10 Healthy (and Terrible!) Vending Machine Snacks

By Virginia Sole-Smith

It's crunch time, and the snack machine is whispering your name. Pushing the wrong buttons could be a diet disaster -- so check out our top 10 nutritional nightmares, and the 10 smartest snacks.


Guilty Pleasures

These 10 snacks top our "just-don't-do-it" list. Most are packed with sugar, fat, and calories. Check out what you should avoid -- and then choose from our smart snack options instead.

The Worst Pick
1. Drake's Apple Fruit Pie
440 calories, 27g fat, 7g sat fat, 8g trans fat
The Bottom Line: Nutritional nightmare

Second Worst

2. Austin Cheese Crackers with Cheddar Cheese
210 calories, 10g fat, 2g sat fat, 4g trans fat
The Bottom Line: A trans fat fest

Related: Test Your IQ: Which Has More Calories?

Other Guilty Pleasures
3. Pop-Tarts Frosted Strawberry
420 calories, 10g fat, 2.5g sat fat, 40g sugar
The Bottom Line: For sharing only

4. Doritos
250 calories, 13g fat, 2.5g sat fat, 2g fiber
The Bottom Line: "Nacho" best option

5. Skittles
250 calories, 2.5g fat, 2.5g sat fat
The Bottom Line: More calories and fat than Twizzlers

Related: 21 Ways to Make Your Diet 100% Easier

6. Cheez-It Baked Snack Crackers
(27)160 calories, 8g fat, 2g sat fat
The Bottom Line: No fiber, no protein

7. Ruffles Original
160 calories, 10g fat, 3g sat fat
The Bottom Line: Nothing but empty calories

8. Cheetos Crunchy 160 calories, 10g fat, 1.5g sat fat
The Bottom Line: Not great, but could be worse

9. Twix 280 calories, 14g fat, 11g sat fat
The Bottom Line: More "bad" fat than a Snickers

Related: How to Eat All Day and Never Get Fat


10. 3 Musketeers
260 calories, 8g fat, 5g sat fat, 40g sugar
The Bottom Line: Lower fat, but still candy

Healthy Snacks

These 10 low-fat and fat-free vending machine offerings are the best of the bunch -- and some even include nutritious fiber, protein, and healthy fats!

Related: 8 Diet Rules Meant to Be Broken

Top Pick
1. Planters Sunflower Kernels (1/4 cup)160 calories, 14g fat, 1.5g sat fat, 4g fiber
The Bottom Line: Full of healthy fats

Second Best
2. Baked! Lays Original
210 calories, 3g fat, 0g sat fat, 4g fiber
The Bottom Line: Surprisingly fiber-full

Other Smart Snacks
3. Sun Chips Original
140 calories, 6g fat, 1g sat fat, 2g fiber
The Bottom Line: Made of whole grains

Related: 6 Healthy Food Combos to Supercharge Your Nutrition

4. Snyder's of Hanover Mini Pretzels
(20)110 calories, 0g fat, 0g sat fat
The Bottom Line: Naturally fat-free

5. Smartfood Reduced-Fat Popcorn
120 calories, 5g fat, 1g sat fat, 2g fiber
The Bottom Line: Low fat, and has fiber!

6. Peanut M&M's
250 calories, 13g fat, 5g sat fat, 2g fiber
The Bottom Line: Just don't go nuts

Related: 10 Food Cures for Common Ailments


7. Fig Newtons
190 calories, 0g fat, 0g sat fat, 2g fiber
The Bottom Line: It's fruit!

8. Nature Valley Granola Bar, Oats & Honey
180 calories, 6g fat, 0.5g sat fat, 2g fiber
The Bottom Line: Beats hunger

9. Planters Honey Roasted Peanuts
160 calories, 13g fat, 1.5g sat fat, 6g protein
The Bottom Line: High in protein

Related: 5 Essentials for Healthy Snacking

10. Quaker Chewy Low-Fat Granola Bar, Chocolate Chunk
110 calories, 2g fat, 0.5g sat fat, 1g fiber
The Bottom Line: Guilt-free chocolate


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