Diet Detours: Vending machines

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Next on the Diet Detours - vending machines. (WPVI)

Vending machines typically aren't full of healthy foods. In fact, most of the time they're a diet detour.

This was a tough one to do. Typically we break down the options, giving some green lights, some red lights.

This edition has a lot of red lights, but there are at least a few items that won't detour your diet.

Registered Dietitian Lindsey Kane warns if you are scrambling for a mid-afternoon snack curbing that craving with a run to the vending machine could be a major diet detour.

Kane says most of the food inside is processed, loaded with salt and sugar and empty calories.

First up, the chip challenge - crunchy, salty snacks like popcorn, potato chips and pretzels.

"I kind of call pretzels a savory candy bar," Kane said.

Kane says the carb-loaded snack is usually loaded with sodium.

"But compared to a carbohydrate like a chip that's been fried, this has at least been baked," Kane said.

Still, she gives both the pretzels and the potato chips her first diet detour.



"If you do want to go for a chip, I'd say the Sun Chips are going to be your better bet," Kane said.

Even better, Kane says go for a bag of popcorn

Next up, cookies and crackers and peanuts.

"We're staying away from the cookies for sure," Kane said.

Kane says instead reach for the peanuts. The protein will keep you full longer.

As for the crackers, she advises to approach with caution.



Next is the fruity fix, snacks like Twizzlers, Swedish Fish and Fruity Snacks.

Kane says the fruit snacks are loaded with sugar - 32 grams in the bag!

"That is 8 teaspoons of sugar," Kane said.

She says the Twizzlers and Swedish Fish are also sugar bombs.

"These things are going to spike our blood sugar, give us a kick for 10 minutes and then we are back to square one," Kane said.



Next up, chocolate. Kane say candy bars are never a smart snack.

She advises to skip the Snickers, it will not satisfy you.

"It is not something that is going to sustain you through dinner," Kane said.

To kick that chocolate craving, Kane gives a green light to a handful of peanut M&M's.



Next up, the battle of the baked goods - cupcakes versus Ho Ho's versus Pop Tarts.

"Unfortunately, all of these things have trans-fat in them," Kane said.

Kane says these are the biggest diet detours in a vending machine.



And if you are going to have a baked good, you might as well make it worth your while, not as a quick snack, but something you can sit down and enjoy, preferably without trans-fat.

Also, you can avoid all this by keeping healthy snacks in your desk or in your bag.

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