Is this a good method, or are there better methods?
It's your project (and you've described very little of it) so only you can answer that question.
Will this likely reduce the processor load for monitoring the chips?
Both methods count pulses over a time span. The interrupt method runs "in the background" allowing your Sketch to do other work between pulses. Your method blocks while counting so your Sketch will not be able to do other work between pulses.
In other words, neither method necessarily reduces the processor load.
I've read that interrupt methods like the one in the tutorial don't leave much processor time for much else.
That depends entirely on how the sensor is configured and the light intensity. Obviously, in total darkness that statement is simply wrong.
I suggest you describe what you are trying to accomplish rather than giving implementation details.