Does Your Snack Meet New York City Nutritional Standards?

Healthy Snacks in New York City

The movement to require healthy snack and beverage alternatives in vending machines at government locations has expanded far beyond its birthplace of San Jose, CA. Washington’s Top News recently reported about a new policy in Prince George’s County, MD that requires vending machines in county locations such as county offices and libraries to include healthy options. Council members and health advocates believe the changes will help combat diseases linked to poor nutrition. Prince George’s County is following in the steps of Montgomery County and Howard County by requiring that 50 percent of the options in vending machines meet the American Heart Association’s nutritional recommendations.   

A closer east coast neighbor began the process of developing nutritional standards for vending machine snacks and beverages shortly after they were enacted in San Jose, CA. Established in 2008, New York City’s current law, Executive Order 122, explains the nutritional guidelines for snacks and beverages that are sold in vending machines at government locations. As with Prince George’s County, New York City officials were focused on developing nutritional requirements for snacks and beverages that would help decrease the “risk of chronic diseases related to poor nutritional intake” (NYC Health, n.d.).

In the almost 10 years since the law was enacted, city officials have redesigned the snack, meal, and beverage nutritional standards to be more specific and easier to understand. For snacks sold in vending machines in government locations, the following standards must be met:

  • Require snacks meet all of the following criteria, per package:
    • Calories: no more than 200 calories
    • Total fat: no more than 7 grams
      • Nuts, seeds, nut butters and cheese are exempt
      • Products containing nuts or nut butters are exempt
    • Saturated fat: no more than 2 grams
      • Trans fat: 0 grams trans fat
    • Sodium: no more than 200 mg
      • Cottage cheese: no more than 400 mg
    • Sugar: no more than 10 grams
      • Fruit and vegetable products with no added sugar are exempt
      • Yogurt: no more than 30 grams sugar per 8 ounces
    • Fiber: contain at least 2 grams of fiber, if product is grain/potato-based (e.g. granola bars, crackers, pretzels, cookies, chips)
  • Require calorie information is posted for each food item, as packaged.
  • For programs serving children age 18 and under: products cannot contain artificial flavors, artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, or other non-nutritive sweeteners (e.g. stevia, erythritol).
  • Recommend or limit grain/potato-based snacks to no more than 50% of the food items in a machine.

Healthy Snacks in New York City

Finding a vending provider that is able to meet those standards is not as challenging as one might think. Healthy Vending offers many types of snacks and beverages that meet New York City’s nutritional requirements including a selection of all-natural and organic snacks and beverages. Whether you are looking to add variety to your office break room or school lunchroom vending machines or are starting from scratch, we can help. For more information about providing healthy snacks and beverages for your employees or students, please call Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671.

 

NYC Health. (n.d.). NYC Food Standards. Retrieved from https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/health/health-topics/nyc-food-standards.page

New York City, Are You Eating Enough Fruits and Vegetables?

Healthy Snacks in New York CityIt’s no surprise that New York City consumers are not eating enough fruits and vegetables during a day to get the optimum amount of health benefits. Scientists from Imperial College London found that to get the best health benefits, individuals need to consume 10 servings of fruit and vegetables per day. That is a lot more than the minimum number of five servings per day that the USDA recommends.

To understand which fruits and vegetables to add to your daily diet, it is important to learn more about your potential choices, whether conventional or organic. Information about nutritional values, the health benefits of specific produce, preparation methods, and the pros and cons of different growing practices is just a click away.

Recent research indicates that the demand for organic fruits and vegetables has increased as organic fruits and vegetables account for the largest organic food segment. In 2015, they led the global organic food market with 37% of the revenue. As Janice Kresin writes in The Packer, the draw to organic produce is in its connection to the consumer’s health. “When it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables, organic produce attracts consumers because it ties the concept of healthful options for consumers and the environment to the growing awareness of chemicals put on foods.”

During the first half of 2017, the top 10 fruits and vegetables purchased, in descending order, are bananas, apples, grapes, strawberries, oranges, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, carrots, and lettuce. Each one of these offers specific vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can benefit a different part of the New York City consumer’s body.

Fruit
  • bananas: source of potassium; help lower blood pressure
  • apples: source of flavonoids, an antioxidant; lower risk of developing diabetes and asthma
  • grapes:  source of resveratrol, an antioxidant; help prevent heart disease and may reduce the spread of breast, stomach and colon cancer cells
  • strawberries: great source of antioxidants; help decrease inflammation and hardened arteries
  • oranges: source of folate, a vitamin for pregnant women, and hesperidin, a phytochemical that can lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels
Healthy Snacks in New York City
Vegetables
  • potatoes: source of soluble and insoluble fiber, vitamin C, and B-complex; help lower plasma LDL cholesterol keep blood sugar stable
  • tomatoes: source of antioxidants, dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins; protect against cancers and ultra-violet (UV) rays; protects eyes from “age-related macular related macular disease” (ARMD)
  • onions: source of chromium, quercetin (an antioxidant), vitamin C, and B-complex; help control diabetes, offer anti-inflammatory properties and help with brain health
  • carrots: source of carotenes, vitamin A, vitamin C, B-complex, copper, calcium, potassium, and antioxidants; help protect against skin, lung, and oral cavity cancers, maintain eye health, and help maintain healthy connective tissue, teeth, and gums
  • lettuce: source of vitamins and minerals; help prevent osteoporosis and iron-deficiency anemia, and protect against cardiovascular diseases, ARMD, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancers

To maintain a healthy diet, it is important for both New York City adults and students to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. One way to add in an extra serving of fruits and vegetables is to choose healthy snacks and beverages at the office or at school that are made from fruits and vegetables. Whether you need to change your current healthy snack and beverage choices, or if you’ve never considered offering all-natural and organic products in your office break room vending machine or school lunchroom, Healthy Vending can help. Contact us at 917.572.3671 for more information.

New York City, Meet the Gluten-Free Snack

Gluten Free Snacks in New York City

With the number of New York City individuals who have to navigate life without gluten because of an illness like Celiac Disease, it is helpful to know that gluten-free foods are now more readily available. A recent report from Research and Markets, Gluten-Free Foods in the U.S. 6th Edition, projected that sales of gluten-free foods in the following categories—Salty Snacks, Crackers, Fresh Bread, Pasta, Cold (ready-to-eat) Cereal, Baking Mixes, Cookies, Flour, and Frozen Bread/Dough—are expected to grow to more than $2 billion by 2020. That is a lot of gluten-free food and snacks.

So, what exactly is gluten? The Celiac Disease Foundation defines gluten as “a general name for the proteins found in wheat (wheatberries, durum, emmer, semolina, spelt, farina, farro, graham, KAMUT® khorasan wheat and einkorn), rye, barley and triticale – a cross between wheat and rye.” Gluten behaves as the glue that holds food together. Several different categories of ingredients such as fruit, vegetables, and protein do not naturally have gluten. Creating snacks and other grain-based products requires additional knowledge about how each gluten-free ingredient works as the many of the frequently used grains contain gluten.

There are, however, many plant-based gluten-free ingredient options that are now being used to create healthy, tasty, and filling snacks. The following are a few that New York City employees might be familiar with:

Whole Grain, Gluten-Free Ingredients

  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat groats (or kasha)
  • Corn (maize)
  • Gluten-free oats
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Sorghum
  • Teff
  • Wild Rice/Brown Rice
Plant-Based, Gluten-Free Ingredients
  • Arrowroot
  • Pulses (beans, lentils & chickpeas)
  • Cassava
  • Chia
  • Flax
  • Nut flours
  • Soy
  • Tapioca
  • White Rice 

Gluten Free Snacks in New York City

Researchers from Gluten-Free Foods in the U.S., 6th Edition found that “pulse-based [ingredients] are particularly valuable in improving the nutrient quality of gluten-free products, as they are richer in fiber, protein, and micronutrients than GF [gluten-free] staples rice and tapioca flour. The appeal of ancient and sprouted grains is much like that of pulses. For food processors [or manufacturers], these ingredients provide whole food, plant-based protein sources that enhance appearance, deliver unique tastes and textures, pack a nutritional wallop, and invite variety and innovation.”

With such a wide variety of ingredients and the different ways that they can be used, the availability of tasty gluten-free snacks in New York City vending machines has grown to include many different salty and sweet snack choices. Salty snacks now include pretzels made from whole-grain sorghum flour and puffs made with chickpea flour and rice flour. Cookies are made with rice flour or oat flour, while crackers are made using almond flour, sunflower seeds, and flax seeds.

Have you considered offering both gluten-free and traditional snacks and beverages for your employees and students? Healthy Vending offers both traditional options as well as products that are certified gluten-free for those who need gluten-free snacks and beverages. We can also help you determine the best mix of choices to offer in your office break room or school lunchroom. For more information, contact Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671.

The New Meal in New York City

Healthy Snacks in New York City

By previous standards, it wouldn’t be considered a meal. It isn’t always consumed at traditional meal times or eaten at a table. But according to those between the ages of 18 and 35 (Millennials), it contributes to their daily nutritional needs and functions as a meal.

What is it?

It is a wholesome snack. Millennials are eating a lot of snacks. 92 percent of individuals recently surveyed by Surveygoo said they replace a meal with a snack at least once a week. 50 percent do it four times a week and 26 percent, do it seven times per week. That is a lot of snacking.

Since Millennials are now the largest segment of the population in the U.S. workforce, New York City employers need to reexamine their break room snack and beverage options. At the top of the list of preferred ingredients for wholesome snacks are whole grains, real fruit pieces, and nuts. These healthy ingredients are not just beneficial for Millennials. They are better for everyone. When researching different snack options for your employees, here are three things to consider:

Nutritional Needs
  • Will it stop hunger between meals?
  • Will it help me to stay hydrated?
  • Will it help me to manage my health and diet?
Refuel or Energy Pick-Me-Up
  • Will it give me an energy boost?
  • Will it increase my mental focus?
  • Will it help decrease stress?
Ingredients
  • Whole Grains (oats, brown rice, millet, and quinoa)
  • Plant-Based Proteins (legumes, nuts, and seeds)
  • Fruits and Vegetables (berries, apple, and sweet potato)
  • Low in Sugar

Healthy Snack in New York City

Each of these areas can offer benefits when considered on their own. However, when they are considered as a group, the benefits can reach even further. A snack with healthy ingredients that fulfills nutritional needs, keeps an employee hydrated, and improves mental focus positively impacts that individual’s health as well as increases creativity and productivity. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Have you considered including wholesome snacks in your New York City office break room or school lunchroom? Whether you are just beginning your office break room journey or would like to update your vending machine selections, we can help you with that. Contact Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671 for more information.

Are Healthy Choices Standard in New York City?

Healthy Snack and Beverages in New York City

Have you noticed an increase in the number of organic options at your local grocery store over the past several years? If you thought you did, you weren’t imagining it. The United States (U.S.), the largest organic food and beverage market in North America, was valued at $40 billion in 2015—almost half of the global organic market ($91 billion). And the global organic market isn’t expected to slow down anytime soon. Grand View Research, a U.S. based market research and consulting company, projects that the global organic food and beverage market will reach $320.5 billion by 2025.

What Is It?

What does it mean for a strawberry or cut of beef to be labeled organic? The short answer is that there is no short answer. For something to be labeled organic, it has to meet specific regulations in the country where it was grown. So foods labeled organic in Germany need to meet German regulations, and foods grown in the U.S. need to meet specific U.S. regulations. Crops in the U.S. must be grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes (GMOs), petroleum-based fertilizers, and sewage sludge-based fertilizers. Livestock, on the other hand, must be raised without antibiotics, growth hormones, or animal by-products, and must have access to the outdoors and be fed organic feed.

Why Eat It?

The difference between using organic versus conventional methods offers benefits not only to the New York City consumers who consume them but also to the environment where the crops and livestock were grown or raised. Organic farming methods have been found to reduce pollution and soil erosion, conserve water, use less energy and increase soil fertility. Ongoing research in both the U.S. and Europe, the second largest organic market behind the U.S., has shown that consuming organic products increases the number of beneficial nutrients (ex. antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids) and decreases the number of pesticides, preservatives, GMOs, growth hormones, and antibiotics that are consumed. A 2016 European Parliamentary Research Service found the following benefits of eating organic:

  • Reduced occurrence of adult obesity and type-2 diabetes
  • Reduced incidence of cardiovascular diseases and other diseases
  • Reduced environmental impact due to fewer greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reduced exposure to pesticides through food, which improves cognitive development
  • Reduced prevalence of adolescent allergies
  • Reduced processing leads to higher levels of antioxidants like omega-3 fatty acids
  • Reduced vulnerability to heavy metal cadmium, commonly found in artificial fertilizers
  • Reduced risk of antibiotic resistance
Healthy Snacks and Beverages in New York City
Who Wants It?

With the increase in demand for organic products and the new knowledge about the benefits of eating organic, it won’t be long before more New York City employees and students start asking for healthier snacks and beverages. Instead of reacting to their requests, get ahead of the curve and offer healthy snacks and beverages in your office break room or school lunchroom now. Whether you are looking to switch to healthier options or are considering a vending solution for the first time, Healthy Vending can help. Call us at 917.572.3671 to learn about the different options available.

Can One Generation Impact New York City Snack Choices?

Healthy Snacks in New York CityThe short answer is yes, they can. According to a new study by the Center for Generational Kinetics and Amplify Snack Brands, “Millennials have been the driving force behind the growth of the better-for-you snack category.” The choices in the better-for-you snack category don’t fall into specific types of snacks. Instead, they meet one or more of the following criteria: short and pronounceable ingredient list; no trans fat, added sugar, GMOs, and artificial sweeteners and flavors; responsibly sourced and locally connected; and recommended by friends, coworkers, or through social media. Cost is less of an issue as all income groups are willing to pay for “better-for-you” products. Choices often include:  

  • vegetable and fruit chips including apple chips, kale chips, sweet potato chips and carrot chips
  • puffed snacks including potato, multi-grain, corn, and rice
  • soy crisps and snacks
  • other snacks that don’t fit into one of the above categories including wasabi peas, roasted chickpeas, veggie sticks, lentil chips and bean chips

Healthy Snacks in New York City

As Millennials have gained more purchasing power, they have been found to prefer eating frequent small snacks each day instead of three meals per day, as well as choosing healthier options instead of traditional snacks. The changes in how New York City consumers snack and what is expected from those snacks (taste, healthy ingredients, nutritional value, etc.) is directly related to Millennials’ snacking perceptions, motivations, and behaviors.

4 Ways to Engage Millennial Snackers
  • Offer Great Tasting Options—millennials no longer place taste ahead of healthy ingredients; tasty and healthy are equally important
  • Offer Options with Fewer Ingredients—many Millennials believe that fewer ingredients are healthier, and understanding what the  ingredients are increases trust in the product
  • Use Social Media—online ratings, reviews, or social media posts can cause Millennials to try new snack choices
  • Through Their Children—many Millennial moms choose to be an example and teach their children about healthy snack choices

Consuming frequent small healthy snacks each day includes time spent snacking while at work or school. To help your New York City employees and students be productive and stay healthy, great tasting and healthy snacks and beverages need to be available in the office break room and school lunch room. To change your current vending offerings, or if you are considering healthy vending options for the first time, Healthy Vending can help. Contact us at 917.572.3671 to learn more.

Healthy Snacks in New York City Schools

Healthy School Snacks in New York City

Choices. Whether it’s a conscious decision or not, everyone is faced with multiple choices every day. A University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) graduate student helped her fellow classmates and professors by making the choice to snack healthy easier. As part of her thesis, she set out to learn if students and faculty would purchase healthy vending machine options. After taste testing one of the three snacks—licorice, chocolate chip cookies, or chili cheese flavored pop chips—each tester was asked if they would buy the item if it were available in one of the university’s vending machines. The positive outcome led UNK to replace some of the previous vending choices with healthier options.

Regardless of a student’s age, eating healthy is important. Not only does a healthy diet impact physical growth, but it also affects a New York City student’s ability to learn. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), “More than a quarter of kids’ daily calories may come from snacks, kids who have healthy eating patterns are more likely to perform better academically, and kids consume more healthy foods and beverages during the school day.” Easy access to healthy snacks at school makes choosing healthy snacks simple. Unfortunately, access to healthy snacks at school isn’t always easy.

Action for Healthy Kids®, an organization that works to end childhood obesity, offers the following tips for changing the types of snacks and beverages that are available in New York City school vending machines.

  • Determine the current snack inventory
  • Survey teachers and students about snack preferences:  consider holding a “taste test” and asking for opinions about potential choices such as Snikiddy Baked Fries or Nature’s Path Organic Granola Bars
  • Talk to your local vending company about increasing the number of healthy options available, the pricing structure, and healthy item placement in the vending machine
  • Educate staff and students about the new choices, and why healthy eating is important

Healthy School Snacks in New York City

But will offering more healthy choices really have a positive impact? According to The Pew Charitable Trusts, the answer is yes. Four independent studies examining the behavior of school age students (k-12) in Connecticut, Texas, Massachusetts, and Washington found that students increased their intake of healthy choices when more healthy choices and a greater variety of healthy choices were offered.

If your New York City school doesn’t use vending machines or is looking to completely switch from traditional vending snacks and beverages to healthy ones, Healthy Vending can help as we only offer 100% healthy snacks and beverages. Instead of only offering a small selection of healthy choices to your faculty and students, there are over 400 items to choose from—30% of those choices are organic and exceed state regulations. By switching to healthy vending options, the dilemma about what to choose is removed. For more information about how to make the switch, contact Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671.

“The Tea of Immortality” in New York City

 

Healthy Beverages in New York CityWhat if there was a line of beverages that could help improve brain function, lower the risk of cancer, support your immune system, help with digestion issues, and improve metabolic functions, mental clarity, and relaxation? Would you want to know what it is? How about your New York City employees? If this line of beverages has peaked your interest, you are one of the 72% of U.S. adults that the Pew Research Center says believe that healthy eating habits are very important. So, what is this beverage?

It’s B-Tea Kombucha, a ready-to-drink tea beverage with raw and organic ingredients.

Today’s kombucha, or fermented tea, began thousands of years ago in Asia and was known as an “elixir of life.” It’s a bit different today, but it still contains many positive components like prebiotics (carbohydrates that the human body cannot digest or food for probiotics), probiotics (“good” bacteria that helps the digestive system stay healthy), and many other antioxidants and nutrients. And there is none of the stuff that we don’t want, as there are no added preservatives, sugars, chemicals, or artificial colors.

Each of B-Tea Kombucha’s eight flavors is naturally carbonated during secondary fermentation, kosher, and known to increase one’s metabolism which can help to maintain a healthy weight. Here are a few of the benefits of each flavor.

Original Black Tea (100% Darjeeling Black Tea)
  • improves focus, energy levels, and memory
  • helps with detoxification
Green Tea (100% organic Japanese Bancha Green Tea)
  • improves focus, energy levels, and memory
  • positively impacts one’s mood
Tranquility Tea (100% organic Japanese Bancha Green Tea)
  • includes 100% organic Aloe Vera extract
  • helps with detoxification and digestion
  • offers immune system support
Serenity Tea (70% organic Japanese Bancha Green Tea; 30% Chamomile Tea)
  • soothes the nervous system
  • helps with detoxification
  • improves focus, energy levels, and memory
Green Tea Lemon Balm (100% organic Japanese Bancha Green Tea)
  • contains Lemon Balm flavor
  • improves mental clarity, concentration, and memory
  • aids in digestion and detoxification
Healthy Beverages in New York City
Lemonade (30% Lemonade; 70% Tea Mixture)
  • improves focus, energy levels, and memory
  • helps with detoxification
  • positively impacts one’s mood
Original Ginger Tea (70% Darjeeling Black Tea; 30% natural Ginger)
  • improves focus, energy levels, and memory
  • helps with detoxification
  • aids digestion
Chili Cleanser (100% organic Japanese Bancha Green Tea)
  • contains chili pepper
  • helps with detoxification
  • improves focus, energy levels, and memory

Consider the positive impact these benefits could have on you and your New York City employees. In addition to improved focus, mental clarity, concentration, and higher energy levels, healthy employees are likely to have increased productivity and fewer sick days. Recent research in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine supports the connection between employee health and a business’ bottom line as they found that “healthy workforces provide a competitive financial advantage in the marketplace” (Fabius, et al, 2013, p. 999)

To add healthy ready-to-drink beverages like B-Tea Kombucha to your New York City vending machines or to overhaul your office break room or school lunchroom vending selections to include healthy snacks and beverages, contact Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671. We would be happy to help you make the switch.

Source:

Fabius, R., Thayer, R. D., Konicki, D, L., Yarborough, C. M., Peterson, K. W., Isaac, F., Loeppke, R.  R., Eisenberg, B. S., & Dreger, M. L. (2013). The Link Between Workforce Health and Safety and the Health of the Bottom Line: Tracking Market Performance of Companies That Nurture a “Culture of Health.” Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, 55(9), 993-1000. DOI: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182a6bb75

Bottled Water in New York City is Here to Stay

Bottled Water in New York City

Have you ever wondered who purchases bottled water? As it turns out, just about everyone does. According to the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) and the Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMS), “Americans are drinking more bottled water than any other packaged beverage” for the first time in American history. A recent Harris poll conducted for the IBWA found that 86 percent of people polled purchase bottled water. Additionally, the BMS recently released numbers for 2016 bottled water sales. They found that there was a 10 percent increase in sales and an 8.6 percent increase in bottled water consumption. Now, that’s a lot of bottled water.

So, what makes bottled water so popular? The answer depends on who you talk to. Bottled water offers many benefits and has the potential to meet a wide variety of New York City consumer needs. The following are just a few of the features that have made bottled water popular.

Bottled water is versatile.
  • It can be consumed at any time of the day.
  • Water mixes well with many other types of beverages.
  • You can drink it cold or hot.
  • It can be found with carbonation or without, and flavored or plain.
Bottled water is healthy.
  • It contains zero calories.
  • It keeps the body hydrated.
  • It can improve one’s mood and focus.
  • It can help replenish lost electrolytes.
Bottled Water in New York City
Bottled water is portable.
  • It is convenient when one is on-the-go.
  • It is easy to carry it with you.
  • Bottled water is available in many locations.
  • Disposal of the bottle is relatively simple.
Bottled water is safe.
  • It is regulated as a food product by the Food & Drug Administration.
  • Bottled water has a long shelf life.
  • An extra supply should be kept for an emergency or disaster situation.
  • It can help prevent illness when traveling outside of the U.S.

With the great demand for bottled water, it is important to make sure that your New York City employees have access to a variety of bottled water choices during their work day. Not only will you help your employees remain hydrated during the day but their mood and focus are likely to improve if they are hydrated. A large selection of low or no sugar, flavored carbonated waters can also be a refreshing treat during a work break.

What bottled water options do you offer in your office break room? Healthy Vending can help you determine the best combination of flat and carbonated bottled waters as well as other beverages to offer in your office break room or school lunch room. To learn more, contact us at 917.572.3671.

Snacking on Plant-Based Proteins in New York City

Healthy Alternative Snacks in New York City

What do you look for when buying a snack? Taste? Convenience? Price? If you are like a growing number of New York City consumers, you are evaluating your snacks for fiber, protein, and sugar before you purchase them. According to Gil Bakal, managing director at A&B Ingredients, “protein and fiber are the two most popular ingredients consumers demand, and the trend crosses Millennials, Gen Xers, and Boomers.”

Don’t confuse the new demand for protein with the existing market for high-protein-based meal replacement items. These new snacks contain a moderate level of protein and are meant to hold the New York City consumer over until their next meal, not function as a post-workout snack or meal replacement. According to recent research, consumers are looking for proteins that are less processed, offer a wide range of health benefits, and taste good. Plant-based proteins such as legumes, nuts, seeds, and a handful of grains meet all of those requirements and more.

Legumes

So, what are legumes? Legumes are what most of us call beans, lentils, or peas. But, looking at it that way doesn’t acknowledge the wide variety of legumes or their nutritional power. Here’s a list of just some of the legumes that are available:  adzuki beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, broad beans or fava beans, calico beans, cannellini beans, garbanzo beans or chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, mung beans, navy beans, peanuts, pinto beans, and soybeans or edamame. These tiny powerhouses are

  • An excellent source of protein, low in fat, and a good source of soluble and insoluble fiber
  • Nutrient dense or contain a high number of vitamins, minerals, and other healthy nutrients relative to the number of calories
  • Helpful for weight control and reducing the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and colon and other cancers
Healthy Alternative Snacks in New York City
Nuts

Nuts often get a bad rap because of their high number of calories, but one doesn’t need to eat a lot of nuts to get a great nutritional benefit. Nuts often help lower LDL or bad cholesterol and contain Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, vitamin E, and L-arginine, a substance that makes the artery walls more flexible. Here are a few of the more commonly used nuts and their benefits.

  • Almonds: high in magnesium, calcium, vitamin E, and selenium; lower LDL or bad cholesterol, and helps preventing colon cancer because of the high fiber content
  • Walnuts: support brain function, improve heart health, and cognitive function; contain ellagic acid, an antioxidant, and 16 disease-fighting polyphenols
  • Pistachios: help with heart health, weight management, and digestion, and protect against diabetes and hypertension
  • Cashews: high in vitamins E, K, and B6, copper, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, iron, and selenium
  • Brazil Nuts: high in heart-healthy nutrients and minerals like copper, niacin, vitamin E, fiber, magnesium, and selenium
Seeds

Even though seeds are small, they pack a huge nutritional punch. Many seeds contain fiber, protein, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids, an anti-inflammatory. Seeds are known to help prevent weight gain, the accumulation of LDL or bad cholesterol, and the development of heart disease. Here’s a list of a few of the more well-known seeds.

  • Hemp: contains 10 essential amino acids and disease-fighting phytosterols and 40% fiber; supports heart health
  • Sunflower: high in folate, good fats, vitamin E, selenium, and copper; supports heart health and works against cellular damage
  • Sesame: high in calcium, magnesium, zinc, fiber, iron, vitamin B1, and phosphorus; contains lignans (cholesterol-fighting fibers), lowers blood pressure and protects the liver
  • Pumpkin: high in omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, carotenoids, an antioxidant that supports the immune system, and phytosterols or plant components that help stabilize cholesterol
  • Chia: contains fiber, protein, 34% pure omega-3 fatty acids, various antioxidants, and calcium; stabilize blood sugar, promote heart health, and increase weight loss
Grains

The grains listed here are ones that usually don’t appear at the top of a most popular grain list. Quinoa, wild rice, and oats offer health benefits that can turn almost any snack into a healthy one.

  • Quinoa: contains fiber, iron, lysine, B2 (riboflavin), manganese, and magnesium; reduces high blood pressure and diabetes, lowers cholesterol and glucose levels, and helps keep red blood cells healthy
  • Wild Rice: high in antioxidants, protein, fiber, vitamin C, phosphorous, and zinc; helps with heart health, digestion, and bone strength and density, and boosts the immune system
  • Oats: contains beta-glucan (a type of fiber), avenanthramides (an antioxidant), and magnesium; helps lower cholesterol levels, the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer, and helps fight infection

Which of these healthy ingredients would your New York City employees or students like to see in their next snack? Make the process of locating healthy snacks and beverages easier for them by including vending machines from Healthy Vending in your office breakroom or school. Contact us at 917.572.3671 to learn more about our line of products and vending solutions.