The Scoop on the New Healthy Vending Machines

Courtesy of Fresh Healthy VendingCourtesy of Fresh Healthy VendingJennifer D'Angelo Friedman, SELF

We were thrilled to hear that Fresh Healthy Vending, a company that provides healthier vending machines, is coming to New York City (SELF's home base).

The machines stock options like organic yogurt, coconut water, bags of apple slices, Luna bars, organic baby carrots and Stacy's Pita Chips -- a far cry from the Cheetos and M&M's of yesteryear. And they're already in schools, health clubs and offices in 37 states across the country, Well+Good reports.

So are healthy vending machine snacks really a good option when you're stuck at work, or after a workout? And which healthy snacks are the healthiest?

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"Often, vending machines are a major option for people at work, commuting, shopping, etc. If you didn't pack snacks with you, but want a healthful choice, a healthy vending machine is a great option," say Willow Jarosh and Stephanie Clarke, contributing editors at SELF and co-founders of C&J Nutrition.

Jarosh and Clarke are big fans of bringing your own snacks with you when you head out for the day, because a) it's more cost effective b) you get to be more creative and c) you know exactly what's in them and can adjust the amount to suit you perfectly.

But healthy vending machines are a good plan B, they say. So which snacks are the best bet for your spare change?

Jarosh and Clarke like the yogurt (as long as it's non-fat/low-fat), apple slices, baby carrots and Luna bars. But think twice about the coconut water and the pita chips.

"The coconut water is a better option than a soda, but people should still remind themselves that it contains calories -- so you're better off, calorie-wise, choosing sparkling water or regular water to sip on.

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"Pita chips are often made from white flour, so you're not getting much nutrition from them. And because they don't pack much fiber (unlike apple slices or carrots or a Luna bar) they'll likely leave you hungry pretty soon after you eat them."

And what if your office still has an old-school vending machine? Is anything safe to snack on?

"Skip the sugar!" Jarosh and Clarke say. "Opt out on candy bars, candy (yogurt-covered anything counts as candy.) Grab a small bag of dried fruit/nuts mix or a small bag of peanuts -- these are usually in every machine. We like these options best because it's typically the least processed food you can get from a vending machine."

What's your favorite healthy snack? What do you think about the new healthy vending machines?

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Gwyneth Paltrow's Arm and Abs Workout
Superfoods for Weight Loss
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