With your kids back in school or you swamped at the office, you may find yourself out of options for a snack and stop at the vending machine. When you have just a few minutes for a bite to eat and are starving, what should you choose?
The following are a few of the healthiest options in vending machines as well as the top foods to avoid.
Healthiest Vending Machine Foods
Trail mix and nuts
Nuts and trail mix offer a boost of protein, fiber, and healthy fats to keep you full. Look for portion-sized peanut and almond packs and trail mix varieties heavy on unsalted nuts and dried fruit.
Many single serving granola bars are under 200 calories and contain some type of whole grain, such as flax or oats, as well as nuts, which deliver a healthy dose of protein and fiber. Be sure to look at the nutrition label; some granola bars are very high in sugar and carbs.
Plain popcorn provides whole grains, fiber, and antioxidants for a delicious, low-calorie snack. Look for popcorn varieties that are air-popped with low salt, avoiding kettle corn and other varieties with excess butter and/or sugar.
Most people mistake feelings of hunger for dehydration. If it's been less than three hours since your last meal and your stomach isn't growling, skip the soda, which will only make you thirstier. Instead, satisfy your urge with water.
Unhealthiest Vending Machine Foods
Pre-packaged pastries and cookies
Packaged apple pies, cinnamon rolls, toaster pastries and chocolate chip cookies aren't fresh and contain anywhere from 250-350 calories each. The refined carbs and added sugars won't keep you full for very long and may even lead to a sugar crash. Most pre-packaged vending machine goods also contain corn syrup and added preservatives to extend their shelf life.
Typically the candy in vending machines is pure concentrated sugar, full of preservatives, flavors and artificial colors. Similar to the pre-packaged pastry goods, most vending machine candy won't keep you full and will lead to a sugar crash and even more sugar cravings.
Sipping on soda instead of water leads to an intake of extra sugar and empty calories, packing on pounds without satisfying your thirst. The sugar in soda is also bad for oral health and may lead to increased cavities. Steer clear of sports drinks and sweetened teas as well.
Amarillo personal trainer Ralph Roberts works with individuals from all walks of life to help them get fit and healthy. From advising workout routines to snacking choices, he'll assist you with every aspect of your health. Contact Ralph today for a free personal training session!
Instead of eating from the vending machine, make sure to always have these healthy staples on hand!
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