Ask The Healthy Eating Coach Are 100 Calorie Snack Packs Healthy
Posted Mar 12 2009 3:02pm
It seems there a million of those 100 calorie pre-packaged food products out there, but are they really healthy?
Answer From Healthy Eating Coach Melanie Jordan:
You' re right that these 100 calorie snack packages seem to be all the rage. Leave it to the food industry to jump on the bandwagon big time once they catch wind of a fad and smell money! And it' s not just the major brands, you' re now seeing lesser-known organic brands and even store generic brands with 100 calorie snacks.
The major plus of 100 calorie snacks is that they represent favorite comfort foods you' d probably eat anyway in their much more fattening versions, and eat a lot more than 100 calories worth if it were not for the 100 calorie pre-packaging. So in that sense, they are probably healthier for you because of the portion control aspect.
And if you' re counting calories, you can' t beat knowing exactly what you' re getting into when you snack. Psychologically you are eating the whole bag, but you only ate 100 calories worth!
Where the problem lies is that 100-calorie snacks, unless from one of the organic brands, may not always lead to foods with the healthiest ingredients. For example, many have all the chemicals, preservatives and food dyes of their traditional siblings. Plus, many have tiny amounts of trans fats, that can add up if you eat more than one of these packages a day, and there is no acceptable level of trans fat.
So generally view 100 calorie snacks as another way to do a food makeover from a "lesser of two evils" and portion size perspective--important benefits for most people, but don' t necessarily assume they' re "health food".
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