The concept of the 100-calorie snack pack had become quite popular these days. You can get everything from cookies to crackers, even soda in small packages that equal about100 calories. The question is, are these packs the best way to control your diet? Are there better options out there?
The first issue with the 100-calorie snack packs is the serving size. While it may seem like a great idea to have a snack limited to 100 calories, the reality is that the serving size for these snacks is so small that most people would not be satisfied with just one. At least in the case of Nabisco, each pack contained less than one ounce of actual food product. The obvious risk here is that you may be tempted to eat more than one, defeating the whole concept.
Cost is also a factor when considering the snack pack. Consumers will spend more per ounce on the pre-packaged snack packs. Regular-sized packages of the same product have the same nutrient value as their pint-sized counterparts. This means that you can spend less money if you are willing to do the math yourself to control the portions. You are being charged in essence, a convenience fee for the 100-calorie packaging. Portion control does require more effort if you are doing it on your own, but it does allow you the freedom to eat any snack food. You aren't limited to only the companies that package snacks in this way.
Are the snack packs nutritious? Sure they may be only 100 calories, but does that mean they are good for you? They still contain fat (sometimes up to 40 calories from fat) and no real vitamin content. The calories in junk food will always be empty calories, whether you eat 100 calories or 1,000. The fact is that junk will always be junk for your body, no matter how much or how little you consume.
There are a lot of healthy snacks out there in the 100-calorie neighborhood that will satisfy hunger better than the 100-calorie snack portions. Fruit, nuts, peanut butter and cheese, are great for curbing hunger while providing essential nutrients that your body needs. These snacks are not nearly as processed, and therefore much better for your body and diet.
There are some benefits of these snack packages. They do offer convenience. They are quick, portable and require very little effort when counting calories. They can be a great way to control the portions of junk food that you children eat, as many kids will not be content with being given the option of an apple instead of a snack cake. The snack packs are not inherently evil. They should, like anything else, be used in moderation with a balanced diet.
Is the 100-calorie snack pack the best option out there? The answer in real terms is no. It is more expensive, and is in no way healthier for you than their bigger counterparts. However, they can be used to help monitor your daily caloric intake. If not over-eaten, they can be another tool that you use in your diet, just don't make them your only snack. There is no substitute for vitamins and mineral found in healthy fruits and vegetables.