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Are 100-Calorie Packs Healthy?

100-calorie packs are great for portion control in weight loss, but the types of food that normally come in 100-calorie packs are mostly cakes, cookies, chips, and other products with redefined sugar content and little or no nutritional value. And, they typically lack hunger-controlling ingredients, such as fiber, protein and healthy fats.

This means that they won’t control your hunger for long and may lead to higher consumption of calories throughout the rest of the day. A handful of nuts or a piece of fruit would be a healthier alternative, while helping to stave off hunger, providing key nutrients like fiber and healthy fats.

Although the labels on these snack packs claim “0 grams of trans fats" many of the products still contain hydrogenated oil the prime source of trans fats. Legally, manufacturers can label products as trans-fat-free if they contain less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. However, if you can’t control your eating when faced with the full-sized version of the products, eating only one of the snack packs wouldn’t harm your diet or weight-loss goals.

Some healthier alternatives to the 100-Calorie Snack Packs include:

- 4 ounces of low-fat cottage cheese

- 1 ounce of raisins, 8 ounces of skim milk latte

- 3 cups of air-popped popcorn

- 8 small rectangles of graham crackers

- 1 ounces of thin pretzel sticks

- 5 pieces of celery with 1 tbsp of peanut butter

- 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce

- a small apple with 2 ounces of low-fat cheese

- 10 baby carrots with 1/4 cup of hummus

- a handful (1 ounce) of peanuts, a handful (one ounce) of raw almonds

- 6 ounces of low-fat yogurt

- 12 tortilla chips with 1/2 cup of salsa

- 10 whole-wheat Ritz crackers with 1/2 tbsp. of peanut butter 

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