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Living Well In Yalobusha County

100 Calorie Packs: Are They Really A Good Choice?

By Pamela Redwing

I like to snack.  There I’ve said it.  Sometimes, I am just in the mood for chips or cookies.   I have been guilty of buying the 100 calorie snacks.  I figure I can’t do much harm with only 100 calories!  However, often those little packets just tease me.  There is barely enough in them to satisfy my sweet tooth, much less my growling stomach!  Then I am tempted to open another 100 calorie snack!  
Trying to eat healthy doesn’t have to be this agonizing.  It is all about making smart choices, and not trying to “cheat” the system.  According to Communicating Food for Health monthly newsletter, “To consume 100 calories of celery, you would have to eat over 1 pound or 21 ounces to be exact. But if you choose potato chips, you would get a measly 12 chips or about 3/4 ounce chips for the same 100 calories.
While the 100 calorie packs of high-calorie foods are good for portion control awareness, perhaps choosing these snacks often, instead of better choices like fruits and vegetables, may not be the best bet.
A healthful snack should provide more of the things you need like fiber, nutrients and satiety and less of the things most individuals don’t need like sugar, fat, salt and high calorie density.  Which is more easy to eat in one sitting – 21 ounces of celery or 12 potato chips?
Chances are, if a food needs to be packaged in a 100 -calorie serving, it might not be the best choice for an all-the-time snack.
The chart shows you the quantity of each food if you choose to eat just 100 calories.  The foods at the top, like celery, nonfat light yogurt, carrots, oranges, apples, grapes and bananas are the best choices because you get to eat more.  They also have more fiber, nutrients and moisture content.  And less fat, sugar salt and sodium.  They are generally much lower in cost per ounce, too.
Better still, the foods at the top count towards important servings of fruits, vegetables and nonfat dairy as recommended by MyPyramid and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  For More Information, see
Article Source: Communicating Food For Health: September 2008


100 Calorie              Grams
Servings:               per serving:
15 Stalks of Celery           600
9 oz light nonfat yogurt     255
2 cups carrots                    244
1.6 oranges                       209
1.5 apples                         207
1 cup grapes                          151
1 banana                                118
1/2 donut                               42
1/2 blueberry muffin                 36
1/3 chocolate chip bagel           33
2 fig cookies                            31
1.75 graham crackers               23
3/4 oz crackers                         22
2 chocolate cookies               22
.75 oz potato chips                21

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