Snacks sold in boxes of 100 calorie packs have been the rage for calorie-conscious eaters. After all, having one of those packs to reach for takes the guesswork out of how many calories your indulgence will rack up, which makes watching what you eat a lot more convenient. Nevertheless, the benefits of choosing to buy snacks sold in these packs may not be so cut-and-dried.
Convenient Packs Don't Change the Nutritional Content
While having 100 calorie packs of your favorite snack is an easy way to show you what size portion you can eat to ingest only 100 calories, the packs change nothing about the nutritional content of the snacks. For one, your snack may still be a complete indulgence without the added advantages of any vitamins, minerals, fiber, proteins or other such nutritional benefits. A piece of fruit or a vegetable may have 100 calories or less and have the added benefit of giving you adequate nutrition.
Your snack may still be too high in sugar, fat, carbohydrates or sodium as well, even if you're eating only 100 calories. Make sure to pay close attention to the serving sizes and the nutritional value chart so that you don't eat unhealthy snacks too consistently simply because they're available in 100 calorie servings.
The Small Portion Size May Not Fill You Up
The drawback of 100 calorie packs is that the portion size is usually incredibly small. While this can prove beneficial if it shows you how many more calories you must be eating if you eat your usual amount of the snack, it also makes overindulging a little too tempting. If you don't feel satisfied after eating your 100 calories' worth, you may reach for another pack and then another pack. By doing so, you defeat the purpose of buying the snack in a box of packs. If you are going to purchase snacks in 100 calorie packs, make sure that you're committed to eating no more than one pack at a time.
When the Packs May Be a Good Idea
So long as you stick to your promise to eat no more than one pack at a time, snacks that are available in packs of 100 calories can prove beneficial. While there are usually healthier snacks out there, such as fruit, vegetables and yogurt, some of these pack snacks are rich in nutrients. For example, if you get packs of wheat crackers, you may be getting a good amount of fiber or you may ingest some protein by eating 100 calories' worth of nuts. Some snacks are also nutritionally fortified with vitamins and minerals or are made from healthier alternatives, such as whole grains and soy.
If you're going to indulge anyway, 100 calorie packs are the best way to go because if you eat only one pack, you won't be overdoing your indulgence. However, remember that many of these snacks have little to no nutritional value and may still be high in other negative content, so don't make these snack packs a consistent part of your diet unless they have other added benefits.