TAMPA - We've all been there.
Afternoon hunger hits, and you find yourself standing in front of the nearest vending machine. But selecting a smart option isn't always a slam dunk, so ShopSmart Magazine worked with outside registered dieticians to pinpoint some better choices.
Ok - it's no mystery you should stay away from the Pop Tarts. They can pack in 420 calories, 4-and-a-half grams of saturated fat and a whopping 32 grams of sugar. That's around eight sugar cubes!
And steer clear, too, of the Hostess powdered Donettes which have almost twice the saturated fat.
More surprising advice? Skip the Austin cheese crackers with cheddar. There's actually just 2 percent or less of cheddar cheese. And if you've just have to have a chocolate fix? Peanut M&M's are a better choice than, say, a Milky Way or a Twix.
That's because the peanuts at least offer a bit more protein and fiber.
Here's another guideline: Choose something that takes a while to eat, so your brain has a chance to register that it's full.
Some good choices include fat-free Snyder's mini pretzels, SunChips, or Planters salted peanuts, which also offer a good protein boost.
While they might not have made it to your work place. there are newer machines that offer vastly healthier snacks, including grapes, baby carrots, and bananas.
But even better - just pack your own apple from home.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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