7 Snacks to Avoid At All Costs

Snacking throughout the day is not a bad habit, so long as it's conducted in moderation and with healthy choices. Good-for-you snacks can be part of a healthy diet if snacking is done in a sensible way —hence not eating the entire bag of dark chocolate Hershey Kisses. 

The truth is what you snack on in between meals goes a long way, especially in keeping your metabolism burning. If you have a regular exercise routine, it can also help continue to tone your muscles throughout the day. But oftentimes, snack time gets mistaken for a time to treat yourself, but that can lead to unwanted weight gain. Here's 7 snacks to avoid at all costs. 

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1. Pork Rinds: 

These may seem like a hearty, protein-filled snack, but are really just sodium-filled strips of crunchy pig fat.

Serving size: 1 cup
Calories: 174
Fat: 10g
Carbs: 0g
Protein: 19.62g
Sodium: 588mg

2. Microwave Popcorn 

Here’s another trans-fat culprit.  Even if fresh popped stove-top popcorn might eliminate the negative aspects of popcorn, most of us only ever get microwave popcorn.  It’s fast and convenient… and full of hidden ingredients. Besides the trans-fat, some brands contain diacetyl for that rich butter flavor.  Diacetyl has been found to cause lung disease when inhaled.  If you can’t figure out have the ingredients on the label, leave it on the shelf. Another important thing to understand about popcorn is that the lining of microwave popcorn bags includes substances such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a chemical the EPA lists as a carcinogen that has been linked to infertility and cancer. 

Pop Secret Butter 1 bag
Calories: 540
Fat: 36g
Carbs: 45g
Protein: 6g
Sodium: 930mg
Sugar: 0g

3. Toaster Pastries 

High in sugar, fats (including trans-fat) and not making up for it in any other way.  That means nutritional value is lacking as these pastries are also low in fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals.  This means breakfast is just leading to a quick sugar crash by mid-morning.  If you’ve ever looked at the ingredient list on a package of toaster pastries, you’ll see that most of them are unpronounceable.  This can’t be good for you.

Serving size: Toaster Strudel, strawberry, 2 pastries
Calories: 340
Fat: 14g
Carbs: 50,
Protein: 3g
Sugar: 18g
Sodium: 340mg

4. Frozen Chicken Nuggets 

Who really knows what's in these chicken nuggets? But the abundance of fat (including saturated fat) and sodium make chicken nuggets a nope.

Serving size: Tyson Fun Nuggets, 5 pieces
Calories: 276
Fat: 17.7g
Carbs: 15.8g
Protein: 13.8g
Sodium: 483mg
Sugar: 0g

5. Diet Soda

Although it’s got no calories or fat, the artificial sweeteners and chemical dyes make this a poor choice. In fact, the sweeteners can mess up your metabolism and have been linked to an increased risk of weight gain and depression. Regular soda is full of empty calories and will most definitely lead to weight gain. 

Serving size: 1 can
Calories: 0
Fat: 0g
Carbs: 15.8g
Protein: 0g
Sodium: 67mg
Sugar: 0g

6. Sugary Coffee Drinks 

We usually tout the benefits of coffee, but in this case we are saying no.  Although plain coffee can be good for you, a blended coffee drink is mostly sugar, syrup, artificial flavor and dairy fat – not coffee.  The amount of calories in just one of these drinks is enough to fill almost your entire daily recommended value.   The sugar will spike insulin levels, gearing you up for that sugar crash and have you craving more substantial food. 

Serving size: Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha, Venti (large)
Calories: 510
Fat: 15g
Carbs: 77g
Protein: 19g
Sodium: 300mg

7. Canned Fruit 

Fruit is a wonderful snack! But eat it fresh, please. Canned fruits are stripped of many nutrients, contain added sugars and the cans are lined with chemical preservatives.

Serving size: 1 can peaches
Calories: 100
Fat: 0g
Carbs: 25g
Protein: 0g
Sodium: 10mg
Sugar: 22g