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The truth about 100 calorie packs


Nabisco's new 100 calorie Oreo thin crisps

100-calorie packs were introduced in 2006 and took the dieting world by storm. These tiny packs of delectable foods which include cookies, chips, crackers, muffins, doughnuts, and even candy gives dieters a way to indulge in their favorite snacks while still controlling portion sizes. But, are these little snacks really good for you to be eating, even in small portions?

First off, by taking a look at the nutrition facts it is apparent that many of these 100-calorie packs contain high fructose corn syrup. This ingredient is one that makes once healthy foods unhealthy.

Originally much of the sugar that people consumed was sucrose, which is derived from sugar beets or sugar cane. This type of sugar molecule when consumed stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin, which helps the body convert the sugar into energy. Over the past few years, high fructose corn syrup has become more popular in food products, because it isn’t quite as costly to produce, extends the shelf life of products, and is much more easily dissolved in water.

However, high fructose corn syrup does not stimulate the body to produce insulin like sucrose does. Instead, it can alter magnesium in the body leading to bone loss, elevate levels of triglycerides causing heart disease, and when enough is consumed, since the body cannot break down these molecules like sucrose, it can possibly lead to added fat on the body.

These snacks may be a quick delicious treat, but they’re also not meant to control hunger. They lack the hunger-fighting nutrients, which are essential fats, protein, and fiber. This lack of ingredients can cause people to crave more snacks and overindulge. Instead, by choosing options like 3 cups of popcorn, 2 whole graham crackers, or 48 pretzel sticks (all options are 100 calories or less) you can ward off hunger, because these options contain those essential ingredients and have better nutritional value as an added bonus!

Finally, 100-calorie packs are not the best alternative for our ever declining economy.  Each box costs slightly more than $3.00 and only contains 6 small packets. For this price you could get a large bag of the same chips or cookies with much more food. By buying the same delicious treats in larger bags and taking the time to measure the proper portions you can actually help save yourself some big money!

Myth buster: Eating before bedtime will cause you to gain weight.
False: Many people have heard that eating before bedtime is bad, because you don’t burn off those calories while your sleeping. This is untrue. Your body does still burn calories at rest. Also, as long as what you’re eating fits into your diet plan (click here to see how many calories your body needs) you will not gain weight.


  • Audrae Erickson 5 years ago

    High fructose corn syrup may have a complicated-sounding name, but it’s simply a kind of corn sugar that is nutritionally the same as table sugar.

    The American Medical Association in June 2008 helped put to rest misunderstandings about this sweetener and obesity, stating that “high fructose syrup does not appear to contribute to obesity more than other caloric sweeteners.”

    High fructose corn syrup has a similar effect on insulin response compared to sugar.

    High fructose corn syrup is not sweeter than sugar; and high fructose corn syrup, sugar and honey all contain the same number of calories (four calories per gram).

    Like table sugar and honey, high fructose corn syrup contains no artificial or synthetic ingredients or color additives.

    Consumers can see the latest research and learn more about high fructose corn syrup at

    Audrae Erickson
    Corn Refiners Association

  • Meghan Hable 5 years ago

    Thank you Audrae for your comment, however if you read my article thoroughly you will find that I never stated that high fructose corn syrup causes obesity. I did state that it MAY add to extra fat on the body, however this is still a contoversial subject. I wanted to reiterate that, because it seems you were trying to debate a point I never made.

    You also state high fructose corn syrup has a "similar" effect on insulin that sugar does. Yes this is true, they are similar, but not the same.

    According to an article published in April 2009 (more current than the article you listed) by lead by the American Heart Association states "Now, a new study published this week in the Journal of Clinical Investigation reveals that fructose-sweetened beverages can impair how the body clears blood sugar and handles fat - detrimental effects that can increase the risk of heart disease and heart attack."