Everyone can agree that eating healthy is important, but making it happen every day can be a challenge. According to a recent survey from the American Heart Association and Aramark, a U.S. based food service company, participants expressed that availability of healthy foods (43 percent), “convenience (60%) and taste preference (54%) as having a great deal/quite a bit of impact on choosing an unhealthy lunch.”
While those numbers aren’t the best, there are two other numbers that are better. “More than 4 in 5 (82%) agree that having healthy food options at work is important to them and more than 2 in 3 (68%) value help from their employer in becoming healthier.”
Understanding these statistics and taking the next step can help employers determine the best way to provide break room refreshments for their employees. Rather than assuming which products employees would like to have available, employers should survey their employees to find out. Different individuals will have different preferences that develop from a number of factors including upbringing, genetics, culture and individual experiences.
So, what makes a snack better-for-you? The broad definition is a snack that has a high nutritional value or one that is high in protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber but low in calories, fat, sugar and sodium. A popular example is nuts. While nuts are high in calories and fat, they have lots of important nutrients.
The following are three suggestions for choosing healthier snacks.
- choose a snack that has between 150 and 250 calories. Always check the portion size on the nutrition label. The portion size and the size of the package are often two different amounts.
- choose items that have about 3 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein per serving. Since fiber and protein can create a feeling of fullness, Chicago employees are likely to stay full longer, decreasing the overall amount eaten.
- avoid snacks that have more than 12 grams of fat per serving. Consuming too many saturated fats can raise LDL or “bad” cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Whether Chicago employees need an unplanned pick-me-up or didn’t have time to fix something at home to bring to work with them, access to healthy vending machine snacks and beverages is a great option. It also supports what employees are looking for—convenient and tasty choices and help from their employer to become healthier and access to better-for-you choices at work.
We at Mark Vend believe in supporting the Chicago area by providing a large selection of better-for-you and traditional snacks and beverages in our vending machines. For more information about our vending solutions, micro-market offerings and coffee service, please contact us at 847-291-9216.