Good Food in the Vending Machine

Vending machines are fast becoming the dominate food source in office break rooms, highway rest areas, and in some of the motels and hotels of America as the world shifts away from a human-friendly network.  These vending machines are often considered the bane of dieters and the general bogyman of nutritionists and healthy living, but that apparently has begun to change as Good Food has begun to appear in the vending machines' Lexan windows in recent years.  Some contain Nutrigrain© Bars, others Tastykakes©, still more the classic Little Debbies©, some now contain trail mix and dried meats like jerky or summer sausage.  A few even contain canned mini-meals like beans and franks.  These are the so-called Good Foods for the relatively good nutrition found within the wrapper. Most of these, while not ideal, are better for the consumer than traditional snack machine faire like popcorn or potato chips for two good reasons; volume and vitamin content.

                All the items in the so-called Good Foods groups (all things being relative) are better suited for consumption than other snack foods due to volume.  Volume decreases the digestive tracts emptiness and reduces the demand for further foods, and while the products considered Good Foods contain moderate calories, often large amounts of preservatives, and other things that the body could do without, the products take up room that would otherwise be empty, causing hunger pangs that reduce the human body's ability to operate.  Consuming low-volume foods, particularly high calorie, low volume foods actually make things worse by encouraging over-eating via hunger pangs while simultaneously providing large amounts of empty calories to the human body.

                Vitamin (and mineral) content is also important, and another area where the Good Foods excel.  While these foods are not nutritionally equal to a two course meal at a sit down restaurant, the foodstuffs do contain at least trace amounts of critical vitamins like A,C, and D as well as minerals like niacin and iron.  While this is due to the enriched flour used to manufacture most baked goods and the additives included in the false fruit filling of other products, the presence of such nutrition in snack items give the Good Foods a higher "healthy" quotient than other vending sources such as the candy bar or bag of caramels.

                It is to be remembered that vending machines were intended only for a light snack or a quick energy boost rather than for a full meal, but it is still possible to meet minimum nutritional standards as long as the individual selects the proper food items from the vending machine, the "Good Foods" that are on the market today.  The volume of these snack items will more efficiently reduce the hunger pangs by reducing the internal volume of the digestive tract while the vitamins and minerals contained within will at least temporarily fill the basic nutritional requirements for short term survival in a situation where no further avenue exists for one circumstance or another.

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