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Your snack options from vending machines are about to get a lot healthier

Posted at 4:17 PM, Oct 29, 2019

Vending machines aren't exactly known to have the healthiest options, but soon, they'll be stocking snacks that are better for people.

The National Automatic Merchandising Association says starting in January, a third of the options will be healthy.

They're going to include things like non-sugary drinks, apples, bananas, string cheese, dried fruits and sealed sandwiches.

"NAMA, with the support of the Partnership for a Healthier America and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, announced today that it has adopted a public health commitment to substantially increase the percentage of ‘better for you’ offerings to 33% in the nation's vending machines," a news release from the organization states.

Right now, a lot of the snacks offered are high in salt, high in sugar and they're highly processed. Those foods do tend to be the most shelf stable and that's why they're on there.

One nutritionist says that if people are looking for healthy options right now, their best bet are things like nuts and sometimes baked chips can also be a good option. But serving size is the easiest way to make a healthy decision.

You can still snack healthy without having to depend on a vending machine, though.

"Fruit is a very portable option whether it be like clementines or bananas, apples, so definitely something like that," says registered dietitian Jessica Crandall Snyder. "Also, I would say the grab-and-go bags of like baby carrots or the mini bell peppers are great options to take with you as well and then, once again, nuts and seeds are very portable options that you can take with you on the go."

Researchers at the University of North Florida looked into how people choose snacks when healthy options are available. When nutritious snacks made up the majority of options, people were more likely to choose a healthy snack.