July 12, 2007

Angels and Devils: Vending Machine Snacks

Although healthy snacking has become a little easier due to the addition of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as nutritious energy bars to airport terminals and convenience stores, there are times when we’re faced with the proverbial vending machine.

When it comes to the lesser of various evils, here are some suggestions.


Pop Tarts: Two of these add up to 400 calories, 10 grams of fat, 8 ½ teaspoons of sugar and a measly 1 gram of fiber.

Grandma’s Homemade Cookies: Seems like innocent grandma takes no issue with letting you take in 380 calories, 6 grams of saturated fat (30% of the maximum allowance) and 7 ½ teaspoons of sugar.

Hostess Ding Dongs: Twelve grams of saturated fat (60% of the maximum allotment) and 360 calories make this childhood favorite as bad for your arteries as a Big Mac.

Drake’s Apple Pie: 440 calories and 8 grams of trans fats (which should be completely avoided) make up this "fruit-filled" treat.

Three Musketeers: Yes, it feels light and airy, but this bar provides 260 calories, 5 grams of saturated fat, and 10 teaspoons of sugar.

Hostess Cakes: They certainly look cute with their curlicue frosting, but there’s nothing precious about a snack that provides 360 calories, 12 grams of fat, and a quarter of your sodium allotment in four bites!

Hostess Fruit Pies: Not only is the “fruit” nothing but sugar-laden jelly, this snack also clocks in at 500 calories and contains 60% of the saturated fat we should be getting in one day.


Remember, most of these foods are only angels in the realm of vending machine snacks!

Trail mix/sunflower seeds/raw nuts: The healthy fats, high protein, and fiber will help keep you full. Additionally, the nuts provide vitamin E, phosphorus, and calcium while the dried fruits (if you choose trail mix) provide vitamins C and A.

Baked! Lay’s: If crunch is what you want, go for the baked variety. You’ll get a lot less fat and 4 grams of fiber.

Animal Crackers: a small bag only provides 120 calories and 2 grams of fat (that’s 50% fewer calories and 85% less fat than a vending-size Chips Ahoy package.)

Twizzlers: A small bag satisfies a sweet tooth without hurting your waistline or arteries (130 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, no saturated fat)

Sun chips: They are still chips, but at least they are made with whole grains and have less fat (and a little more fiber) than other brands.

No comments: