(National) February 21, 2007 - If you're trying to cut back on calories, then you may have considered those 100-calorie snack packs to help get you through the day.
Those snack packs keep multiplying. There are over a hundred products out on supermarket shelves, at least 45 new ones came out last year alone.
Consumer Reports' Shop Smart just tested nearly a dozen of the most popular. Among them are Oreos Thin Crisps, Doritos Nacho Cheese, and Ritz Chips.
Testers compared the 100-calorie snack packs' nutrition and taste to their regular-sized counterparts. Some of the snacks look pretty much the same.
But Consumer Reports says some of the snacks don't come close in taste or appearance. One tester says, "These Chips Ahoy had barely any chips in them. And the Oreos, well we couldn't find any creamy inside."
Another difference was the price. Consumer Reports says you'll pay for less - more than double per ounce for most of the 100-calorie snack packs and in some cases even more.
So what's the bottom line? Lisa Lee Freeman says, "If it's really tough for you to open up a bag of chips or cookies without devouring the whole thing, then these 100-calorie packs are a great way to control your portion size. And it may be worth spending the extra money on them."
Among the tastiest snacks Consumer Reports' Shop Smart found are the Cheez-It Rite Bites. They are a bit milder than their regular counterpart, but still tasted great.
Another calorie-counting option, the Doritos Minibites taste pretty close to the real thing.
It's worth noting all of the 100-calorie snack packs tested are trans fat free.
More diet and nutrition information can be found in Shop Smart, Consumer Reports' newest magazine. The second edition is just out on newsstands, then bookstores until May 15th.
Reported by Judi Gatson