Sooner or later you will likely have your next sharing moment with a vending machine: you share your money and the machine shares its calories.
Vending machines actually have a holy history. Around 215 BC the mathematician Hero invented a type of vending device that accepted bronze coins to dispense holy water. Vending eventually became economically viable In 1888 when the Adams Gum Company put gum machines on New York City’s elevated train platforms to dispense a piece of Tutti-Frutti gum for a penny.
Now they’re everywhere: down the hall from your hotel room, in train stations, and in just about every rest stop on the road. And, they call your name when you’re especially vulnerable – when you’re stressed, tired, bored, anxious, and your blood sugar is traveling south—all of which means the allure of sweet, fatty, and salty junk food is hard to overcome.
No Choice Is Perfect — Make the Best Choice for You
When a vending machine calls your name, choose wisely. There are good, better, and best choices to be made.
- You can almost always find packages of nuts, or popcorn, or pretzels, or dried fruit.
- Be careful of things with too much sugar, especially if you’re driving. A big time sugar hit may give you energy as your blood sugar surges but more than likely it will be followed by a drop –which will probably make you sleepy, grouchy, and hungry for more sweet and fatty food.
- Your choice depends on what you want: protein, sweet satisfaction, fill-you-up fiber, or salty crunch. Here are some choices – take a look at the calories, carbs, protein, and fiber of some of your favorites.
- Baked Lays Potato Chips: 130 calories, 2 grams of fat, 26 grams of carbs, 2 grams of protein
- Baked Doritos, Nacho Cheese: 170 calories, 5 grams of fat, 29 grams of carbs, 3 grams of protein
- Cheez-It Baked Snack Crackers: 180 calories, 9 grams of fat, 20 grams carbs, 4 grams of protein
- Ruffles Potato Chips: 240 calories, 15 grams of fat, 23 grams of carbs, 3 grams of protein
- Cheetos, Crunchy: 150 calories, 10 grams of fat, 13 grams of carbs, 2 grams of protein
- Sun Chips Original: 210 calories, 10 grams of fat, 28 grams of carbs, 3 grams of protein
- Snyder’s of Hanover Mini Pretzels: 160 calories, no fat, 35 grams of carbs, 4 grams of protein
- White Cheddar Cheese Popcorn, Smartfood: 120 calories, 8 grams of fat, 11 grams of carbs, 2 grams of protein
- Planters Sunflower Kernels: 290 calories, 25 grams of fat, 9 grams of carbs, 11 grams of protein
- Planters Salted Peanuts: 290 calories, 25 grams of fat, 8 grams of carbs, 13 grams of protein
- Mini Chips Ahoy: 270 calories, 13 grams of fat, 38 grams of carbs, 3 grams of protein
- Frosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts (2 pastries): 410 calories, 10 grams of fat, 75 grams of carbs, 4 grams of protein
- Hostess Fruit Pie, apple: 470 calories, 20 grams of fat, 70 grams of carbs, 4 grams of protein
- Fig Newtons: 200 calories, 4 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbs, 2 grams of protein
- Quaker Chewy Low-Fat Granola Bar, Chocolate Chunk: 90 calories, 2 grams of fat, 19 grams of carbs, 1 gram of protein
- Nature Valley Granola Bar, Crunchy Oats and Honey (2 bars): 190 calories, 6 grams of fat, 29 grams of carbs, 4 grams of protein
- Skittles: 240 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 56 grams of carbs, no protein
- Twix (2 cookies): 250 calories, 12 grams of fat, 34 grams of carbs, 2 grams of protein
- 3 Musketeers, king size: 200 calories, 6 grams of fat, 36 grams of carbs, 1 gram of protein
- Peanut M&Ms: 250 calories, 13 grams of fat, 30 grams of carbs, 5 grams of protein
- Snickers, regular size: 250 calories, 12 grams of fat, 33 grams of carbs, 4 grams of protein