The 100 calorie snack food has come in just about everything from Oreo’s to Rice Krispie treats. These appear to be a great alternative for those who want a little something, but not over indulge.
There is a central problem with these foods. If you are trying to lose weight, then you want to have foods that will be used as fuel and not stored as fat. With highly processed foods- like these snack treats -they are quickly stored as fat – and not used by the body as fuel.
This has to do with something called the Glycemic Index. The Glycemic Index is a measure of how fast a particular item raises blood sugar. The faster a food raises blood sugar the more likely it will be stored as fat, and not used as fuel.
Take an apple– it will slowly digest, with a minimal rise in blood sugar. This allows the body to use the apple as fuel over time, instead of getting a BURST of sugar in the bloodstream. The apple has fiber – or bulk – which means it will suppress the appetite for a longer period of time.
When you eat something like an Oreo- even if it is a few with 100 calories- the blood sugar will rapidly rise. The pancreas produces insulin to move the sugar into the fat cells. If the pancreas over produces insulin, it can cause the blood sugar to drop. And if your blood sugar drops, it doesn’t feel well — so the next thing to make you feel better— another cookie. There is a reason it is called “junk food junkie.”
So instead of those highly processed 100 calorie snacks– look to something that is just as portable, but doesn’t cause that rapid rise in blood sugar– think of a fruit– like an apple. Your body is more likely to use it as fuel, and it will keep your appetite satisfied much longer than a cookie or other treat.
If you want to lose weight– start by changing from highly processed foods and moving snacks to fruits and vegetables.
Dr. Terry Simpson
Dr. Terry Simpson received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago where he spent several years in the Kovler Viral Oncology laboratories doing genetic engineering. He found he liked people more than petri dishes, and went to medical school. Dr. Simpson, a weight loss surgeon is an advocate of culinary medicine. The first surgeon to become certified in Culinary Medicine, he believes teaching people to improve their health through their food and in their kitchen. On the other side of the world, he has been a leading advocate of changing health care to make it more "relationship based," and his efforts awarded his team the Malcolm Baldrige award for healthcare in 2011 for the NUKA system of care in Alaska and in 2013 Dr Simpson won the National Indian Health Board Area Impact Award. A frequent contributor to media outlets discussing health related topics and advances in medicine, he is also a proud dad, husband, author, cook, and surgeon “in that order.” For media inquiries, please visit www.terrysimpson.com.