It seems like a good idea. A healthy option, perhaps.
It seems like a smart, well-thought-out answer to our weight control problem here in the US.
But regardless of how it all ‘seems’… those flimsy little 100-calorie snack packs are only adding to our health problems. They aren’t fixing anything for our society. They aren’t giving us a great solution to a hefty problem… those unfortunate baggies are only acting as a limp bandaid to stop the bleeding for a short time.
“Why aren’t the 100-calorie snacks providing us with a solid fix”, you ask?
Well, these specifically-portioned snack packs are supposedly teaching portion control and awareness of calorie counts in the foods we eat. And while so many health advocates believe that these lessons of portion control and calorie awareness are the solutions to the rampant overeating and fat gain we see all around us… I am in complete disagreement with this reasoning.
I don’t think that people need to spend ANY time whatsoever with learning and memorizing the caloric details of food. There’s no need for them to keep track throughout the day either!
While “too many calories” is a problem in today’s population, it can actually be better described as more of a symptom of something bigger and more problematic.
See, before the last couple decades, we never had to give a second thought to the caloric content of food. It’s not information that was ever necessary to know. And that’s because – before the rise of industry, mass food production and the invention of convenience foods, the type of food we ate was REAL… fresh and close to its original form… and packed with nutrients!
The main issue today is that we are eating the WRONG FOODS. And if we eat the right foods, we won’t have to worry about calories. We won’t have to obsess about portion control.
When we eat real, minimally processed, nutrient dense food, our bodies signal to us when we’ve received enough nutrients (NOT enough calories). When we eat food with empty nutrition, we never get that signal. So, we’ve decided to manually interject the solution of controlling our portions. That might help us to avoid overeating and getting an overabundance of calories… but it doesn’t help us combat the hunger for sufficient nutrients AND it really doesn’t help us to pick up those missing nutrients.
We need to drop the present choice and choose a different food to eat – in order to really “fix” the situation at hand.
A 100-calorie pack contains “fake food”. It encapsulates extremely processed food that is almost completely void of the essential nutrients we need to function well and be healthy. It’s a junk food that doesn’t deserve the right to be used as an everyday nutritious snack. No matter how diligent we are at controlling the portion size.
And, unfortunately, the bulk of our typical food choices follow suit with these snack foods. We are choosing processed, packaged, chemically-enhanced, preservative-filled convenience foods and fast foods over fresh, whole foods.
When we begin refusing to accept the “fake food” in our grocery stores as anything other than an intermittent splurge from our nutrient-dense, fresh, real, whole food choices… When we begin ignoring all the misleading labels that work hard to brainwash us toward believing that processed, fake food is healthy and beneficial… then (and only then) will we beat this obesity epidemic.
Unfortunately, it’ll take a long time to re-educate the public and restructure beliefs about food.
But the good news is… I can at least re-educate YOU and help YOU to make better choices. And then you can spread the word as well. Slow and steady progress is better than no progress at all. Every little bit helps!
Believe me – I’m not advocating that you eat ONLY perfectly healthy foods for the rest of your days. I’m not asking you to shun the processed stuff and the comfort foods. They shouldn’t be off limits forever. I’m saying – choose wisely on a regular basis. Make it a point to make healthy, ‘real food’ choices 90% of the time. Then grab some indulgences every now and again. And when I say indulgences… I’m not referring to the lame snack packs we’ve been discussing.
Those 100-calorie packs are not considered “wise choices” from a nutrient standpoint. So, they don’t need to be included in a healthy eating program. But they also don’t hold a candle to those indulgences that you look forward to after being so consistently healthy! Ha! I say – let’s just ignore those colorful packages on the store shelves. Maybe they’ll go away
Most important lesson from today’s 100-cal snack pack bashing:
It’s not about calories, my friends. It’s about QUALITY!!