By Marianne Favro
KNTV/NBC News Channel
Does this sound familiar? You have the munchies, and grab one of those 100-calorie snack packs you find on store shelves everywhere. They are small and convenient and are marketed as low calorie snacks.
More and more people are saying mini-size me with tiny versions of their favorite chips, cookies and crackers, but will they help you lose weight?
San Jose State Nutrition Professor Dr. Marjorie Freedman said, "Reducing caloric intake is always a good idea important for weight loss and if somebody cannot control the amount they consume in a very large package, certainly that can be a benefit to some people."
However, Freedman says the ingredients in the mini versions may be different than the originals. 10 of these snack pack cookies have less fat than one cookie.
Freedman said, "If you're looking for the real thing you will not get it in the 100 calorie pack."
Which means your snack may not satisfy you.
"It may actually backfire by somebody consuming the 100 calorie pack and realizing they really weren't satisfied and then go and consume the Oreo and then end up with twice as many calories," Freedman said.
Don't assume all snack packs are just 100 calories. You really need to read the label. While the calorie count of these products is low, the price is high. If you buy a big bag of M&Ms, count out 27 and put them in a baggy they'll cost you about 20 cents an ounce.
However, if you buy a snack pack containing the same amount of candy you'll end up paying 70 cents an ounce more than three times as much. Dr. Freedman says you're better off spending your 100 calories on much cheaper and more nutritional fruit.
Freedman said, "I'd actually recommend somebody grabbing an apple, grabbing a banana, having some grapes, having an orange. Because they will feel much more satisfied at a lower calorie cost and most likely a lower economic cost as well."
If you love the convenience of the 100 calorie packs, Freedman said Fig Newtons, Wheat Thins and Goldfish are your best bets the next time you have a snack attack.
NBC News Channel