Vending machines are the like the Sirens of ancient myths “ they call to you during the work day, trying to lure you to your (diet) doom. What’s a girl to do when three o’clock rolls around and hunger strikes? Those bad vending machines practically taunt you with their brightly colored packages, and snacks you normally wouldn’t even touch become something you suddenly need to have. When faced with the lure of bad vending machine choices, your best defense can be a little knowledge. Some situations do call for Oreos, but other times a wiser snack can be just as filling. For tips and information on the best and worst vending machine snacks, see below.
Baked chips can make a girl feel positively virtuous. Little bags of baked chips from a vending machine are usually between 100 “ 130 calories, and the crunch and salt can tide you over until dinner. When compared to the 240-300 calories in regular chips, this is a good vending machine choice.
Fruit juice is one good vending machine choice that can satisfy your need for something sweet while throwing in a few vitamins as well. While certainly not the best snack choice, a can of fruit juice has about the same amount of calories as a soda but with much less sugar and usually lower sodium, too. Look for 100% juice, please, not Hawaiian punch.
Nuts are also a good choice from vending machines. Little packets of almonds, cashews and peanuts can provide you with protein to fill you up, as well as something to satisfy your craving for a salty snack. Look for roasted or low salt nuts, not honey roasted.
A package of pretzels from a vending machine can be as low as 100 calories, with zero fat and even a little protein. Another good vending machine choice to satisfy your need for crunch and salt without going overboard on the calories and fat.
Candy bars are what almost automatically come to mind when one thinks of vending machines, but this is a bad choice. A Snickers bar has almost 300 calories, along with 11 grams of fat and 28 grams of sugar. True, you do get that chocolate and peanut fix, but this is a lot of calories for a little candy bar!
Chips, as noted above and including Doritos and all those cheesy-puff things, are very high in calories and fat (and sodium), making them a very bad vending machine choice. An ounce of Doritos has 7 grams of fat, and odds are you are not going to be satisfied with an ounce of any kind of chip that good! Try for the pretzels or baked chips instead.
Cookies. Cookies are a big offender when it comes to bad vending machine choices “ try 300 calories and 14 grams of fat for the average serving! And don’t forget about 20 grams of sugar (still coming in below the Snickers bar for sugar, but beating out the candy bar in fat!) Try to avoid this vending machine choice if you can.
Mini Doughnuts. Can you say calories, fat and sugar? Not to mention some of these little beautifies still have trans-fats, putting them high on the machine vending choice bad list. These adorable little doughnuts look tasty (and in fact, they are), but you can make better choices here!