When you visit the vending machine, the thought always crosses your mind of whether you should go with the “smart” choice or indulge in the unhealthy options. Believe it or not, those smart choices that you’ve been making could potentially be worse for you than those unhealthy ones. While these popular vending machine options can often trick people, if you’re educated on making the right choices, you’ll never be fooled by a vending machine again!
This has always been an easy choice for vending machine shoppers, especially in the morning. Granola bars are an easy hunger fix and are easy to eat. What a lot of people don’t realize is the processed ingredients that are generally found in granola bars. Even the brands that have always been known for their healthfullness, such as Kashi and Luna bars, are some of the worst offenders. This is because these bars derive from soy protein isolate, which is actually one of the worst processed food offenders you can find.
When it comes down to it, your favorite breakfast bar growing up might be your best bet. I’m talking about Nutrigrain bars, which still contain a plethora of processed ingredients but not as bad as the rest. If you have no other options for breakfast snacks, the Nutrigrain bar is your best bet.
Chips are bad, period. They’re full of fat and really have no nutritional value. But if you’re craving a chip and want to make a healthy choice, go for the Baked Lays or the Lays Simply Natural Chips. The Simply Natural Chips contain only three ingredients: potatoes, safflower oil and salt. As opposed to having a full fat chip, these chips are much better for you with only a portion of the fat.
Candy and cookies are tough to choose between, especially when you have a hankering for some sweets. When it comes down to it, the best candy option would definitely be the Peanut M&Ms. This is because while they are fairly processed, the peanuts in the M&Ms help to balance out some of the fat from the chocolate candied coating and synthetic food dyes.
For cookies, the best choice is always the Fig Newton. Fig Newtons have a pretty short ingredient list on their label, with figs as their second ingredient. If Fig Newtons aren’t available, go with the Oreo’s. While sugar might be the first ingredient, the list of ingredients is fairly short and doesn’t contain any extremely noxious ingredients.
In the end, if there is trail mix available in your vending machine, it is always the best choice. Nuts are a healthy vending machine choice because they are primarily natural, without any processed ingredients. One thing to watch out for is the chocolate candies that are often found in trail mixes. If you do your best to pick around those candies, you can feel confident about your vending machine snack choice.
Being educated about which snacks are the best choices can allow you to live a healthier lifestyle and make better choices. Knowledge is important, especially when it comes to your health and diet. Pay attention to these little dietary tips and you’ll be living a healthier life and reaping the benefits in no time!
Becky Karn is a freelance writer and health advocate. After researching many masters in health administration online programs, she would like to go back to school and someday educate the public in making healthy choices, regardless of the situation you’re in.