100 calorie snack packs are gaining in popularity. They’re easy to grab on the go when you just need something sweet or salty but don’t want to ruin your diet. The convenient prepackaged cookies and crackers have only 100 calories and are low in fat so should not be too bad for your health. However, many of them (especially the cookies) have 2 to 2 ½ teaspoons of sugar in one package. They also tend to have high fructose corn syrup as one of the ingredients. High fructose corn syrup is believed to be worse for a person then regular table sugar because it is metabolized differently in the body. Another problem with these snacks is the price. They are definitely more expensive then the regular boxes of cookies and crackers. A box of 5 or 6 packages tends to be $2.50 or $3.00 when on sale. Normally a box cost $4.00 or $5.00. This is money that many people just can’t afford. That said, these snacks can satisfy a craving for a quick snack in a pinch without completely derailing your diet.
A better idea, if you have the time is to make your own 100 calorie snacks. They don’t necessarily have to be fruits and vegetables, although those are excellent option. You can still have cookies and crackers, simply look at the nutrition label and measure out how much would equal 100 calories. Try to avoid cheating and adding another cookie or a few more chips to your plate as this will defeat the purpose of the 100 calorie snacks. Fruits, nuts, cheese, meat, grains and vegetables can all be part of 100 calorie snacks. At first you’ll be constantly looking up calorie content and measuring how much a serving is but after awhile you will learn and be able to fix a snack with about 100 calories with ease. For instance a 100 calorie serving equals about 10 nuts or 2 ounces of lean meat. The palm of your hand is about 3 ounces. The last digit on your thumb is the size of about a tablespoon. When measuring things in strips like string cheese, your forefinger is about the size a single ounce.
If you have to get snacks on the go, keep in mind that restaurants tend to serve 2 to 3 servings for each dish rather then a single serving so it can be easy to overindulge. You may want to separate the food on your plate and only eat a portion, taking the rest home in a doggy bag. This is especially true for sweet deserts. Also, vending machines are the bane of diets. Avoid them whenever possible. I have never seen vending machines with fruit in them and anything else is definitely way over 100 calories.