By Rebecca Brown
January 29, 2010

Many popular brands offer some variation of 100-calorie snack packs that claim to be healthy snacks. Are they really?

These snacks can help people who are looking for ways to satisfy their between-meal hunger without losing sight of their healthy diet plan. The options are seemingly endless-you can get cookies, crackers, and even ice cream, but are the 100-calorie snack packs really healthy snacks?

Staying Full on 100-Calorie Snacks

While 100-calorie snack packs are convenient and flavorful, many of them lack nutritionally substantial ingredients, like protein or fiber. Eating snacks that are void of filling ingredients means you're not going to stay satisfied, which could actually lead to overeating.

Portion Control

The whole point of these 100-calorie snack packs is to limit the quantity of crackers or cookies that you consume, but a recent study suggests that this form of portion control doesn't work. The Journal of Consumer Research reported that consumers ate twice as much when products came from small packaging. If you wind up eating more than one bag, then they are no longer beneficial to your healthy diet plan.

Ingredients in 100-Calorie Snacks

You also need to look at what's in 100-calorie snack packs to determine if you should be eating them. In many cases, you're still eating junk food and could be consuming things like partially hydrogenated oil.

Are these 100-Calorie Snacks Good for You?

If you can find a healthy snack pack and limit yourself to eating just one, then the snack is still beneficial. Sun Chips offer a snack pack with 5 grams of fiber and vitamin E. If you're just craving a cookie, try Barbara's Organic 100-Calorie Mini Cookies, which are free of artificial flavors and colors. Don't forget that plenty of fruits and vegetables, like apples or carrot sticks, are healthy snacks with less than 100 calories.

Find a list of healthy snacks on