Hungry? Healthier Vending Machine Choices

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You're sitting at your desk, it's 11:00 a.m., and your normal lunch time is still a few hours away. You have a couple of choices. You can go back in time and remind your 7:00 a.m. self to pack an apple and a handful of granola. Or you can grab a snack from the vending machine.

Unless you find yourself in the kind of place full of hip, cutting-edge vending machines that are filled with healthy foods, you probably don't have a whole lot of choice. And if you're trying to cut calories, eat healthier, or just shave a few pounds off the weight posted on your internet dating profile, you may feel like anything you choose will sabotage all of your efforts. No so. While most of what you find in a vending machine will do your body a lot more bad than good, there are healthy choices to be found. You just have to know where to look.

Good Salty and Sweet Snacks

Pretzels. Because pretzels are the most "famous baked snack" they're also the healthiest. Most servings of pretzels contain just over 100 calories per serving and about 1 gram of fat. Not too shabby. Plus, they're salty, crunchy, and take just a little extra effort to chew... which makes them that much more satisfying to eat.

Nuts. Yes, nuts are high in fat and calories. But the fat you'll find in most nuts not only isn't harmful for you, but it's also actually beneficial to your heart. And while your average packet of vending machine peanuts has a full 280 calories, you rarely need to eat a whole package to feel satisfied. Full of protein and healthy fats, nuts are tasty, healthy, and deeply satisfying. Don't see any almonds or peanuts in your company's vending machines? Sunflower seeds are a great option, too. Plus, they're a lot of work to open and eat, making them a great long-lasting snack.

Baked Chips. Yes, commercial corn snacks and chips are full of chemicals and they're not great for you-- even the baked kind. But sometimes you just need a little taste of something salty with an ingredients list a mile long. If so, the baked versions of your favorite fried snacks are a far better choice. They're almost as tasty as their fried counterparts, but a lot better on the waistline.