Weekly Wellness: Surviving the vending machine

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COLUMBIA - It's late afternoon. You're starting to feel sluggish. Your tummy is starting to growl.

You need a pick-me-up and you hear the vending machine calling to you. What do you do?

In a blog on MyFitnessPal.com, there is a great review of "The 5 Best and Worst Picks in the Vending Machine."

THE 5 WORST PICKS:

Pastries

  • High-calorie
  • Usually made with corn syrup
  • Contain added preservatives to prolong shelf-life
  • Usually contain anywhere from 250 to more than 300 calories each

 

 

Chips and crackers

  • High in sodium
  • Contain trans fats
  • Some are treated with BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole) and BHT (Butylated Hydroxytulene) that are two controversial chemicals linked to cancer and hormone disruption

 

 

 

Cookies

  • Contain added preservatives to increase shelf life
  • Most made with palm oil (an oil loaded with saturated fat)

Candy

  • Packed with artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
  • Expect a sugar crash and then more sugar cravings

Soft-drinks

  • Lots of excess sugar
  • Lots of empty calories

THE 5 BEST OPTIONS:

Nuts

  • Shown to have health-boosting benefits (i.e. weight control, decreased risk of chronic diseases)
  • Provides some healthy fats, protein, and fiber

Trail mix

  • Can offer a boost of protein, fiber, and some vitamins and minerals

Granola bars

  • Usually under 200 calories
  • Most contain some form of whole grain (i.e.oats or flax)
  • Can provide fiber and protein

Popcorn

  • Packs fiber and antioxidants

Water

  • Hydrate!

While this list is helpful for vending machines, it can also be applied to convenience stores and long road trips too! So print it out and stick it in your glove box.

Making better choices isn't impossible, but it can be a challenge. Good luck! (I know you can do it.)

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