What 100 Calories Really Looks Like

You can absolutely snack and still lose weight. In fact, the right snacks can help keep your fuel your day while crushing those between-meal cravings. But here’s the thing; what you choose to munch on drastically affects how much of it you can eat and how satisfied you’ll feel afterwards. When comparing 100 calories worth of different types of snacks, it is clear that not all calories are created equal.

Think about it; you can have three tablespoons of ice cream that tastes like pistachios or you can chomp on 25 actual pistachios. Both contain about 100 calories yet the whole pistachios are healthier, provide more nutrients and leave you feeling fuller for longer. We’ve put together this guide so that you can compare 100 calorie portions of different snack foods in order to make the healthiest choice for your Nutrisystem program.

Check out this handy infographic to learn what 100 calories really looks like:

100 calories

Now read on for the details about these smarter snacks!

1. Strawberries vs. Fruit Leather Roll


Strawberries: 2 cups

Fruit Leather Roll: 1 large

On Nutrisystem: 1 cup whole strawberries = 1 SmartCarb

Bright, juicy strawberries are packed with vitamin C and belly-filling fiber says Healthline. While fruit leathers and fruit snacks with the same flavor may be convenient, they don’t offer the same nutritional benefits and often contain added sugar. Opt for the real deal when a sweet craving hits. If you love the idea of an on-the-go leather, use fresh strawberries to make your own healthy version. Try this delicious recipe: Strawberry Kiwi Fruit Leather >

2. Popcorn vs. Potato Chips

100 calories

Popcorn: 3 cups

Potato Chips: 15 chips

On Nutrisystem: 1 cup plain popcorn = 1 Extra

You say you’ll stop at just a few. But once you start chomping down on salty potato chips, your good intentions go out the window. All it takes is a measly 15 chips to set you back 100 calories, plus a whole bunch of extra fat. With popcorn, you don’t need to test your restraint. If you think popcorn is boring, think again! Check out Four Ways to Pump Up Your Popcorn >

3. Apple vs. Individual Apple Pie

100 calories

Apple: 1 medium

Individual Apple Pie: 1/3 of a pie

On Nutrisystem: 1 medium apple = 1 SmartCarb

You get maybe two bites of an individual apple pie before you hit 100 calories. Pick the actual fruit for a snack and you get to eat the whole kit and kaboodle. Keep the skin on for more fiber. It will fill you up fast and leave your belly feeling satisfied for longer. Try making these Air Fryer Apple Chips >

4. Grapes vs. Jelly Beans

100 calories

Grapes: 60

Jelly Beans: 10

On Nutrisystem: 1 cup (about 40) grapes = 1 SmartCarb

That’s right—you get 50 more grapes than jelly beans (which are pretty much all sugar anyway). Go with red or black grapes for the sweetest flavor and weight loss benefit. Healthline explains that Resveratrol, an antioxidant found in grapes, has been shown to provide protection against cancer and heart disease and lower blood glucose levels. Freeze your grapes for a refreshing treat that tastes like candy or try this Lean, Green, Grape Machine Smoothie >

5. Sliced Peppers vs. French Fries

100 calories

Sliced Peppers: 4 cups

French Fries: 1 kids’ size

On Nutrisystem: 1 cup raw bell peppers = 1 Vegetable

Sure, sliced red peppers may lack the salty bite of fast-food fries. However, the vitamins, minerals, satisfying crunch and sheer volume you can eat for 100 calories makes up for it. Add some flavor by dipping your pepper slices in a yummy dip like this Artichoke Basil Hummus >

6. Baby Carrots vs. Crunchy Cheese Twists

100 calories

Baby Carrots: 30

Crunchy Cheese Twists: 12 twists

On Nutrisystem: 1 cup raw carrots = 1 Vegetable

They share a hue and are heavy on crunch. However, you can eat more than double the amount of baby carrots than you can of unhealthy twists. According to Healthline, studies show that carrots may help lower cholesterol and improve eye health. They are also a good source of fiber and antioxidants. Carrots are delicious raw or cooked. Check out this recipe for Honey Balsamic Glazed Carrots >

7. Salsa vs. Guacamole

100 calories

Salsa: 18 tablespoons (about 1 ¼ cups)

Guacamole: 3 ¼ tablespoons

On Nutrisystem: Salsa = Free Food

Don’t get us wrong; avocados have earned superfood status. They provide healthy fats, fiber and potassium but are quite high in calories. It’s important to watch your portions as only one tablespoon of avocado counts as one Extra on Nutrisystem. A lot of pre-packaged guac also comes with added saturated fats that you want to avoid. So, if you’re looking to dip a bunch of veggie sticks, consider lower-calorie salsa as a higher-volume alternative. Learn how to make your own delicious salsa here >

8. Blueberries vs. Fruit Flavored Candies


Blueberries: 1 ¼ cups

Fruit Flavored Candies: 1/8 cup

On Nutrisystem: 1 cup blueberries = 1 SmartCarb

Both of these little brightly-colored gems provide a pop of sweetness. However, you get more than an extra cup worth of fresh berries to fill your belly. You also get a healthy dose of antioxidants to help keep your heart and brain healthy says Healthline. Check out these 10 Tasty Blueberry Recipes >

9. Banana vs. Chocolate Chip Cookie


Banana: 1 medium

Chocolate Chip Cookie: 1 ½ cookie

On Nutrisystem: 1 medium banana = 1 SmartCarb

Granted these may not be an obvious pairing for comparison, but when one is sitting in a bowl on your countertop and the other in a jar right next to it, which do you go for? Preferably the yellow-skinned sweet and creamy option. According to Healthline, bananas are packed with heart-healthy potassium, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

When you’re not snacking on this healthy fruit, try these ideas: 10 Banana Recipes You’ll Go Bananas For >

*All calories per serving provided are from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

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