I've been hearing these things demonized since my very first day that I found Jimmy Moore's LLVLC forum. All these months later I understand that this is rooted in the firmly held belief that calories must be irrelevant to the whole equation. Lately there's a 100 Calorie Strawman being erected out there in low carb land -- this notion that somehow these 100 Calorie Packs are "healthy". This is absurd, IMO. I don't know a single person, regardless of dietary philosophy who believes that taking any food and repackaging it into 100 calorie portions will alter it's inherent healthfulness in any way. And certainly if someone has an imperative reason for avoiding an ingredient (e.g. celiacs), there's no such thing as "moderation". But even Dr. Rosedale says that he'll eat bread from time to time, although he's quite a bit more dramatic in what he considers the risk to his longevity to be. If anything, packaging some of these snacks into 100 calorie portions is somewhat of an admission that they may not be all that healthy (so does that also apply to the almonds?) in portions one is likely to consume from a "Party size" bag of the stuff. The point behind these things, that somehow the LC community seems to miss, is that the portion size is pre-measured in a nice round small calorie amount. If you have issues with portion control, they can be a good thing. Also, I'm sure there are lots of singles in my audience. If you buy a whole large bag of chips, it's eat them or they go stale, I don't care how good the chip clip is. Now, I prefer the little lunch-size packs if I'm going to eat this stuff, but it's all about finding ways to enjoy whatever it is you're doing without going overboard.
Now, let me also say that I haven't tried most of these snacks. If I'm going to eat Doritos or Oreos or whatever, I'd rather have two Oreos or however many Doritos makes 100 cals than these puffed up mini cookies and chips barely resembling the real deal. And, like I said, I think the small lunch packs are a better deal.
But I've discovered a 100 cal snack that may well fit into the diets of many here. I'm talking about Orville Redenbacher's Smart Pop 100 cal mini-bags microwave popcorn. I know I know ... corn is a grain! Yikers! But here's the rundown for 6.5 cups of popped corn: 100 calories of which 15 are from fat (2g), 220 mg sodium, 280 mg potassium, 24g total carb - 4g fiber = 20g carb and 3 g protein. Sounds almost traditional Pima ratios there ;-) And now for the ingredients: Popping corn, palm oil , less than 2% of salt, potassium chloride, natural and artificial flavor, butter (cream, annatto), color added, TBHQ and citric acid. OK, not 100% paleo either, but if Mark Sisson can convince y'all that maltodextrin is OK in moderation, then I'm going to do my darndest to convince you that the teeny bit of artificial flavor and TBHQ should not put you off. And besides, that TBHQ might just be the next supplement promoted by Leptin Man! After all, TBHQ stands for tertiary butylhydroquinone, which is an antioxidant!! Read: ROS scavenger.
OK ... tongue out of cheek. You can get two dozen of these at Costco for a song, they make a great snack, satisfy my occasional craving for crunch, and heck IF you're really hungry have two! I don't see much in these essentially whole kernels of corn and palm oil that's so damning. Heck, they even fit into low carb plans. I suppose hot air popped corn would be better, but I'm not about to make room for another gadget in my kitchen. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: This product contains starch. This post is not medical or dietary advice. Consult your physician to determine if it is safe to consume popcorn before trying this at home.