Friday, November 30, 2012

Cheez-Its: Reduced Fat vs. Regular

On average, I'd say I eat slightly less than one box of Reduced Fat Cheez-Its per week. It's been one of my standard "go to" snacks for as long as I can remember. From experience, I know that not all Cheez-It boxes are created equal, so one day when my Cheez-Its tasted much better than usual, I didn't think anything of it. Then, I looked at the box a little closer:

Blast! I bought regular Cheez-Its by mistake! Well, that explains that.

I've probably told this story on the blog before, but when I was a kid, I mostly drank diet sodas. Then one day, I had a regular soda, and after that life-changing experience, it was years before I could ever go back again to diet sodas. Today I don't drink soda of any kind at home (I do when I'm on vacation), but getting back to the point: diet soda tastes pretty good if that's all you know. But when you have a taste of regular soda, it makes diet soda taste pretty bad by comparison, to the point where one sip of regular soda can pretty much ruin the diet soda experience for you.

And, yeah, pretty much the same thing applies to Cheez-Its. Reduced Fat Cheez-Its still taste okay, but it's not the same. Just like with soda way back in the day, I think I've ruined everything.

Well, while I'm at it, let's see if I can rationalize buying regular Cheez-Its over the reduced fat ones. Sure, it says "reduced fat", but they make up for the reduced fat in part by upping the carb count, such that the caloric savings in the "reduced fat" crackers is only 20 calories a serving, or 15%. It's not like with soda, where the difference in calorie count between regular and diet is, well, 100%. Not only that, but regular Cheez-Its are cheaper than their reduced fat counterparts, too: the boxes cost the same, but regular Cheez-It boxes are an ounce or two larger.

So that caloric difference is small enough for me to justify keeping with the regular Cheez-Its, right? Well, given how often I eat Cheez-Its, maybe not. If I eat 10 servings of Cheez-Its a week - that sounds like a lot, but a typical "serving size" is pretty small with most foods, and like I said, it is one of my "go to" snacks - then opting for reduced fat over regular is a difference of three pounds per year. As in, everything else being equal, I'll weigh three pounds more at this time next year just by switching from reduced fat Cheez-Its to regular Cheez-Its. Wow! Maybe I should go back to reduced fat after all.

Or, how about I continue with the regular Cheez-Its, and just eat them 15% less frequently? You know, I like that idea better.


Jen said...

painfully true (written while sadly eating reduced fat)

Anonymous said...

I bought the reduced fat cheez its for the first time today and I actually prefer them over regular cheez its!