the 100-calorie snack pack conundrum
Photo Source: deliberatemovementlbc.com
I admit it. I’ve been tempted to purchase those “convenient” 100-calorie snack packs that offer “favorite” treats in handy portion sizes that are already divided up (AKA measured out) for us. What could be a better way to practice moderation, right? Well, not really. Turns out that 100 worthless calories aren’t worth the trouble, the consumption or even the monetary expense (to say nothing of the ultimate expense to our health).
In fact, Jenny Kinne, MS, RD, LDN and Clinical Nutrition Specialist at Children’s Hospital Boston told DreamOnline, “Because of the portion control aspect of it, people think of it as a healthy snack. But if you look at these products, they tend to be empty calories. There’s no nutrient density and they lack fiber, vitamins, minerals or protein.” Kinne goes onto suggest eating snacks with ‘staying power’ instead, saying “An easy way to do this is by incorporating two food groups, like apples and peanut butter, or yogurt with fruit.”
Yet interestingly, Kinne warns again getting rid of all sweet and “junk” food from diets because this teaches children (and ourselves) to think of foods in terms of “Good” or “Bad.” (It’s this kind of thinking that ‘helped’ me to reach over 450 pounds.) Kinne suggests that we teach children (and ourselves) that it’s okay to have “Treat” foods every now and then, saying, “Then they don’t get obsessed with a certain food because they can’t have it.”
Shape.com agrees that because 100-calorie snack packs are lacking substantial ingredients (such as fiber and protein as mentioned above); they aren’t necessarily going to do the trick in terms of satisfying hunger for the long run. Shape.com goes onto suggest that we check out the ingredients label, which just might scare us off altogether – especially if the snacks contain unhealthy ingredients like hydrogenated oils (AKA ‘trans fat’).
The good news is that not all snack packs are created equal. Some are better than others. For example, Shape.com mentions Sun Chips snack pack, which offers 5 grams of fiber and even some vitamin E.
But even better than searching for a decent 100-calorie snack? Create your own. It’s easier than you think – and there are lots of options. Including Frozen Chocolate-Covered Bananas, Feta & Herb Dip with Crudités, Gorp (a mixture of dried fruit and nuts) and Lemon Parmesan Popcorn. For a list (with pictures and recipes) of 31 different (and super healthy) 100-calorie snack alternatives, click to eatingwell.com.
Photos Source: eatingwell.com
So even though grabbing for the snack packs might seem more convenient, it really can create more hassle and turmoil in the long run. The trick, of course, is planning ahead (meaning doing some prep work over the weekend for the work- and school-week ahead). Not as easy as pulling open a foil bag, but definitely worth the effort in regard to your health and – ultimately – your satisfaction.
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