The Bad: Candy Bars
This is an obvious choice but it’s important to know why beyond they’re just bad for you. Sirota explained that candy bars found in vending machines often contain chemical preservatives, fillers, or emulsifiers to make it last longer. There’s also a ton of sugar in each one, which won’t keep you feeling full for very long.
“Candies escalate blood sugar really quickly and then you crash,” Sirota said. “You’re quickly looking for something to boost your energy, but then you’re good for 10 minutes and worse an hour later.”
The Bad: Cookies
As tempting as a cookie is, especially when you’re hungry, they are typically a bad choice. Cookies are made with refined sugar, refined wheat flour, and added fats. “In that time, you don’t get any fiber and no protein so you’ll get the sugar crash. It won’t keep you from going back to the vending machine,” Lyssie Lakatos of the Nutrition Twins told Daily Mail. The panel warned against cookies promoted as “reduced-fat” or “reduced-sugar.”
“When something is reduced or taken out of the product, something is added in to make it taste flavorful,” Beth Warren, a registered dietitian and head of Beth Warren Nutrition, said. “They may have taken out some of the fat but they may have more sugar. Go based on what you know, not assumptions.”
On The Fence: Chips
Generally speaking, chips aren’t a good choice but nowadays baked and popped chips are found more and more in vending machines. Given the choice – go with these instead of the traditional chip. “Other snacks should be your go-to but if it’s between a baked Lay’s chip and a regular Lay’s chip, go for the baked,” Lara Metz of Lara Metz Nutrition said.
On The Fence: Granola Bars
This one may surprise you considering granola bars are typically thought of as healthy. The experts said to be careful when you choose one out of the vending machine though: “They’re often high in oils and they’re not going to give them any fiber or protein and then it’s like you’re eating a glorified candy bar,” said Tammy Lakatos Shames of the Nutrition Twins.
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