Is it almost evening, and you’re annoyed by your hunger for snacks? Or is it just after noon, and you feel like snacking?
No matter how much you try to evade the snack craving, you might have to give in at some point.
However, the only thing you can ensure here is to make an intelligent choice while you are snacking.
This is because some snacks may be highly processed, amplifying your risk of certain diseases.
Consuming these unhealthy snacks, even in moderation, could do more damage to your health than you may even think, as they contain harmful chemicals in them.
Aside from adding a few more inches to your waist, they could even cause different long-term health issues.
Their higher consumption could also be one of the ways to destroy your sex life.
So you may want to go through the list of the worst snacks to eat before you start grocery shopping.
However, you may not need to avoid different snacks from your list altogether.
All you can do is substitute them with healthier alternatives that are flavorful and not so bad for your health.
Worsts Snacks To Eat
Here’s a list of the worst snacks to eat, that you should not include in your shopping list-
Being quite addictive, you may not be able to refrain from eating just one potato chip.
And if you didn’t already know, potato chips could not be the best snack, you may include in your diet.
Instead, according to a study, the people who consumed potato chips regularly gained weight every year they were assessed.
What’s even worse is that just a single serving of a potato chip could provide you with a whopping amount of sodium.
Moreover, sodium is quite harmful to the human body if it is consumed in excess amounts. The negative effects of potato chips on your body do not stop here.
Since these chips are highly processed, you may never feel full while you’re munching them in large quantities.
Potato chips could result in a spike in your insulin and blood sugar levels, thus promoting fat storage. The potato chips here include both the packed chips as well as the baked chips.
Though the packed chips might be a bit higher in sodium ad compared to the baked chips, they even have certain preservatives which could be unhealthy for you.
Moreover, excessive cooking might even deteriorate these chips from all the nutrients.
Consuming 28 grams of crackers could provide you with approximately 130 calories, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 4.5 grams of fat, and around 310 mg of sodium.
What’s even worse is that these crackers will not help to satisfy your hunger.
Instead, since they are high in sodium and low in fiber, they may not provide you with the required energy boost and hence, make you crave eating more.
Consuming foods high in sodium could result in excessive consumption of calories that could lead to weight gain.
The word ‘processed’ in front of pastries might be enough to let you know why this snack may not be on your snack list.
Apart from this, the long list of ingredients and the long shelf life, and other factors may refrain you from eating these delectable dishes as your snack.
Made with refined wheat flour, hydrogenated oil, refined sugar, and a wide array of different artificial ingredients and a chemical process, pastries could in turn lead to certain health issues.
The trans fat in these pastries might even be linked with heart disease, diabetes, or even sudden death due to cardiac reasons.
A healthier alternative to Processed pastries could be homemade pastries prepared using healthier ingredients.
As per this data, a medium-sized bagel comprises 56.1 grams of carbohydrates and around 290 calories with a minimum amount of fiber and excessive sodium.
Bagels could no doubt be detrimental to your health. Moreover, smearing them with an additional dip like butter or cheese further increases their calorie content.
However, it’s not just the calories you need to worry about when you have bagels for your snack.
This snack might even have an amplified glycemic index which could in turn intensify the inflammation and insulin levels in your body.
At the same time, it might even worsen your acne and increase the aging process.
If you opt for whole milk when you want to snack instead of skim milk or plant-based alternatives, then you should know that you are on the wrong track.
All the extra fat in whole milk might not just lower the good cholesterol levels in your body, but could even amplify the bad cholesterol levels.
This in turn just means that you are clogging your arteries while you are drinking whole milk.
Other than this the sugar in the whole milk is also low digesting, which could instead bring discomfort to your digestive system.
So if you are looking out for an alternative then you could use coconut milk.
Just a single crispy, glazed doughnut is packed with certain trans fats, cholesterol, and heart-troubling saturated fat.
Moreover, a glazed jumbo doughnut with buns could provide you with 661 calories with an abundance of sugar and sodium.
However, the major issue with Donuts is not just the calories it packs. Instead, Donuts could even have 15 to 30 grams of sugar, which is the real issue.
Such a whopping quantity of sugar might spike up your insulin levels and lead to a bigger sugar crash.
Pretzels are yet another no-nutrient snack that could intensify your sugar and insulin levels.
Though the salty treat may have low amounts of fat, it has no nutritional value.
Moreover, when compared to potato chips, one ounce of this snack could raise blood sugar higher as compared to 1 ounce of potato chips.
Avoiding French fries during your snack time has more than just one reason. First of all, French fries are made using potatoes which have a high glycemic index.
A high glycemic index spikes up your insulin level which may cause diabetes and heart diseases.
Secondly, French fries are fried in trans fats and oils, which could be one of the major reasons behind heart attacks.
Another reason for avoiding French fries while you are snacking might be because it contains a known carcinogen referred to as acrylamide.
This carcinogen forms only when the foods are either baked or fried at higher temperatures.
If you like to add diet soda to your snacks just because it is calorie-free, then you should know that Diet soda is not chemical-free.
It has artificial sweeteners in it, which might trigger insulin in your body and even send your body into fat storage mode.
So though diet soda may not contain any calories, it could increase your weight.
At the same time, it might even be linked to different diseases, like an increased risk of Metabolic syndrome.
Not all chocolates are healthy and the type of chocolate that you eat could significantly affect your health.
Generally, the health benefits between white chocolates, black chocolates, and brown chocolates differ by a huge amount.
Dark chocolate is filled with antioxidants and hence it could be considered a superfood because it may provide you with different health benefits.
However, milk chocolate has more content of daily fat and milk, and hence it might be less nutritious when compared to dark chocolate.
So no wonder that eating too much white chocolate could lead to obesity or tooth decay.
The formation process of white bread devoids it from the essential B vitamins, fiber, and wheat germs thus, leaving a processed byproduct.
Since white bread is highly processed, it may increase your insulin and energy levels immediately.
Not to say it might not even make you full and hence, lead to unnecessary snacking.
Due to this, you can opt for a healthier alternative which could be whole grain bread that might provide you with energy.
If you like to bolster the flavor of all your snacks by dipping them in BBQ sauce or Mayo, then this could be harmful to your health.
These condiments could increase the levels of calories, sugar, and unnecessary fat in your body, which in turn could be detrimental to your health.
So instead of deteriorating the nutrients of your meal by dipping it in preservatives and food dye, you could opt for other alternatives like olive oil, vinegar, mustard, salsa, etc.
Thus, this was our list of some of the worst snacks which you may always avoid from adding to your diet list.
Just because these snacks are delectable doesn’t mean that you may eat them regularly as part of your snack.
This is because though delicious, they could lead to certain harmful effects on your body, which in the longer term could even result in metabolic and life-threatening diseases.
Instead, you could look out for their alternative so that you remain healthy while you have snack cravings.
Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.
- Food and Diet. Available from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-causes/diet-and-weight/
- Sodium. Available from https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/sodium.htm
- Isao Muraki, Eric B. Rimm, Walter C. Willett, et al. Potato Consumption and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: Results From Three Prospective Cohort Studies. Diabetes Care. 2016 Mar; 39(3): 376–384. Published online 2015 Dec 17. doi: 10.2337/dc15-0547
- [HISTORICAL RECORD]: BITE SIZE CRACKERS. Available from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/363774/nutrients
- Kevin D Hall, Alexis Ayuketah, Robert Brychta, et al. Ultra-processed diets cause excess calorie intake and weight gain: An inpatient randomized controlled trial of ad libitum food intake. Cell Metab. 2019 Jul 2; 30(1): 67–77.e3. Published online 2019 May 16. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2019.05.008
- Facts about trans fats. Available from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000786.htm
- Bagels, plain, unenriched, with calcium propionate (includes onion, poppy, sesame). Available from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/175050/nutrients
- Yeonsoo Kim, Jie Chen, Michael D. Wirth, et al. Lower Dietary Inflammatory Index Scores Are Associated with Lower Glycemic Index Scores among College Students. Nutrients. 2018 Feb; 10(2): 182. Published online 2018 Feb 7. doi: 10.3390/nu10020182
- Sara Engel, Mie Elhauge, Tine Tholstrup. Effect of whole milk compared with skimmed milk on fasting blood lipids in healthy adults: a 3-week randomized crossover study. Randomized Controlled Trial Eur J Clin Nutr. 2018 Feb;72(2):249-254. doi: 10.1038/s41430-017-0042-5. Epub 2017 Dec 11. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29229955/
- Doughnuts, yeast-leavened, glazed, enriched (includes honey buns). Available from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/172758/nutrients
- Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar. Available from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/carbohydrates-and-blood-sugar/
- Jennifer A. Nettleton, Pamela L. Lutsey, Youfa Wang, et al. Diet Soda Intake and Risk of Incident Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Diabetes Care. 2009 Apr; 32(4): 688–694. Published online 2009 Jan 16. doi: 10.2337/dc08-1799
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Alisha Matthew has been a practicing nutritionist since 2016. She holds a master’s degree in nutrition from the University of IOWA. She is a staunch believer in improving the human health index by educating people about nutrition and the importance of nutrition in leading a healthy and happy life. Her long-term goal is to keep educating people on general health and keep herself updated with the latest trends in the field of health.