Calorie information soon will be posted outside vending machines.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, you soon will be seeing calorie information posted outside vending machines. The new law, expected to take effect later this year, applies to companies that own 20 or more vending machines and is expected to affect more than five million machines nationwide.

Hopefully, having such information readily available will help people make better decisions about their vending machine purchases. Currently, customers typically only get to see this information after purchasing an item.

Details regarding sodium, saturated fat, and sugar, however, will not need to be posted. Unfortunately, the majority of products in vending machines are often laden with these potentially unhealthy ingredients. Perhaps a better solution would be to entirely forgo vending machines and use other strategies to feed yourself during the day. These include:

  • Don’t skip meals so you are not ravenous and vulnerable to vending machines.
  • Have your own snacks handy, but not too handy. Having food always within arm’s reach could result in excessive consumption. Even healthy food, in excess, can cause calories to mount.
  • Establish your snack portions in advance. Measure out items like nuts or crackers so you don’t go overboard.
  • Include a protein source within the snack to help keep you full longer.
  • Try these calorie-controlled and satisfying snacks:
    • Individual portion of low-fat Greek yogurt
    • Hardboiled egg
    • ¼ cup nuts
    • ½ cup edamame
    • 1 piece of fruit with 2 tbsp. nuts or 1 tbsp. nut butter
    • ½ cup raw veggies with 2 tbsp. hummus
    • 5 whole wheat crackers with 1 oz. reduced fat cheese

Try the California Walnut Granola breakfast recipe to start your day off right and limit the likelihood of a late-morning vending machine run.

Visit our Health-e-Weight website for more tips and interactive tools to help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

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