Your friend is correct. Crisps are a man-made food, in contrast to plain unsalted, unroasted nuts, which are a natural food. The fat found in nuts is largely the monounsaturated fats; nuts also contain the essential fatty acids linoleic and linolenic acids. Many nuts are good sources of vitamins E and B2 and are high in protein, fibre and essential minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and selenium.
Research shows that people who consume nuts regularly are less likely to suffer from coronary heart disease and that the consumption of various nuts, such as almonds and walnuts, can lower bad cholesterol (LDL) concentrations.
Crisps on the other hand are more often than not fried in oil; so the fat that they do contain is likely to be saturated or trans fat. Crisps are also likely to be flavoured and contain salt. High salt intake contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease, so carefully monitor the salt in your diet.
So I would swap the crisps for a handful of nuts as a regular snack and save crisps for every now and again.
As published in Swansea's Evening post Kirsten3 ep