Obesity Weekly

A weekly update about some aspect of Obesity. Published Monday mornings

100 Calorie Snack Alternatives

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One of the growing segments of the refined food market is the appearance of the 100 calorie snacks. Nabisco has several options for 100 calorie snacks they would like you to consume on a regular basis. They are 100 calories, but not particularly nutritious and are much more expensive than making your own 100 calorie snacks. Good Housekeeping has a list of 100 calorie snacks that are “healthy” but if you look at the list, they are all pre-packaged items. One rule of thumb that is important to remember in building a sustainable healthy lifestyle is “if it comes in a colorful packaged container, there is a better alternative available.”

For example, one of the items on the Good Housekeeping list is Motts apple sauce. While I think that this is a better alternative than the fudgsicles or the south beach diet bar, which are also on the GH list, why eat apple sauce when you can eat an apple? During processing to apple sauce about half the dietary fiber is lost. A high dietary fiber content produces a greater satiety effect (the feeling of fullness) and delays gastric emptying (making the feeling of fullness last longer). With apple sauce you are limited to the flavors that manufacturer produces, while with apples you can try different varieties until you find the ones that you like the best. Find a local produce store you trust and ask one of the people in produce for a sample. While the packaged sauce can seem like a convenient snack, it is no more convenient that an actual apple.

If you cut up your own vegetables, e.g. celery, peppers or cucumbers, an almost unlimited amount of these can be consumed. It would take over 2 pounds to give you 100 calories of these green vegetables. Carrots are a little higher in calories, but if you get the normal carrots, not the baby carrots, you can decrease the total calorie intake since some effort is required to prepare the carrot. These alternatives are all less expensive than the pre-packaged stuff. Of course, you could buy these already prepared at the store, but go out of your way to get the stuff in its most natural form and prepare it yourself. It plays a part in building a healthy lifestyle.




Written by ecable

April 13, 2009 at 5:00 am

Posted in Health

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