These days, it seems as if every snack now comes in a handy 100-calorie pack. But it's important to keep your skinny snacks low in fat and low in calories, not just one or the other.
The experts at Consumer Reports put some skinny snacks to the test by sampling dozens of lower-fat treats and their comparatively high-fat counterparts. What they found are a variety of lower-fat, lower calorie treats that won't compromise your sweet tooth.
Whether it's chips, granola or cheese that satisfies your midday munchies, Consumer Reports has found the brands for your health-minded lifestyle. Plus, many of these snacks are easy on your wallet as well as your waistline.
Consumer Reports senior projects editor Mandy Walker stopped by "Good Morning America" to share some of the magazines favorite lower calorie treats.
"We tasted 60 different products that are lower calorie," she said. "We have the winners that are worth a try."
Check out the Consumer Reports Web site for more details and pick up the November issue for more lower fat snacks.
Ritz Reduced Fat crackers:This classic cracker is the most budget-friendly, costing only 15 cents per serving. Not only that, but they go easy on your diet, packing 70 calories and 2 grams of fat per serving.
"A nice buttery flavor," Walker said.
Triscuit Reduced Fat Crackers: Try this cracker that tacks on only 3 grams of fat and 140 calories per serving.
Kashi TLC Original 7 Grain:If you're looking to add some grain to your diet, then try these. At 130 calories and 2 grams of fat, it's a great way to put some good grains in your body for only 37 cents per serving.
Special K Multi-Grain: This grain cracker goes even easier on you, with 2 grams of fat, and 90 calories at 57 cents per serving.
Cracker Barrel White Sharp Cheddar With 2 Percent Milk: It's tough to find cheese that isn't loaded with fat. Instead of the whole fat, opt for the 2 percent reduced fat Vermont cheddar, which drops the calorie count on the food label to 90 calories. Plus, there are only 6 grams of fat and 3.5 grams of saturated fat in this lighter version. And don't fret the price tag -- this healthy option costs 47 cents per serving.
Sargento Cheddar 2 Percent Milk: Another healthy option if white cheddar doesn't satisfy your taste for cheese, this cheddar packs a modest 80 calories with 6 grams of fat and 4 grams of saturated fat, and costs 46 cents per serving.
"Our tasters found they were smooth and flavorful," Walker said.
Skinny Snacks from Consumer Reports
Pringles Original 100 Calorie Pack Potato Crisps: For calorie counters with a salt tooth, this snack limits your portion for a mere 46 cents, and has 5 grams of fat and 1.5 grams of saturated fat.
Ruffles Reduced Fat Potato Chips: This reduced fat alternative packs just as much flavor as its traditional counterpart, but adds only 140 calories, 7 grams of fat and 1 gram of saturated fat for 44 cents.
Walker says tasters found both of these to be "nice and crunchy and salty."
They're great if you're craving a snack, she said.
Quaker Chewy Low Fat Chocolate Chunks: These granola bars allow you to sneak in a little chocolate into your snacking for 34 cents per serving. This bar has 90 calories and 2 grams of fat and .5 grams of saturated fat.
Kashi TLC Chewy Honey Almond Flax: This bar is sure to go easy on the stomach with 140 calories, 5 grams of fat, and .5 grams of saturated fat while costing 75 cents per serving.
Chex Mix Traditional: There's no reason to opt for the reduced-fat version of Chex Mix when the traditional brand only adds 110 calories, 3 grams of fat and .5 grams of saturated fat for 30 cents.
"Nice flavorful seasoning," Walker said.
Smart Food Popcorn Clusters, Chocolate Cookie, Caramel Pecan: If you're looking for a mix of sweet and salty that doesn't pack the pounds, try this 70 cents per serving snack that has 120 calories, 2 grams of fat and no saturated fat.
If you lean towards sweeter snacks, Consumer Reports suggests Jell-O Fat Free chocolate pudding or The Skinny Cow Low Fat Vanilla Chocolate Combo ice cream sandwiches.
And whatever the snack, remember to observe the serving size.
"Whatever they're saving you," Walker cautioned, "you multiply it if you eat the whole pack."