Guest Post: Vending Machine Do’s & Dont’s

Good morning everyone! HAPPY MONDAY! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend, and are ready to start the week off right!

have a Guest Post for you all today, I think you’re going to really enjoy it! Especially you College Students with Vending Machines surrounding all of our campus’! Enjoy! Check out Nan’s Blog, found at the bottom of the page, for more tips! She has been a great contributer to my blog, and knowledge of nutrition!

It’s the easiest thing you can do. When at work and faced with a to-do list, you think, “Should I start on that report or go talk to my boss?” It’s 3 p.m. and you’re feeling haggard. Invariably, instead of either choice, you choose to grab a Snickers bar from one of the office vending machines.

Especially when you’re just getting into the professional world, translating your healthy eating habits to office life can be difficult. We justify on-the-job snacking as a “break” or a “reward,” but this is counterintuitive. In my work, I find a huge problem in the way people view eating. Food is not a “reward”. It’s not something you get if you’ve been “good.” We have to eat to survive. You will be eating regardless, so you might as well make those snacks nutritious. Don’t get tricked by items that appear healthy but aren’t.

Worst ‘Healthy’ Vending Machine Snack

Sun Chips Original (1.5 oz.)
210 calories
10 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat)
180 mg sodium

Low in saturated fat, but not quite the paradigm of health it pretends to be. The extra half-ounce serving size pushed this snack north of 200 calories.

Eat This Instead!

Baked! Lay’s (1 oz.)
110 calories
1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat)
150 mg sodium

The Worst Pick

Drake’s Apple Fruit Pie
440 calories, 27g fat, 7g sat fat, 8g trans fat

You’re thinking, “It has a fruit in it, so that’s healthy.” Wrong. Even the slightest amount of fruit flavoring in an item gives the company enough justification to label it “fruit filled.” Don’t be fooled.

Vending machines are genius when it comes to convenience. They are all over office complexes and campus buildings, waiting for your moment of weakness. The only thing separating you from food is the change in your desk drawer. However, those convenient candy bars and fruit pies aren’t a smart selection when it comes to healthy eating. Vending machines can offer a surprising amount of selections. Unfortunately, they aren’t going to offer things that don’t sell. If your office is ignoring the healthy choices provided, those choices will soon be replaced with worse ones. However, if you talk to your manager, facilities or administration person and push for healthy vending machine options they could very well be achieved. Just make sure the snacks sell once they are placed or they’ll soon be gone.

Personally, I don’t like the term “snacking.” “Snacking” is the box of cookies someone eats because they’re bored, which is a terrible eating habit. Having a snack is great, but this is how you snack: Stop what you’re doing. Put a generous handful of those chips on a plate. Enjoy them. Get back to work.

Whenever someone eats while doing something else they don’t pay attention to how much they are eating. This is when they eat too much or simply forget how many calories they had because they weren’t paying attention. Sure, extra calories are unnecessary but again—we need calories to live. I think the worst part of this behavior is how you feel after. Consuming a bag of chips, cookies or crackers will make you tired and sluggish. This will lead to other bad choices and you may feel too low energy to exercise or skip your next meal. (This sets the stage for late night snacking.)

Vending machine or not, it all comes down to the simple adage we learned as kids: “You are what you eat.” Eating healthy food makes you feel healthier. Eating junk makes you feel like junk. Next time you step in front of that vending machine, remember you are in fact what you eat—don’t be a Drake’s Apple Fruit Pie.

-Nan Gibbons @ Eat Breath Blog

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