It seems that the 100 Calorie Snacks are everywhere today. They are coming with new ones every day and they sound like a great way to lose weight. But do they really help with weight loss? The answer is a surprising Yes and No. It really depends on the kind of snack that you are consuming.
I was in the grocery store the other day and snapped a photo of a snack called smartfood popcorn clusteres. I noticed it because it was a gigantic display at the end of a major aisle that was staring in my face. It was trying very hard to be noticed. Just for the record, when a store does this, it’s for their benefit, not yours. It may be a new product, or a product on sale, but it has a purpose of getting people hooked on the product so they can sell more of them. I think we all know that though. So what is the deal with this product? Well it only has 130 calories, and I’m sure it taste delicious. Even my mouth was watering when I saw it. But after looking at the nutritional information I noticed the 10 grams of sugar in it. So essentially it was 40 calories from sugar and some popcorn. Which translates to 30% of the calories coming from sugar alone. I’m not really sure what’s so smart about this product? You would be much better off with just a 100 calorie serving of popcorn.
So what about 100 calorie snacks. Are they a good idea? If I had to answer that question, I guess it would say it depends on the snack. In all honesty, most 100 calorie snack packs are empty calories. I don’t care if it’s only 100 calories, an Oreo is an Oreo. While it’s great that it’s a smaller portion, it’s still empty calories. Now, I will admit, I like the idea of a 100 calorie snack. In fact, I have several clients that have 100 calorie snacks built into their nutrition program. It needs to be nutritious though. When you consume things that are not nutrient dense, your body really isn’t able to use it to benefit you. Your body processes 100 calories of Oreos a lot different than a 100 calorie apple. So with that being said, let me give you a list of my favorite 100 calorie snacks I’ve collected over time:
- 2 tablespoons of hummus with 12 baby carrots
- 1 cup of nonfat or 1% cottage cheese
- 2 large graham cracker squares and 1 teaspoon peanut butter
- 2/3 cup plain, fat-free yogurt
- 10 almonds
- 10 cashews
- 1/2 small apple and 2 teaspoons peanut butter
- 1 string cheese
- 1 ounce tuna salad with 3 saltines
- 1 hard boiled egg
- 1 apple
- 1 small banana
- 1/2 cup of cucumber slices, 6 celery sticks, 6 slices of sweet red pepper, 1/2 cup of raw broccoli florets, 2 tablespoons of low fat ranch dressing
- 1 cup of Romaine Lettuce torn into bite size pieces, 3 cherry tomatoes, and 3 cucumber slices (diced) with 2 tablespoons of tortilla strips and 1 1/2 tablespoons of low fat ranch dressing.
- 1 slice of bread, 2 oz of turkey, some mustard and lettuce
- 1 glass of non-sweet iced tea, lemon wedges, laughing cow original swiss cheese, and 7 wheat thins.
- 1/2 cup of frozen blackberries, blueberries, or raspberries heated and topped with 2 tablespoons of fat free cool whip
It’s a great idea to have 100 calorie snacks, but make sure the snacks you are choosing are good for you too.