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Healthy food choices at convenience stores

October 5, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
While popping around for appointments or putting a little gas in the tank, it's nice to stop and get a little fuel for yourself at the mini-mart.

We know convenience stores aren't really the land of lean cuisine, but I gotta tell you, I found some pretty good choices.

Hot foods at these stores can often be high in salt and saturated fat, but some now get a thumb up from health experts.

For example, there's 7-Eleven's chicken tenders. Put one on a bun, and you've got a 350-calorie sandwich with 22 grams of protein and 8 fat grams.

There's also their Buffalo chicken taquito, which is less than 200 calories and has 8 grams of fat.

Even better, you'll find Ready Pac meal salads. This chicken Caesar falls under 250 calories. It's a convenient and flavorful way to sneak produce in your day.

For breakfast, there's a single serving cereal with fruit and low-fat milk - a great grab and go. The Special K is a nice choice at 7 grams of protein.

Another quick protein pick: hard boiled eggs. This one comes with cheese and crackers; grabbing a piece of fruit makes it even better.

And what about that snack attack? Blueberry mini muffins is a decent choice if you need a sweet at 70 calories a piece and 4 fat grams. Clif's 'Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch' is more like a mini meal at 240 calories, 10 protein grams plus 5 grams of fiber.

And yay for mini marts carrying Greek yogurt. The Chobani strawberry has 140 calories and a whopping 14 grams of protein.

If it's crunch you want, look for baked Popchips or nuts. Remember, one ounce is the proper serving size. Maybe buy both and mix 'em, so you'll have a couple of servings that combine carbs, fiber, protein and heart-healthy fat.

For something creamy, find out why string cheese is popular. It's a lower fat dairy option that packs protein and satisfaction at around 100 calories.

Remember, no matter how hot, tired or thirsty you are, you don't want to be downing a Double Gulp or the biggie size drink. If you fill this with regular soda, you're going to be getting about 744 calories and 47, yes 47, teaspoons of sugar. Your best choice: H2O.

See photos of healthy food options at convenience stores.

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