How To: Eat healthy from vending machines

Eat healthy from vending machines

Sometimes it's hard to find the time to watch your diet. When you're in a rush, you'll eat whatever you can. Many people grab snacks without considering food quality. But there are healthy vending options.

You Will Need

*A vending machine
*Nutrition information
*Good judgment

Step 1: Choose a snack

Do you want something salty? Crunchy? Sweet? Decide which type of snack you're craving to make sure your choice will satisfy you.

Step 2: Pick a slim salty

If it's salt you're after, go for peanuts or beef jerky. Though high in calories, nuts provide the good kind of fat, monounsaturated, and their protein will make you feel fuller longer. Beef jerky is also high in protein. Just be aware that both treats are high in sodium.

Step 3: Munch this crunch

Want something crunchy? Pretzels are a low-fat, low-calorie choice. Or get a single-serving bag of light popcorn or package of cheese crackers; the former contains fiber and the latter has no trans fat. If craving potato chips, look for baked ones.

Step 4: Select a sweet

Look for low-fat cookies, licorice, fruit-flavored candy or fruit snacks. Though high in sugar, they're low in fat. Avoid the chocolate mini-doughnuts; there's nothing mini about the 600 calories and 36 grams of fat some brands are packing!

Tip: Trail mix, featuring nuts and dried fruit, is a good choice if you're craving salty and sweet.

Step 5: Sink your teeth into a "candy bar"

See if there's a Payday, a candy bar that gets a thumbs-up from some nutritionists because it's loaded with nuts. Or go for an energy or protein bar. Choose peanut M&M's over regular.

Step 6: Look for 100-calorie packs

Whatever you choose, you'll limit the damage to your waistline.

Step 7: Advocate healthy snacks

Ask the employee in charge of ordering refills for the office vending machine to consider more healthy choices.

Fact: Americans eat 2 billion pounds of potato chips annually.

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