Crisps. Quite suitable for sitting in front of the TV on Friday evening and watching one horror film after the other – and each time looking outside in panic and looking if someone is watching you – at least that’s what I do. Every time.
They are a trendy party snack and can even be divided into different types of chips. The difficult question remains, of course, if you happen to be not sitting alone in front of the TV, who will bring new supplies? And who wants what?
But are chips actually suitable as the only meal to supply your brain with enough nutrients, the mind and all muscle activities in the body? And the most important question: Do they provide enough nutrients, calories, vitamins to survive at all?
“Of course, they don’t!” Is what most will say now. However, let’s take a closer look at the topic and analyze what would happen if we were suddenly only dependent on chips as food. The only rule here would be: There is enough water. Without this rule, these topics usually make no sense, as there is no survival without water, and everyone who has eaten some and is aware of the salty, thirsty taste knows this.
In case you’re interested, I’ve already made two other blog posts in which I analyzed various everyday foods that are best for survival: You can find the category for this here:
So, but that’s enough we talked about. Let’s get to the facts. I hope you enjoy reading another what-if!
How long can you live on crips?
With crisps alone, you could survive healthy for about a month. The subsequent damage caused by a lack of various substances in the body is irreversible after that.
Should you happen to get stranded somewhere and only have chips available for food, then you actually have a chance to survive as a human being for some chance. Unless, of course, you are able to get water in your own position. On your lonely island, you will most likely be surrounded by salt water, which ironically goes together very well: If you add the salt water to the salty chips, then it’s good night!
Salt generally removes the fluid that the body desprertatly needs to survive. As you have probably heard, the body is made up of 70% fluids.
So the saltyness of the chips would be the first problem. Over-salting has some side effects. These include high blood pressure, a higher chance of having a heart attack; and having a stroke as well.
So already a very bad situation.
You need around 2000 calories per day, which would be the case if you were to eat around 6-7 normal-sized packets of chips that can be bought in any conventional supermarket. If you haven’t just bought the super premium edition with super flavors, it should still be relatively economical.
On a lonely island, on the other hand, you will hardly be able to buy chips in the supermarket. Your scenario just keeps getting more interesting and interesting. So let’s say you have the opportunity to somehow get hold of that amount of chips. Let it be a shipwrecked ship that is stranded somewhere on the island and has a monthly supply of around 180 chips ready. For the calculation it would of course be most beneficial if they were the same kind of chips. Perfect.
If you have solved this problem, there would be another one, that concerns the consumption of chips: Vitamin A. Never heard? Vitamin A makes a significant contribution to keeping your skin and mucous membranes down and is important for the growth of your cells. Bad if that’s missing. The consequences here would be quite drastic. Your conjunctiva becomes drier and firmer, your eyesight changes in ways that you certainly don’t want to. You become blind, or you have trouble finding your way with time and time.
Then there is the not entirely unimportant factor called vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is relevant for your body in many important factors, but above all for the formation of blood. Associated with this is a quite extensive spectrum of side effects, if you wan’t to call it that way: Constant fatigue, headaches, tingling or weakness in the arms and legs; sometimes both, memory loss and sometimes even hallucinations. If you are imagining hallucinations that look like a Fatormogana, you are not all that wrong. Because as you already know: the ability to think and see is clearly impaired!
A little fact to the edge: There was a case of a 17 year old boy who lived only on chips. He reported that after a while he noticed a change in his perception: such as the darkening. The outlines of buildings seemed blurry or sometimes absent.
In addition, there is another remedy that you need to ensure so your body can function properly. It’s called calcium. Important for protection of your teeth and strengthening of the skeleton. If you have too little calcium in your body over the long term, this will probably lead to osteoporosis, which manifests itself in changes in the fractures. Including pain, little mobility, changes in the spine in unnatural ways, a physical limitation.
Even your wound healing is affected. This is needed if you just want to lie comfortably in the swing on your lonely island, but rush off and hit a stone and start bleeding. Not only does this make OUCH, it also makes your body more susceptible to infection in the long term due to your body’s slower healing response.
The problem with chips, in contrast to other foods such as bananas, apples and grapes, is that they “always fit in”. It is sometimes difficult to get enough of these little crunchy snacks. And that is quite intentional. Because chips trigger the area in the brain that regularly shower us with rewards. Anyone who takes chips increases their dopamine level in the long term, which has further disadvantages. (Like restlessness).
A general problem with chips in everyday life is the increase in the probability of death. This has to do with the fact that the immune system is also affected by excessive consumption of chips.
In a study with 4,000 participants between the ages of 45-79, the probability of dying earlier was significantly higher for those who consumed chips more often.
All of this shouldn’t scare you away from pulling in a few chips in front of the TV. Because, like so many things in life, it is the amount that makes the danger. Even if you are trying to lose weight, it is easier if you plan on losing weight with a few exceptions to ease the transition to a more active, sportly, and healthier life.
Chips in themselves are not the most unhealthy thing you can do to your body, but not the best either. Unless you eat a whole pack of chips every day, everything should be fine. My experience has also been that pairing your unhealthy eating habits with a few healthier alternatives is far better, including pears, apples, bananas, grapes, oranges, and other healthy snacks that are actually good for your health in the long term. On your way, I wish you all the best and good luck with whatever you have planned in your life!
With these words, I thank you for reading this blog post carefully, and refer once again to my two other posts on the subject of how long you can live on something: