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Tips for Choosing Heart-Healthy Snacks | Families

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Tips for Choosing Heart-Healthy Snacks
Tips for Choosing Heart-Healthy Snacks

February is known as Heart Month in American, and for good reason. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in America. Each day, across the country, roughly 2,200 people that die from the disease. It’s also the leading cause of disability across the country, preventing people from working and living their lives as they would like to. With this in mind, it’s a good time to pay attention even to the little things that can either help or hurt the heart.

“Snacks may seem like trivial things, overall,” explains Jolly Backer, the chief executive officer of Fresh Healthy Vending (www.freshvending.com). “But if you think about it in terms of a year, you will end up eating around 400 to 750 snacks per year, if you have one or two per day. That really adds up and can make a big difference in your heart health.”

Snacks, for most people, are a reality of life. Not many people will go day in and day out without ever having a snack. Many people actually have one to two snacks per day, in between their meal times, making it important to choose heart healthy options. Here are some tips for choosing snacks that will help your heart health, rather than harm it:

  • Fresh fruits and veggies. Mom was right when she said to eat your veggies! They are loaded with antioxidants, phyto-nutrients, fiber, and other helpful nutritive sources that will help protect your heart. Great fresh fruit and veggie snacks include carrots, berries, oranges, red pepper slices and grapes, among others.
  • Keep it low-sodium. Consuming too much sodium can increase your blood pressure, which in turn can raise your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Keep sodium content in mind when choosing snacks, and opt for those lower in salt.
  • Pass on trans fats. Trans fats are those fat sources where the oils that are liquid are turned into solid fats. They do this by adding hydrogen atoms. While it helps to increase the shelf life of the foods, it also helps to contribute to clogged arteries. Trans fats can be found in many crackers, cookies, cakes, pies and breads. Trans fats, like saturated fats, raise bad cholesterol levels.
  • Skip the saturated fats. Saturated fats are those that come from animal sources. They contribute to clogged arteries and can raise bad cholesterol levels. Saturated fats are those that are solid when at room temperature. They are found in meats, cheese, dairy products, and many baked goods.
  • Watch the drinks. Many people opt for a beverage for their snack, but some options will prove to be better than others, just as when reaching for other types of snacks. Those high in sugar, for example, should be avoided. Besides water, the best beverage options include unsweetened tea or coffee, and soy milk.

Many convenient, heart-healthy snacks are available today, including fresh fruits and vegetables, and nuts. By being more aware of heart-healthy snack choices, people can make selections that will help them reach their health and wellness goals, rather than hinder them.

“One of our missions has been to provide heart-healthy snack options,” adds Backer. “People can feel confident, walking up to one of our machines, knowing they will find a variety of healthy snacks to choose from. We give people the options they need to live healthier lives and help protect their hearts.”

Each Fresh Healthy Vending machine is filled with healthy snack options, such as drinks, fresh fruits and vegetables, protein and granola bars, yogurt, and baked chips and crackers. Their machines are also located in hospitals, office buildings, military bases, and workout facilities. Fresh Healthy Vending machines are now located in over 1100 locations, including many school campuses, throughout the country and in Canada. Each dual-climate-controlled machine offers only healthy food and beverage options. To learn more about Fresh Healthy Vending machines, visit their site at www.freshhealthyvending.com.

About Fresh Healthy Vending

Based in San Diego, Fresh Healthy Vending is a company that started in 2010 and is revolutionizing vending machines by filling them with healthy, natural food options. Dubbed the “future of vending,” they are leading the way in healthy food vending. Their machines offer 100-percent juices, fresh vegetables, fruits, smoothies, and yogurts. The Fresh Healthy Vending machines are franchised and are being placed in schools, offices and other locations throughout the country. To learn more about Fresh Healthy Vending, visit the website at www.freshvending.com.


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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heart Month. <http://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth/>

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most Americans Should Consume Less Sodium. <http://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/sodium.htm>

WebMD. Trans Fats: The Science and the Risks. <http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/trans-fats-science-and-risks>