Healthy Gas Station Snacks

Healthy Gas Station Snacks

When you're on the go, grabbing a quick snack at the gas station may be the only way to satisfy your hunger without stopping for an entire meal. However, when it comes to the search for healthy snacks, nutrition isn't usually the priority for gas station convenience store suppliers. It isn't impossible to find healthy food at a convenience store though, especially if you keep focused and avoid giving in to the temptation of fattening and unhealthy chips, candy, and sodas.

Fresh fruit
Most gas station convenience stores now stock at least a few pieces of fresh fruit. The most common things you'll find are bananas and apples, which keep well both on the shelf and in your car. Buy a couple whenever you stop for gas so you'll have some healthy snacks to munch on if you get hungry later.

Dried fruit
If you can't find fresh fruit, opt for the dried kind instead. Raisins are easy to find, but some gas station shops also carry dried apricots, plums, or dates, too. The natural sugar content of dried fruits is more concentrated than the sugar in fresh fruits, so don't eat too many pieces at once.

Unsalted nuts
Unsalted nuts are another healthy snack option that can be found in the convenience store of your local gas station. For an even more tasty, filling, and nutritious snack, combine your unsalted nuts with a handful of dried fruit to make your own trail mix.

High-protein bars
High-protein sports bars are designed for athletes and dieters, but they are a healthy option for the vacationer or long-haul driver, too. The protein helps keep your metabolism revved up and your brain alert while you drive. If the bar is high in fiber, consider that an added nutrition bonus.

Skim milk
Skim milk is high in calcium that keeps bones strong and low in fat and calories, so pick up a small carton from the cooler at your local gas station instead of grabbing a sugar-laden soda. If you plan to be on the road a long time, you might want to look for boxed milk on the shelves instead. Boxed milk stays stable at room temperature, so you can keep it in your car until you are ready to drink it.

100 percent fruit juice
A bottle of 100 percent fruit juice provides plenty of nutrients and makes another great alternative to soda or coffee. While you shouldn't replace all of your daily fruit servings with juice, adding a bottle of orange, grapefruit, or apple juice to your gas station purchase is better than most drink alternatives in the convenience store cooler. Make sure the bottle says it is 100 percent juice and that there are no added sugars or artificial flavors to counteract the healthy properties.

Yogurt
While many of the yogurt options at gas station convenience stores may be high in added sugars, you might be able to find a low-sugar variety in the cold case in back. Look for less than eight grams of sugar per serving and go for plain varieties instead of flavored yogurt.

String Cheese
Not only is string cheese high in protein and calcium, it's also a fun snack that's a favorite of kids and adults alike. Gas station convenience stores typically sell single servings of string cheese in the cold case, which offer good nutrition in a convenient package.

Peanut butter and crackers
Pick up a small jar of peanut butter and a pack of whole grain crackers for a healthy snack that's full of protein, fiber, and healthy unsaturated fats. Keep in mind, though, that even though the fat in peanut butter tends to be the healthy kind, it is still high in calories. Fortunately, the fat and fiber in peanut butter tend to be filling, so you won't need much to keep you satiated.

Tuna and crackers
You can probably find a can of healthy tuna on your local gas station convenience store shelf. Tuna is rich in omega-3 fats and protein, so it's a great option for a healthy snack when paired with a few whole grain crackers.

When you are on the go and searching for healthy snacks, nutrition is your priority and should be treated as such. Don't give in to the temptation to buy something unhealthy just to appease your hunger. If the gas station convenience store you stop at doesn't have any of these healthy options, drive on to the next stop that does.

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