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Potato chips are just one kind of food that’s now being offered as a mid-calorie snack. PHOTO/STOCK PHOTO

By Megan Fu
Buffalo Grove

Say goodbye to all the tasteless, no-fat, low-calorie food products in your kitchen and say hello to new mid-calorie ones. Following in the footsteps of soda companies such as Pepsi and Dr. Pepper that introduced mid-calorie drinks earlier this year, other brands such as Edy’s ice cream, Hershey’s chocolate and Lay’s potato chips are beginning to offer their own mid-calorie products.

Edy’s Slow Churned ice cream has half the fat and one-third the calories as original ice cream and still tastes great to fans. “It’s better than real ice cream,” said Jillian Lynch, a senior at Buffalo Grove. “The consistency is better.”
If you’re looking to eat a serving size of ice cream without having to worry about the calories and fat you’re taking in, then Edy’s Slow Churned may be the perfect fit.

But even though Edy’s ice cream does have fewer calories and half the fat, registered dietitian Tom Jordan said he doesn’t recommend anyone eating it all the time.

“(Mid-calorie ice cream) justifies eating ice cream,” Jordan said. “I think that if someone is going to eat ice cream—one cup of ice cream—I would prefer that they eat the mid-calorie ice cream over the full fat. But if they’re going to eat it more frequently because it’s low-calorie, then it does defeat the purpose of the reduced fat.”

Lay’s also came out with two new Kettle Cooked chip flavors in July. Both flavors, Smokehouse BBQ and Sun-Dried Tomato & Parmesan, have 40 percent less fat than the original Lay’s.

Hershey’s also introduced Simple Pleasures chocolate, which has 30 percent less fat. With 30 fewer calories per serving, it makes chocolate lovers feel slightly less guilty about consuming their favorite treat.

What’s important to remember, though, is that just because these products are better than the full-fat, full-calorie products, going out of your way to eat ice cream, chips or chocolate more often will detract from the whole idea, Jordan said.

It’s all about moderation, and what it comes down to is while these are better options, they shouldn’t serve as a reason for eating more of what is still essentially junk food, he said.

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Maura Wall Hernandez is digital editor of The Mash.

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