered in sugar, and these two popular snacks are no exception. Banana chips. They look healthy and aren't super sweet--basically fruit, right? What about chocolate-covered raisins? Raisins are nutritious and chocolate can be healthy in moderation, but how are they together? One of these snacks is masquerading as healthier than it is.

Can you pick the low-fat winner?

The Winner: Chocolate-Covered Raisins!
Believe it or not, chocolate-covered raisins are the lesser evil here. Despite the sugar and the chocolate coating, 1.5 ounces of these sweeties contain just over 6 grams of fat and 8 grams of saturated fat--that's still 18% of your daily value though. For 150 calories, this can be a reasonable treat that won't ruin your diet. But banana chips are much, much worse. Cooked in high-fat oil and loaded with sugar, a small 1.5-ounce serving of these crunchy fruits contains 14.5 grams of fat, over 12 grams of saturated fat (62% of your daily value), and 220 calories.

Tip: Don't fool yourself when it comes to yogurt-covered raisins though. Although yogurt may sound healthier than chocolate, yogurt-dipped raisins still pack more fat (9 grams) and calories (200) than the chocolate version.
But of course, straight-up fruit without the added sugars or oils is always your best best.

Regardless of the nutritional information, which fruity snack do you prefer to eat?

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FISHGUT3 1/13/2020
thanks Report
RAZZOOZLE 12/7/2019
thank you Report
NYLAURA1 10/26/2019
I am glad to know that my guilty pleasure won. I love raisins and I love chocolate covered raisins. I try not to over indulge Report
chocolate covered anything freggies wins, in my book! My system seems to like raisins better than bananas. I wonder if I can find them at Walmart?? Report
FRAN0426 9/25/2019
If I pick it would be a few chocolate banana chips, only if it was dark chocolate. The reason, raisins even covered in chocolate are not something I want to eat Report
GEORGE815 3/29/2019
Good information Report
I have to say that I have always loved both of these! Report
Chechnya your ingredients... not all banana chips are the same. I buy one brand that is 100% bananas. I still watch serving size. Report
Good information to know. Report
I love SPARK’s Food Showdowns! Usually I pick the winner too! In this case, neither choice is very appealing but love getting the answer right! :-) Thanks for the great info! Report
Interesting Report
I never would have guessed the correct outcome of this challenge! WOW!! I LOVE this type of article... Keep these please as a regular part of Spark!!! Report
I like some dried fruit like apricots & cranberries, but not bananas, they are the cheapest but very hard & tough to eat.I buy a large bag of cranberries at costco, they have no added sugar, apricots I buy at a $1.00 store with no added sugar. I would prefer the chocolate raisins to eat because of the hardness of the bananas. Report
Good to know even though I would have chosen the raisins anyway. Report
I would have picked bananas. I had no idea they were fried. Report
The new format of Food Showdown is disappointing. The photo isn't even of the items being compared. It's unfortunate that the earlier format has been changed i.e. there is no brief description of the 2 items. That removes much of the info on what to consider when making the choice and makes this just a blind guess.

It would also be nice to return this to a daily item instead of reducing the frequency to once weekly. Report
I love chocolate, so the raisins would be my pick. Report
Dark chocolate covered raisins are the best. Report
I think someone needs to check the stats again. Chocolate covered raisins contain 6g total fat and 8g sat fat? Doesn't add up. I was confused how 8g fat was 18% of your DV and 12g was 62% lol. Anyway, banana chips never really appealed to me, and I do love chocolate raisins! Rarely keep them in the house though. Report
Chocolate covered raisins is going to be one of favorite new snacks! Yum-O!!! My hubby is going to make us some for Valentine' day! He's the best! Report
Ew to both. If more people saw how they mass-produce raisins, I don't think anybody would EVER eat one again!

I'd rather eat a regular banana. Report
Love that you are doing showdowns in the Daily Spark now! I loved receiving them by e-mail! :) Report
I agree with SNIBBORLLIJ -- fat is not what makes you fat, sugar is.... (that's why I don't buy fat free cream cheese, cottage cheese, or regular cheese--- read the ingredients, they replace fat with sugar and ingredients you can't pronounce) Anyway, this is precisely why I bought a dehydrator, a good one, so I can make my own dried fruit and veggies WITHOUT extra fat and sugar. So far, zucchini, yellow squash, radishes (believe it or not), eggplant have made the GREATEST "chips" flavored with Mrs. Dash (tomato and garlic) and only a touch of salt.... Report
Chocolate covered raisins have always been a big "must have" for me! For awhile I thought the yogurt covered ones would be healthier -- and I was wrong. Now it's dark chocolate covered raisins, and I allow them in my diet, the same way I allow other favorites. Once in awhile as a snack doesn't hurt you. And it makes you feel you can go on with small amounts of "restricted foods." Report
Love chocolate covered raisins ... but now with diabetes ... thats a no-no ... raisins are grapes with water squeezed out and just the sugar left ... not on the approved foods list :(
I've never cared for banana chips-- not enough "banana" flavor for me.

What I get out of articles like this, is that I really need to always check the labels on stuff. Just because it was originally a banana, does not mean nutritionally it's still a good choice after they've made chips of it. Assuming is NOT the way to go-- I need to look at the ingredients and numbers for myself. Report
I LOVE chocolate raisins. The problem is eating just the one oz. Report
Love the new "showdown" - but it would be nice not to demonize any food as "evil"...? How about more/less healthful, eat more/less often Report
This was fun! Yeah, I get that neither is a "healthy" snack, but I bet a lot of people might think the banana chips ARE healthy because they don't know what goes into making them.

I would pick the chocolate-covered raisins just on taste, personally, although I prefer chocolate-covered cherries and almonds.

Can't wait to see what the next showdown is! Report
Neither is a healthy snack. What's wrong with a small piece of real dark chocolate, or a handful of raw almonds?
The commenter who said, "Fat does not make you fat. Sugar makes you fat." is right on the mark. Report
I really don't eat either, but I do like fresh bananas. Report
A lot of yogurt- and chocolate-covered raisins (and pretzels and animal crackers) I've seen are made with partially hydrogenated oils and contain non-trivial amounts of trans fats. YUCK! Report
Most dried fruits have extra sugar, and as you pointed out, often added fat. And even if you get the "organic" dried fruit with nothing added it's awfully easy to eat a lot of calories quickly by accident because the sugars in the fruit are so concentrated.

So if I get any dried fruit at all it's in extreme moderation and it's the organic or freeze-dried kind without anything extra added. The papaya is good, if a bit chewy. Report
I hate raisins, but love grapes. I love bananas, but don't like the hard chips. Report
Even better: the banana chips I made in my dehydrator. Nothing but banana slices dipped in lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. Must remember to pull that out again. Report
Do chocolate covered peanuts trump both of those choices since they have protein ? LOL ! When I was a kid, I preferred the chocolate covered peanuts. I was shocked when I read the nutrition label for dried bananas. Why do they have to be coated in oil for flavor ? Well, after reading David Kessler's book the End of Overeating, it's because the extra fat makes the food more enticing to eat ! How sneaky is that ? ;)

Anything Coach Nicole does is wonderful. So glad she is doing this feature. She should have her own TV show. Report
Since you asked for suggestions:
How about a Valentine's chocolate showdown? Although I guess it won't be much use by next Saturday. Doh! In the future, though you could coordinate your showdowns with holidays, or food that is now in season.
And how about giving the losing snack a healthy alternative? I see a lot of people saying they prefer dehydrated banana instead of deep fried, sugar-coated chips. It would be nice to offer a consolation prize to those of us who like the losing choice more. Report
I knew this from before but still I would rather just eat a banana than those "things" !!
I never really did care that much for the taste- why not just eat fresh fruit - even canned is probably better for you. Report
Thanks for giving me another reason to hate banana chips and love chocolate covered raisins!

But this is a bit unfair to freeze-dried banana chips such as those from Just Fruit, which reports .5 g of fat per serving. Report
Thanks for the article. It will be very interesting and helpful series in our losing weight. Report
This is fun and a good place for the FOOD SHOWDOWN! I just wish the voting area was ahead of the jump - that way, you havent' been able to read the answer and the info proving the point.

I knew the chocolate covered raisins were better than the banana chips in nutrition - however, I prefer the banana chips to the chocolate covered raisins as I would eat less of the banana chips than the chocolate covered raisins. While the dark chocolate is good for you, you don't need much of it to get the goodness - after that - it's overdone but hard to stop eating it.

I don't eat either one though. I prefer to get my nutrition in other ways. Report
Thanks, this will be a very interesting and helpful series!
I have to say I disagree with the reasoning. You are basing "healthy" on fat in this case. The banana chips may be higher in fat, but they are cooked in very healthy coconut oil usually. The raisin's chocolate coating may be fine if they're homemade, but the packaged variety usually will contain corn syrup. I don't mean to be divisive her, but I really disagree. Fat does not make you fat. Sugar makes you fat. To add, the fact that the banana chips have the fat, probably make them lower on the glycemic index, which may indicate that they would have less impact on your insulin levels, therefore being the lesser of the two evils. That last part is just an assumption. I'd have to look it up to know for sure. Report
Thank you for the incredible info. I've been trying to decide if I was gonna make banana chips one of my "standard" snacks. Now I definitely won't.

BTW - DONNAJEAN2277 you can add any food not already in the tracker yourself. Under the Search Button is says "Enter Food Not List". You can add the nutrition info from the label. Report
Please add yogurt covered raisins to the food tracker! Report
oh...and another:
3) much worse. in high-fat oil and loaded with sugar, -- which word goes in front of "in high-fat oil"? Report
i see...nice article. however, many writing/editing issues here:
1) Canned fruits stew in corn syrup, dried fruits are covered in sugar, and these two options are no exception. -- i think it should be canned fruits ARE STEWED (since the second half of the sentenced is placed in the past tense and passive form
2) 3.75 grams of saturated fat--that's still 18% of you -- should be YOUR Report Thailand banana chips abound. I thought these were healthy! EVERYTHING IS FRIED HERE! I still haven't quite figured out how these people are so thin. I think it's because they eat so little. Anyway, I'd still be curious to see their blood cholsesterol levels. Literally everything but white is stir-fried or packed with sugar in this country.

Anywho...thanks for the info, that helps tremendously! Report