18 Absolute Worst Snacks for Your Body

Snacking can be a good way to keep your body nourished throughout the day and prevent overeating at your next meal. But snacking smart is necessary if you want to keep your body healthy and strong. You won’t be doing your body any good by reaching for any of these snacks.

Ritz Bits Cheese Sandwich Crackers

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Cheese and crackers can be a simple and relatively harmless snack, but it may be best to take the extra time to make your own. “These little sandwich snacks barely contain any protein and are lacking fiber,” says Dr. Lisa Young, RDN. They may leave you still feeling hungry because of their high fat content and lack of protein and fiber.

Snyder’s Hot Buffalo Wing Pretzel Pieces

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People are drawn to pretzels as snacks because they’re low in fat and generally low in sugar. However, they’re also low in fiber and protein, leading to unsatisfying snacking. The added flavoring can also keep you reaching for more until you’ve ingested far too many empty calories.

Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes

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Reaching for a bowl of cereal can seem like a fantastic snack or quick meal choice, but be sure that the cereal you’re reaching for is a healthy one. Frosted Flakes may taste great, but they’re high in added sugars and low in essential nutrients.

Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Tangy Chili Fusion

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Red 40 Lake and Yellow 5 Lake, two dyes that have been linked to adverse health outcomes, can be found in these seemingly harmless snacks. Healthline reports, “Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 may contain contaminants that are known cancer-causing substances.”

Orville Redenbacher’s Pour Over Movie Theater Butter Popcorn

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Popcorn can be a healthier choice for snacking, but you have to be mindful of the toppings and flavorings you’re adding to it. Orville Redenbacher’s Pour Over Movie Theater Butter popcorn is high in sodium and saturated fat. Instead, reach for plain popcorn and add your own healthier seasonings to it.

Clif Bar Chocolate Brownie

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Clif Bars are marketed as protein bars, which makes them sound like a healthy choice for a snack, but be sure to read the labels closely. Many protein bars, like the Clif Bar Chocolate Brownie, end up being high enough in sugar and sodium to essentially be a candy bar.

Starburst Gummies

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Eat This, Not That! warns that these bite-sized snacks are “loading your body up with 18 grams of sugar and only a single gram of protein, meaning you’ll be hungrier and have even more cravings.” Snacking is supposed to leave you feeling satisfied until your next meal, not feeling hungrier than you were before.

Nutri-Grain Strawberry Bar

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Nutri-Grain bars are another snack that’s marketed as healthy granola bars, but with 12 grams of sugar, only one gram of fiber, and two grams of protein, you won’t feel satiated. There is also a laundry list of ingredients, which includes preservatives, corn syrup, and other additives.

Little Debbie Nutty Buddy Snack Bar

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Little Debbie is marketed to kids as a great after-school snack, and adults reach for them out of nostalgia, but most of their “snack bars” are more of a portable dessert than a viable snack option. The Nutty Buddy bars boast a heaping 9 grams of saturated fat and 22 grams of sugar.

Hot Pockets

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Hot Pockets can pack a lot of protein in their little shells, which is appealing to teens and people trying to eat quickly with a high-protein diet. Unfortunately, the meat has been processed to enhance both longevity and taste, which sounds like a good thing but can be a carcinogen for humans. They’re also loaded with salt, with each serving containing over 650 milligrams.


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Parents reach for Pop-Tarts as an easy breakfast for their children and sometimes themselves. Just pop it in a toaster and enjoy. It’s probably no surprise that sugar is the most overwhelming component, from dextrose to multiple types of corn syrup. Starting your day with these convenient treats will give you half the suggested sugar you need all day.


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Hopefully, this one is obvious as to why it’s not the healthiest snack on the planet. They pack in over 30 grams of sugar per serving and 35 milligrams of cholesterol. The daily cholesterol limit is 300 milligrams, and ingesting too much over a long period of time can eventually lead to certain cardiovascular conditions. The lack of fiber in Twinkies results in fructose overloading your system, causing your blood sugar to rise.

Veggie Straws

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Chips made from vegetables sound like a perfect healthy snack. While classic potato chips are derived from the root vegetable, Veggie Straws centered their branding around using “healthier” produce such as spinach and tomatoes. These chips are made by grinding the plants into a powder or paste, which severely reduces the vitamin content. Then they are fried, lowering the nutritional value even further.

Sugary Drinks

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During that afternoon slump, it can be tempting to reach for a sugary drink like a soda or bottled Frappuccino. These drinks are, obviously, high in added sugars, which are linked to various health issues, including obesity and type 2 diabetes. They may give you a little kick to keep going, but that will quickly fade into the need for a nap.

White Bread

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Making a quick sandwich or eating some toast sounds like a wonderful snack between meals when you’re really hungry, and it can be if you make sure to choose the right ingredients, especially the bread. White bread used to be one of the most popular breads in the U.S., but it is low in fiber and essential nutrients, which leads to rapid spikes in blood sugar. Whole grain bread is also definitely better than white bread, and local is better than large manufacturers.

Most Fruit Juices

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This may shock some, but fruit juice is not a healthy snack. Most fruit juices you find on the shelf are essentially liquid sugar. Even though they contain some vitamins, the sugar content can outweigh the positives the juice provides. Reaching for whole fruit or pressed juices with no sugar added are much healthier alternatives.

French Fries and Potato Chips

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Whole white potatoes are very healthy. However, what we do with them before eating them can ruin their health benefits. We all know you can’t just have one chip or one fry, which makes them a high risk for overeating. Many are salted, adding to sodium intake, and can contain carcinogenic substances released in the frying process.

Gluten-Free Junk Foods

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Out of both necessity and preference, about a quarter of people in the U.S. are actively trying to avoid gluten. Gluten-free replacement products are often high in sugar, unhealthy oils, and refined grains like corn starch or tapioca starch. These refined starches lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar and are extremely low in essential nutrients.

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