Shopping Guide

The 150 Worst Packaged Foods in America

The average supermarket is now a minefield of more than 38,000 items. Quite a few can help strengthen your body, but even more can turn it to mush—and none more so than the dietary detonators that follow. Know them and you can emerge from the aisles with the foods both you and your body will love.

DELI MEATS

Oscar Mayer Shaved Ham

(50 g, 4 slices)
760 mg sodium, 50 calories, 1.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated)
Deli meats are notoriously high in sodium, and none are worse than ham. In hopes of boosting the flavor and extending the shelf life of deli cuts, manufacturers will inject a sodium solution directly into the meat, turning a few slices of lean protein into a vessel that, in the case of this Oscar Mayer folly, delivers more than half of your day’s sodium intake.

Land O’Frost Premium Honey Smoked Turkey Breast


90 calories, 4.5 g fat (1 g saturated), 670 mg sodium, 8 g protein
Land O’Frost competes with Buddig for the most calorie-dense lunchmeat around.

Tyson Grilled & Ready Oven Roasted Diced Chicken Breast

(56 g)
73 calories, 2 g fat (1 g saturated), 220 mg sodium, 13 g protein
It takes 15 ingredients to make this FrankenChicken.

Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon

(2 slices)
70 calories, 6 g fat (2 g saturated), 360 mg sodium, 4 g protein
More sodium than regular pork bacon, but also more than triple the number of ingredients.

Hormel Pepperoni

(28 g)
140 calories, 13 g fat (6 g saturated), 490 mg sodium, 5 g protein
Pepperoni is the downfall of far too many pizzas served in America, and the blame rests entirely on its egregious load of fat.

Bar-S Bologna

(38 g, 1 slice)
100 calories, 8 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 350 mg sodium, 3 g protein
You could eat two slices of Oscar Mayer’s Turkey Bologna for the same calories from 1 Bar-S slice.

Buddig Original Beef

(56 g)
90 calories, 5 g fat (2 g saturated), 790 mg sodium, 10 g protein
Most deli meats fail in one of two ways: too much fat or too much sodium. Buddig’s products routinely fail in both ways.

HOT DOGS & SAUSAGES

Jennie-O Breakfast Lover’s Turkey Sausage

(56 g, 2 links)
130 calories, 10 g fat (3 g saturated), 310 mg sodium, 8 g protein
With “turkey” on the label you should expect more from your breakfast sausage.

Hillshire Farm Polska Kielbasa

(56 g)
180 calories, 16 g fat (5 g saturated), 510 mg sodium, 7 g protein
Both kielbasa and chorizo are spicy ethnic sausages, but opt for Al Fresco and you double up on protein while cutting calories, fat, and sodium.

Johnsonville Beddar with Cheddar

(66 g, 1 link)
200 calories, 17 g fat (6 g saturated), 620 mg sodium, 8 g protein
More calories, less protein, and a hearty dose of MSG.

Oscar Mayer Selects Angus Hot Dogs

(57 g, 1 frank)
180 calories, 17 g fat (7 g saturated), 420 mg sodium, 6 g protein
“Angus” beef is just as likely as regular beef to be loaded with fat, and whether it tastes any better is a subject for debate.

Hillshire Farm Smoked Bratwurst

(76 g, 1 link)
240 calories, 22 g fat (8 g saturated), 780 mg sodium, 8 g protein
More than 80 percent of this brat’s calories come from fat.

Oscar Mayer Classic Light Beef Franks

(45 g, 1 frank)
90 calories, 7 g fat (3 g saturated), 450 mg sodium, 5 g protein
Hot dogs vary widely in terms of fat content, so it’s important to flip the package and scan the ingredients list. Case in point: You could eat half a dozen of Hebrew National dogs and still not reach the fat load of these “light” franks.

meat substitutes

(45 g, 1 link)
120 calories, 6 g fat (0 g saturated), 320 mg sodium
A heavy hand with vegetable oil adds more than 50 calories to each link.

Amy’s California Veggie Burgers

(71 g, 1 patty)
150 calories, 5 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 500 mg sodium
More calories, fat, and sodium and less protein. The choice is simple.

MorningStar Farms Buffalo Wings

(85 g, 5 wings)
200 calories, 8 g fat (1 g saturated), 640 mg sodium
MorningStar’s wings are no match for Gardein’s—they have nearly double the calories and 220 percent more fat per serving.

Tofurky Franks

(45 g, 1 link)
80 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated), 370 mg sodium
For the same number of calories, you could switch over to Smart Dogs’ Jumbo dog and get more protein for your caloric buck.

Boca All American Classic Meatless Burgers Made with Non-GMO Soy

(71 g, 1 patty)
140 calories, 5 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 500 mg sodium
Even without GMOs, this still falls flat.

LightLife Gimme Lean Smart Ground Beef Style

(57 g, 2 oz)
70 calories, 0 g fat, 350 mg sodium
These crumbles contain barely half the protein of Boca’s.

Tofurky Italian Sausage

(100 g, 1 sausage)
270 calories, 13 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 620 mg sodium
Amazingly enough, this fake Italian sausage packs nearly as many calories as the real stuff.

CHEESES

Stella Crumbled Gorgonzola

(28 g, ¼ cup)
100 calories, 8 g fat (6 g saturated), 380 mg sodium, 6 g protein
Even with less cheese in each serving, you still end up with more calories and fat.

Sargento 4 Cheese Mexican

(24 g, 1 stick)
110 calories, 9 g fat (6 g saturated), 200 mg sodium, 6 g protein
The Blended Cheese Principle: The more varieties of cheese in a package, the more calories it will contain.

Sorrento Sticksters Cheddar Cheese Sticks

(24 g, 1 stick)
100 calories, 8 g fat (4.5 g saturated), 150 mg sodium, 6 g protein
The rollerblading cheese stick on the label doesn’t mean this is a kid-friendly snack.

Kraft Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp 2% Milk

(28 g)
90 calories, 6 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 240 mg sodium, 7 g protein
Switch to Cabot’s and you’ll cut 320 calories from each pound of cheese you buy.

Kraft Deli Deluxe Sharp Cheddar Slices

(28 g, 1 slice)
110 calories, 9 g fat (5 g saturated), 450 mg sodium, 6 g protein
These slices earn three-quarters of their calories from fat. And what does that earn you? Nothing but extra calories.

Pillsbury Grands! Homestyle Buttermilk Biscuits

(58 g, 1 biscuit)
170 calories, 6 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 3 g trans fats, 580 mg sodium
Pastry makers prefer semisolid fats, like trans, because they provide a crispier, flakier texture. Is it worth sacrificing health for? Not to us. A full 15 percent of the calories in this biscuit come from artery-clogging oils.

CEREALS

Quaker Natural Granola Oats, Honey, Raisins & Almonds

(102 g, 1 cup)
420 calories, 10 g fat (1 g saturated), 26 g sugars
Granola must have a heck of a PR guy. After all, someone managed to convince an entire nation of eaters that clumps of oats and raisins glued together with sugar is somehow healthy. Five years as America’s Worst Cereal, we hope, cuts through the spin. One cup has the calorie equivalent of 3 servings of Cookie Crisp cereal!

Kellogg’s Honey Smacks

(1 cup)
133 calories, 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 1 g fiber, 20 g sugars
This is among the most sugar-loaded boxes in the cereal aisle.

Post Cocoa Pebbles

(1 cup)
160 calories, 1 g fat (1 g saturated), 0 g fiber, 15 g sugars
Not just devoid of fiber, but also soaked with hydrogenated oils.

General Mills Golden Grahams

(1 cup)
160 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated), 1 g fiber, 15 g sugars
Loaded with sugar, lacking in fiber, and saturated with sodium.

General Mills Reese’s Puffs

(1 cup)
160 calories, 4 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 1 g fiber, 13 g sugars
Oxford researchers rated this the unhealthiest cereal in the supermarket.

General Mills Apple Cinnamon Cheerios

(1 cup)
160 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated), 3 g fiber, 13 g sugars
Worse than most junk cereal.

General Mills Cinnamon Chex

(1 cup)
160 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated), <1 g fiber 11 g sugars
This cereal delivers more than 130 calories of pure carbohydrates.

Quaker Life

(1 cup)
160 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated), 2.5 g fiber, 8 g sugars
Life isn’t the worst cereal on the shelf, but it does pack in more than three times as much sugar as fiber.

Kashi Strawberry Fields

120 calories, 0 g fat, 1 g fiber, 9 g sugars
This is one of Kashi’s biggest flops. Strawberry Fields features white rice instead of
the 7 Whole Grain Blend found in many of its cereals.

BREADS

Wonder Classic White Bread

It has 98 calories of nutritionally shallow enriched flour and high-fructose corn syrup.

Sara Lee Hearty & Delicious 100% Whole Wheat

(86 g, 2 slices)
240 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated), 6 g fiber
The fiber’s commendable, but these slices are way too calorie dense to qualify as pantry staples.

Wonder Made with Whole Grain White

(57 g, 2 slices)
140 calories, 2 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 3 g fiber
Compared to the same variety of bread made by Nature’s Own, this loaf has more sugar, more sodium, and less fiber.

Arnold Whole Grains Health Nut

(86 g, 2 slices)
240 calories, 4 g fat (0 g saturated), 4 g fiber
The second ingredient is the same white flour you’d find in a slice of Wonder Classic White bread.

Nature’s Pride 12 Grain

(86 g, 2 slices)
220 calories, 4 g fat (0 g saturated), 4 g fiber
The wheat is whole grain, sure. Too bad the other 11 grains aren’t. You’d need twice as much fiber to justify these calories.

Sara Lee Honey Wheat

(57 g, 2 slices)
150 calories, 1.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 2 g fiber
Most breads are made from a form of wheat, but unless it says “whole,” you’re paying for stripped-down grains with little fiber and minuscule amounts of micronutrients.

Oroweat Whole Grains 7 Grain

(76 g, 2 slices)
180 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated), 4 g fiber
Sure this bread contains seven grains, but refined flour is still one of its major constituents.

Home Pride Butter Top Wheat

(56 g, 2 slices)
140 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated), 2 g fiber

Sara Lee Hearty & Delicious 100% Whole Wheat

(86 g, 2 slices)
240 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated), 6 g fiber
The fiber’s commendable, but these slices are way too calorie dense to qualify as pantry staples.

TORTILLAS, WRAPS & PITAS

Mission Wraps Garden Spinach Herb

(70 g, 1 tortilla)
210 calories, 4.5 g fat (2 g saturated), 510 mg sodium
A basic tortilla takes about four ingredients to construct—flour, water, oil, salt—but Mission uses no fewer than 30 ingredients to construct these wraps, and spinach falls under the “2% or less” portion of the ingredients statement. So what is this wrap made of? A lot of enriched flour and vegetable shortening, neither of which makes for a healthy wrap. It’s the calorie equivalent of four Pizza Hut Traditional Buffalo Wings!

Toufayan Pita Bread White

(56 g, 1 pita)
150 calories, 0 g fat, 2 g fiber
Switch to Food for Life’s pita and you’ll double the fiber and drop 50 calories.

Mission Wraps Plus! Multi-Grain

(70 g, 1 wrap)
210 calories, 6 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 7 g fiber
Blame a big dose of vegetable shortening for Mission’s high-calorie wraps.

Guerrero Soft Taco Tortillas

(42 g, 1 tortilla)
140 calories, 6 g fat (3 g saturated), 1 g fiber
This tortilla contains seven ingredients and six times the fat of its corn counterpart.

Mission Flour Tortillas Medium/ Soft Taco Size

(49 g, 1 tortilla)
150 calories, 3.5 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 1 g fiber
Each shell delivers about 20 percent of your day’s sodium.

BREAKFAST BREADS

Sara Lee Deluxe Bagels Plain

(95 g, 1 bagel)
260 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated), 50 g carbs, 2 g fiber
This is a wedge of refined carbs, an invitation for a blood sugar roller coaster.

Pepperidge Farm Bagels Cinnamon Raisin

(57 g, 1 bagel)
270 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated), 57 g carbs, 3 g fiber
This bagel packs as many carbs as five slices of toast.

Pepperidge Farm Brown Sugar Cinnamon Swirl Bread

(38 g, 1 slice)
110 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated), 21 g carbs, <1 g fiber
Packs five different forms of sugar.

BREAKFAST PASTRIES

Little Debbie Honey Buns

(50 g, 1 pastry)
230 calories, 13 g fat (6 g saturated), <1 g fiber, 13 g sugars
Of the 31 ingredients in this bun, partially hydrogenated oils show up twice.

Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts Brown Sugar Cinnamon Unfrosted

(50 g, 1 pastry)
210 calories, 8 g fat (2.5 g saturated), <1 g fiber, 12 g sugars
Opting for the unfrosted version does little to boost the nutritional merit of this pathetic pastry.

Little Debbie Donut Sticks

(47 g, 1 doughnut)
230 calories, 14 g fat (7 g saturated), 15 g sugars
Little Debbie’s Donut Sticks have three strikes against them: more calories, more fat, and more sugar than the Krispy Kreme alternative.

Hostess Mini Muffins Blueberry

(57 g, 1 pouch)
210 calories, 8 g fat (1.5 g saturated), <1 g fiber, 19 g sugars
Hostess’s heavy hand with the soybean oil and added sugar turns these muffins into something more akin to dessert than breakfast.

Sunbelt Fruit & Grain Cereal Bars Apple Cinnamon

(39 g, 1 bar)
140 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated), 1 g fiber, 16 g sugars
Packages can boast all they want about a product being made with whole grains, but if it only contains a single gram of fiber, something has been lost during production.

Ne-Mo’s Fine Bakery Products Banana Bread

(113 g, 1 piece)
460 calories, 23 g fat (4 g saturated), 1 g fiber, 34 g sugars
You could eat nearly three of the Hostess SmartBakes Muffins and still consume
fewer calories.

GRAINS

Goya Thai Jasmine Rice

(45 g, ¼ cup dry)
170 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g fiber
Refined grains like this tend to prime your body for belly fat storage.

Gold Medal Organic All-Purpose Flour

(30 g, ¼ cup)
100 calories, 0 g fat, 1 g fiber
We applaud the organic effort, but it doesn’t mean much once Gold Medal strips most of the fiber from the grain.

Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice Long Grain & Wild

(1 cup prepared)
220 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated), 2 g fiber
Wild rice has more protein than brown rice, but it still comes up short when stacked against
more-robust whole grains and seeds.

Rice-A-Roni Broccoli Au Gratin

(1 cup prepared)
350 calories, 16 g fat (5 g saturated, 2 g trans), 910 mg sodium, 2 g fiber
Neither cheese nor broccoli places higher than partially hydrogenated oil in this box’s ingredient list.

Rice-A-Roni Whole Grain Blends Roasted Garlic Italiano

(1 cup prepared)
Not one of Rice-A-Roni’s
Whole Grain Blends has fewer than 250 calories—not to mention the fact that a single serving chews through about a third of your day’s sodium allotment.

Knorr Cajun Sides Dirty Rice

(1 cup prepared)
270 calories, 5.5 g fat (1 g saturated), 830 mg sodium, 2 g fiber
More calories, fat, sodium, and ingredients than Uncle Ben’s version.

Rice-A-Roni Chicken Flavor Lower Sodium

(1 cup prepared)
270 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated, 0.5 g trans), 670 mg sodium, 2 g fiber
Lower sodium? Lower than what, a salt shaker?

Nueva Cocina Black Beans & Rice

(⅓ cup dry)
220 calories, 0 g fat, 760 mg sodium, 3 g fiber
A few more black beans would earn this dish a stronger hit of fiber. Three grams isn’t enough to justify this caloric price tag.

Goya Fiesta Rice with Wild Rice & Vegetables

(1 cup prepared)
320 calories, 0 g fat, 1,000 mg sodium, 4 g fiber
The “broth-type flavor” in this box consists of monosodium glutamate (aka MSG), maltodextrin, partially hydrogenated oil, and sugar.

PASTA

No Yolks Egg White Pasta

(56 g dry)
210 calories, 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 3 g fiber
Yolks or not, this pasta is still made with regular, nutrient-hollow refined flour.

Barilla Angel Hair

(56 g dry)
200 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated), 2 g fiber
These numbers are pretty standard for run-of-the-mill white pasta. Aim for better.

De Cecco Linguine with Spinach

(56 g dry)
200 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated), 2 g fiber
Not even spinach can save this linguine. The green leaf is the second ingredient, yet it brings more color than it does nutrients to these noodles.

Ancient Harvest Quinoa Spaghetti Wheat Free

(57 g, 2 oz dry)
205 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated), 4 g fiber
You may think these noodles are made strictly from healthy quinoa, yet the primary ingredient is corn flour, which contains less protein and fiber.

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner Original

(1 cup prepared)
400 calories, 19 g fat (4.5 g saturated, 4 g trans), 710 mg sodium
This iconic box is a nutritional disaster, complete with more than 2 days’ worth of trans fats per serving.

American Beauty Quick Cook Elbows

(56 g dry)
210 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated), 2 g fiber
If you’re going to make a cheesy pasta dish, the least you can do is start with a more wholesome noodle.

Roland Organic Buckwheat Soba Noodles

(56 g dry)
200 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated), 1 g fiber
These noodles would be commendable if they were made with whole-grain buckwheat.

Nissin Chow Mein Thai Peanut

(114 g, 1 container)
560 calories, 28 g fat (10 g saturated), 1,280 mg sodium
This bowl is filled with half your day’s saturated fat and sodium, plus a pool of partially hydrogenated oil.

Nissin Cup Noodles Chicken

(64 g, 1 container)
300 calories, 13 g fat (7 g saturated), 1,060 mg sodium
Loaded with 45 percent of your daily sodium and 35 percent of your day’s saturated fat.

Betty Crocker Suddenly Pasta Salad Classic

(1 cup prepared)
330 calories, 10 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 1,040 mg sodium
This side dish packs a staggering 40 percent of your daily sodium.

Simply Organic Macaroni & Cheese

(1 cup prepared)
360 calories, 14 g fat (11 g saturated), 859 mg sodium
Organic it may be, but that does not forgive the sin of excess sodium and saturated fat.

PACKAGED PROTEINS

Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Pink Salmon Steak Lightly Marinated with Lemon & Dill

(4 oz, 1 pouch)
150 calories, 4.5 g fat (1 g saturated), 600 mg sodium
The addition of soybean oil undermines the healthful effects of the omega-3 fats.

Bumble Bee Easy Peel Sensations Lemon & Pepper Seasoned Tuna Medley with Crackers


(103 g, 1 can with crackers)
200 calories, 7.5 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 460 mg sodium
Blame the oily marinade.

Hormel Lean Ham with Smoke Flavoring

(2 oz, 56 g)
90 calories, 6 g fat (2 g saturated), 620 mg sodium
Canned ham carries far more sodium than fresh ham. Unless you simply must have it, switch to chicken and save yourself the added cardiovascular strain.

Bumble Bee Tuna Salad with Crackers

(99 g, 1 kit)
300 calories, 22 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 435 mg sodium
If you choose Bumble Bee over StarKist three times per week, you’ll take in 4 extra pounds of pure fat in 1 year’s time.

StarKist Albacore White Tuna in Water

(74 g, 1 pouch)
90 calories, 2 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 310 mg sodium
Albacore in a pouch contains just as much mercury as it does in a can. Make chunk light your go-to tuna.

Spam Lite

(6 oz, 168 g)
330 calories, 24 g fat (9 g saturated), 1,740 mg sodium
Even Spam’s light version contains the fat of 10 pieces of Oscar Mayer Center Cut Bacon and the sodium of a sleeve and a half of saltine crackers.

THE PANTRY AISLE

Bisquick Pancake Mix

(40 g, 1⁄3 cup mix)
160 calories, 4.5 g fat (1 g saturated), 1.5 g trans fats, 1 g fiber
The award for Most Shocking Use of Trans Fats goes to Bisquick. Who knew that during all those years of Sunday pancake breakfasts you were consuming your limit of trans fats for a day or more every time you reached for the Bisquick? For those not looking to boost their cholesterol with every bite of pancake, there are excellent alternatives out there, like the fiber-rich mix from Hodgson Mill. Better yet, take the extra 2 minutes to make your pancake batter from scratch.

Pasta Roni Fettuccine Alfredo

(1 cup prepared with 2% milk and margarine)
450 calories, 24 g fat (7 g saturated, 3.5 g trans), 1,050 mg sodium
Alfredo is bad enough as it is, but Pasta Roni’s version compounds the nutritional negligence with partially hydrogenated oil, monosodium glutamate, and a smattering of artificial colors. Each serving of this side dish has a meal’s worth of calories, two-thirds of your day’s sodium allotment, and 2 days’ worth of trans fats. Safe yourself by boiling your own pasta and tossing it with olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan. It has the sodium equivalent of 97 Cheez-Its!

Pillsbury Sugar Free Brownie Mix Chocolate Fudge

(1/12 package, 29 g baked)
150 calories, 8.5 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 0 g sugars, 9 g sugar alcohols
Pillsbury laces its brownie with partially hydrogenated oils. This one’s a no-brainer.

Equal

(1 g, 1 packet)
0 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g sugars, 0 g sugar alcohols
The FDA deems aspartame safe, but more than a few studies have challenged the artificial
sweetener’s safety.

GLUTEN FREE

DeBoles Gluten Free Rice Plus Golden Flax Angel Hair

(56 g, ¼ package)
210 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 1 g fiber
The omega-3 fats here come at the expense of fiber.

King Arthur Gluten Free Flour

(30 g, 3 Tbsp)
110 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g fiber
White rice flour is nutritionally bankrupt, just like all white flours.

Schär Cookies Chocolate O’s

(30 g, 3 cookies)
150 calories, 7 g fat (4 g saturated), 9 g sugars
Contains 20 percent of your day’s saturated fat intake.

Udi’s Gluten Free Double Chocolate Muffins

(85 g, 1 muffin)
270 calories, 12 g fat (4 g saturated), 2 g fiber, 25 g sugars
Contains more sugar than a Snickers bar.

Food for Life Wheat & Gluten Free White Rice Bread

(86 g, 2 slices)
220 calories, 4 g fat (0 g saturated), 2 g fiber
Craft your gluten-free-bread sandwich masterpiece with Rudi’s and save 40 calories per serving.

Betty Crocker Gluten Free Cake Mix Devil’s Food

(43 g mix)
260 calories, 12 g fat (7 g saturated), 1 g fiber, 20 g sugars
Betty fails to deliver.

Glutino Gluten Free Pretzel Twists

(30 g, 24 pretzels)
140 calories, 6 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 420 mg sodium
Glutino packs in the calories thanks to a heavy hand with the palm oil.

POTATO CHIPS

Terra Sweet Potato Chips

(1 oz, 17 chips)
160 calories, 11 g fat (1 g saturated), 10 mg sodium
These chips support our stance that the healthy reputation of sweet potatoes has been somewhat overhyped.

Kettle Sea Salt & Vinegar Chips

(1 oz, 13 chips)
150 calories, 9 g fat (1 g saturated), 210 mg sodium
A thoroughly mediocre bag of fried potatoes.

Ruffles Reduced Fat

(1 oz, 13 chips)
140 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated), 180 mg sodium
Reduced-fat chips might trump their ultra-oily siblings, but they still fall short when compared to the low fat content of a well-made baked chip.

Lay’s Kettle Cooked Original

(1 oz, 16 chips)
160 calories, 9 g fat (1 g saturated), 90 mg sodium
“Kettle” cooking seems to imply a connection to a bygone era when food was simpler. Too bad a serving of these spuds contains nearly as much fat as a small order of McDonald’s fries.

Lay’s Sour Cream & Onion

(1 oz, 17 chips)
160 calories, 10 g fat (1 g saturated), 160 mg sodium
This classic bag of Lay’s punishes careless snackers with an excessive amount of calories and fat.

T.G.I. Friday’s Potato Skins Jalapeño Cheddar

(1 oz, 16 chips)
150 calories, 8 g fat (1 g saturated), 340 mg sodium
A full 40 ingredients, the first of which is not potatoes, but rather vegetable oil.

Gardetto’s Special Request Roasted Garlic Rye Chips

(30 g, 1⁄2 cup)
170 calories, 10 g fat (2 g saturated), 3 g trans fats, 320 mg sodium
For this bag, Gardetto’s has extracted only the trans-fattiest component of its grease-laden Original Recipe, and the result is a trans-fats travesty. Partially hydrogenated oil is the second ingredient, occurring even before the snack’s namesake, rye.

CORN CHIPS

El Sabroso Original Guacachip

(1 oz, 28 g)
150 calories, 9 g fat (1 g saturated), 160 mg sodium
The bag says “real avocados,” but the ingredients statement says “avocado powder.”

Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Crunchy

(1 oz, 21 pieces)
170 calories, 11 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 250 mg sodium
Nearly 100 of these calories come from oil.

Chester’s Puffcorn Cheese

(1 oz, 46 pieces)
160 calories, 11 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 290 mg sodium
Nearly two-thirds of these calories come from the frying oil.

Fritos Chili Cheese Flavored Corn Chips

(1 oz, 31 chips)
160 calories 10 g fat (1.5 g saturated) 260 mg sodium
It takes Frito-Lay 31 ingredients to make these chips, partially hydrogenated soybean oil being the most nefarious of the lot.

Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili

(1 oz, 11 chips)
140 calories 7 g fat (1 g saturated) 270 mg sodium
Ever wonder why Doritos are so addictive? Perhaps having MSG as the fifth item on the ingredients list has something to do with it.

Bugles Original Flavor

(30 g, 1 ⅓ cups)
160 calories, 9 g fat (8 g saturated), 310 mg sodium
Each serving of these little horns contains 40 percent of your day’s saturated fat limit.

Tostitos Multigrain Tortilla Chips

(1 oz, 8 chips)
150 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated), 110 mg sodium
Don’t fall for the “multigrain” hype. By weight, this chip contains nearly four times more fat than fiber.

PRETZELS & SNACK MIXES

Bugles Sweet & Salty Chocolate Peanut Butter

(32 g, ⅔ cup)
170 calories, 9 g fat (6 g saturated), 150 mg sodium
Four different kinds of oil give this mix as much saturated fat as six strips of bacon.

Snyder’s of Hanover Honey Mustard & Onion Pretzel Pieces

(28 g, ⅓ cup)
140 calories, 7 g fat (3 g saturated), 240 mg sodium
A thick application of palm oil gives this bag considerably more fat than Rold Gold’s.

Rold Gold Tiny Twists Cheddar

(28 g, ≈20 pretzels)
490 mg sodium, 110 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated)
Pretzels are salt magnates regardless of brand, but Rold Gold regularly packs in twice the sodium as its competitors. Each individual Tiny Twist has about 25 milligrams.

Cheez-It Snack Mix Double Cheese

(30 g, 3⁄4 cup)
470 mg sodium, 130 calories, 5 g fat (1.5 g saturated)
If the sodium count itself doesn’t scare you, how about this: The word “salt” appears in the ingredients list 11 times.

Annie’s Homegrown Organic Snack Mix

(28 g, ½ cup)
130 calories, 5 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 250 mg sodium
Organic is good, but a fiberless snack is not.

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Baked Snack Crackers Pretzel

(30 g, 43 pieces)
130 calories, 2.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 430 mg sodium
These fish are swimming in sodium and oil.

Pepperidge Farm Baked Naturals Snack Sticks Toasted Sesame

(12 sticks)
140 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated), 290 mg sodium
Better than a bag of standard chips, but not quite as good as pretzels or baked chips.

Gardetto’s Original Recipe Snack Mix

(30 g, ½ cup)
The gratuitous use of partially hydrogenated oils makes this line one dangerous snack. Each serving has nearly as much trans fats as the American Heart Association recommends as the maximum to consume in a day.

Ritz Crackers

Each serving has 6 grams of fat from soybean and partially hydrogenated oils, and a hidden shot of high–fructose corn syrup.

Popcorn

Pop-Secret Butter

(2 Tbsp kernels, 4 1⁄2 cups popped)
5 g trans fats, 180 calories, 12 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 310 mg sodium
Microwave popcorn is one of the biggest contributors of trans fats to the American diet. The reason: Popcorn companies still rely on partially hydrogenated oil to pop their kernels. Shovel in this whole bag during your next movie night and you’ve just put down 15 grams of the bad stuff, 10 times what experts deem safe to consume in a day.

Orville Redenbacher’s Pop Up Bowl Movie Theater Butter

(2 cups popped)
70 calories, 5 g fat (2 g saturated), 80 mg sodium
Don’t let a gimmicky “Pop Up Bowl” influence the quality of the popcorn you eat.

Orville Redenbacher’s Poppycock Original

(31 g, ½ cup)
160 calories, 8 g fat (2 g saturated), 120 mg sodium, 13 g sugars
The heavy application of glaze puts this one in the candy category.

Jolly Time Blast O Butter

(2 cups popped)
90 calories, 6 g fat (2 g saturated, 2 g trans), 170 mg sodium
Jolly Time isn’t shy about pouring on the partially hydrogenated oils. One serving has more trans fats than you should consume in a day.

Smartfood White Cheddar

(2 cups)
183 calories, 11 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 331 mg sodium
Smart? Hardly. This bag earns a heavy glut of fat from oils, cheese, and buttermilk.

Jolly Time KettleMania Kettle Corn

(2 cups popped)
90 calories, 6 g fat (2 g saturated, 2 g trans), 80 mg sodium
“Mania” is correct. You’d have to be a maniac to eat this much trans fats in one sitting.

Newman’s Own Popcorn Light Butter

(2 cups popped)
70 calories, 2 g fat (1 g saturated), 97 mg sodium
Not a terrible choice, but if you’re looking for a “light” popcorn, there are better bags to buy.

Pop-Secret Homestyle

(2 cups popped)
60 calories, 4 g fat (0 g saturated, 2 g trans), 140 mg sodium
The reckless use of partially hydrogenated oils imbues each bag with 12 grams of trans fats,
which have a firm link to heart disease. Pop-Secret should be ashamed of itself.

FRUITS, NUTS & SEEDS

Fruit Roll-Ups Strawberry

(14 g, 1 roll)
50 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated), 7 g sugars, 0 g fiber
Made from 14 ingredients including partially hydrogenated oils. The one ingredient missing? Fruit.

Mariani Philippine Mango

(40 g, 6 slices)
130 calories, 0 g fat, 27 g sugars, 1 g fiber
Mangoes natural sugars intensify in the drying process, which makes the added sugar all the more puzzling.

Sunsweet California Grown Dates Chopped

(40 g, ¼ cup)
120 calories, 0 g fat, 27 g sugars, 3 g fiber
The sugar coating pushes these dates dangerously close to candy status.

(28 g, 18 pieces)
170 calories, 15 g fat (2 g saturated), 50 mg sodium, 2 g fiber

Mariani Vanilla Flavored Yogurt Raisins

(30 g, 2 Tbsp)
150 calories, 7 g fat, (6 g saturated), 17 g sugars, 1 g fiber
The yogurt is really partially hydrogenated oil.

David Sunflower Kernels Roasted & Salted

(30 g, ¼ cup)
190 calories, 15 g fat (2 g saturated), 220 mg sodium, 3 g fiber
Doused in partially hydrogenated oil.

Blue Diamond Natural Oven Roasted Almonds Butter Toffee

(28 g, 24 nuts)
160 calories, 12 g fat (1 g saturated), 35 mg sodium, 3 g fiber
Three of the first four ingredients are forms of sugar.

Seneca Crispy Apple Chips Original

(28 g, 12 chips)
160 calories, 7 g fat (3 g saturated), 110 mg sodium, 12 g sugars
“Snack healthier,” Seneca implores eaters on the label (then proceeds to dip its apples in oil and corn syrup).

COOKIES

Nabisco Chocolate Creme Oreo

(30 g, 2 cookies)
150 calories, 7 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 110 mg sodium, 13 g sugars
And the regular Oreos are even worse—they deliver an extra gram of sugar and 10 extra calories per serving.

Newman’s Own Fig Newmans Low Fat

(38 g, 2 bars)
140 calories, 2 g fat (1 g saturated), 170 mg sodium, 13 g sugars
Surprisingly enough, the Fig Newmans low-fat cookie has more calories than the original Newtons. Blame the extra rush of refined carbs.

Keebler Chips Deluxe Oatmeal Chocolate Chip

(31 g, 2 cookies)
150 calories, 7 g fat (3 g saturated), 105 mg sodium, 10 g sugars
Add just one of these 75-calorie Keebler cookies to your daily diet and you’ll gain nearly 8 pounds this year.

Murray Sugar Free Pecan Shortbread Cookies

(32 g, 3 cookies)
160 calories, 11 g fat (3 g saturated), 0 g sugars
The fat here comes primarily from soybean and palm oils. Remember, even if you remove sugar from the equation, calories still matter.

Keebler Sandies Simply Shortbread

(31 g, 2 cookies)
160 calories, 9 g fat (4 g saturated), 90 mg sodium, 7 g sugars
We applaud the low sugar count, but not the heavy deposits of soybean and palm oils.

Mrs. Fields Milk Chocolate Chip

(34 g, 1 cookie)
160 calories, 8 g fat (4 g saturated), 160 mg sodium, 15 g sugars
The dearth of fiber ensures that this will pass straight through your belly, spike your blood sugar, and convert quickly to flab.

Keebler Soft Batch Chocolate Chip

(32 g, 2 cookies)
This cookie has more fat, more sodium, and more sugar than the same cookie from Chips Ahoy!

SNACK CAKES

Oreo Double Stuf Cakesters

(37 g, 1 snack cake)
170 calories, 9 g fat (2 g saturated), 17 g sugars
The first four ingredients—sugar, palm oil, enriched flour, and high-fructose corn syrup—are each to be avoided individually, so in concert, they create one catastrophic cookie. Consume one of these a day and after a year, you’ll have packed on 17 pounds of fat. Then you’ll be shopping for double-stuff pants. One is the calorie equivalent of 80 Jujubes candy pieces!

Little Debbie Strawberry Shortcake Rolls

(61 g, 1 roll)
240 calories, 9 g fat (3 g saturated), 27 g sugars
The only reference to fruit in the ingredient list is to “artificial strawberry,” i.e., an additive engineered in a lab to look and taste like the real thing. No thanks, Debbie.

Entenmann’s Little Bites Fudge Brownies

(62 g, 1 pack)
270 calories, 14 g fat (4 g saturated), 25 g sugars
Entenmann’s brownies are only slightly better than its doughnuts.

Hostess Suzy Q’s

(57 g, 1 cake)
220 calories, 9 g fat (4.5 g saturated), 24 g sugars
One Suzy Q has 50 more calories than a Wendy’s Jr. Original Chocolate Frosty.

Dove Sugar Free Chocolate Crème Dark Chocolates

(40 g, 5 pieces)
190 calories, 15 g fat (10 g saturated), 0 g sugars
Each small piece contains 10 percent of your day’s saturated fat limit.

Little Debbie Oatmeal Crème Pies

(38 g, 1 pie)
170 calories, 7 g fat (2 g saturated), 12 g sugars
Don’t be fooled; the oatmeal is nothing more than the vehicle for fat and sugar.

Little Debbie Fudge Rounds (Big Pack)

(67 g, 1 round)
310 calories, 12 g fat (4.5 g saturated), 30 g sugars
Little Debbie’s Big Packs are woeful not just for the content of their cakes but also for the Flintstonian portion size. This one has more calories than 8 strips of bacon.

Hostess Ding Dongs

(40 g, 1 cake)
Each Ding Dong has double the fat of the Twinkie, and because it comes in a two-pack, you have to practice restraint to avoid bingeing.


MORE FROM EAT THIS, NOT THAT!

The 55 Best Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

50 Weight Loss Secrets From Slim People

25 Most Overlooked Ways to Lose Weight

The 25 Best Carbs That Will Uncover Your Abs


LOSE UP TO 16 POUNDS IN 14 DAYS!

FOR 150+ recipes that flatten your belly fast—made with the foods you love—buy the brand-new book from Abs Diet creator David Zinczenko that's already topping the Amazon charts: Zero Belly Cookbook!

Zero Belly Cookbook

Read This!