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17 Worst Foods to Buy at Target

The store's Market Pantry line is beloved, but some of the brand's options aren't the healthiest.

Going on a shopping trip to Target might result in you leaving the store with a few extra items. It happens to us all! But the store's grocery section is nothing short of impressive, with loyal shoppers stocking up on just about everything from the company's own Market Pantry brand. Reasonably-priced groceries is never a bad thing, but there are some Market Pantry items that just miss the mark.

Here, we've rounded up the Market Pantry foods that are better left on the shelves.

1

Market Pantry Unicorn Magic Ice Cream

unicorn magic ice cream

Per 1 serving: 220 calories, 11 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 65 mg sodium, 28 g carbs (1 g fiber, 24 g sugar), 2 g protein

Unicorn Magic is a rather unique flavor. It's pink fruity ice cream mixed with sour blue raspberry and frosting swirls, and glitter candy bits. While rather pretty to look at, it's packed with sugar, as you can imagine. One serving comes in at 220 calories and 24 grams of sugar. Yikes!

2

Market Pantry Mac & Cheese Bites

macaroni and cheese bites

Per 1 serving: 270 calories, 13 g fat (3.6 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 440 mg sodium, 26 g carbs (1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 7 g protein

Between the calories, fat, and sodium here, you're much better off simply munching on actual slices of cheese.

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3

Market Pantry Pink Lemonade

pink lemonade

Per 1 serving: 120 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 35 mg sodium, 29 g carbs (1 g fiber, 29 g sugar), 0 g protein

One glass of this pink lemonade knocks you back 29 grams of sugar. That's more sugar than you'll get in one Hershey's chocolate bar. No thanks!

4

Market Pantry Buffalo Style Frozen Chicken Breast Bites

chicken breast bites

Per 1 serving: 230 calories, 12 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 970 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 16 g protein

Here, you'll find breaded chicken that is slathered in a hot and tangy sauce, serving up a ton of sodium. Nearly 1,000 milligrams for a few bite-sized pieces? You'll want to pass on these.

5

Market Pantry Chocolate Dipped Granola Bars

granola bars

Per 1 bar: 140 calories, 5 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 40 mg sodium, 19 g carbs (1 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 1 g protein

While 140 calories doesn't seem too bad for a snack and you're thinking "granola bar, that's healthy," you'll want to take a closer look. These granola bars have chocolate chips mixed in with the granola, and the bar itself is dipped in chocolate, so you're basically eating a candy bar.

6

Market Pantry Cream Cheese Stuffed Jalapeño Poppers

cream cheese jalapenos

Per 1 serving: 240 calories, 17 g fat (5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 320 mg sodium, 19 g carbs (1 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 4 g protein

These jalapeños are stuffed with cream cheese and feature a "crispy breading." From the high amount of fat and sodium, it's easy to see why these little fried appetizers should just stay in the freezer aisle.

7

Market Pantry Macaroni & Cheese Dinner

Mac and cheese

Per 1 serving: 250 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 500 mg sodium, 52 g carbs (1 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 8 g protein

It's important to keep in mind that this nutrition breakdown is only for one serving of this boxed max and cheese, and there are two and a half servings in the box. Everyone knows how easy it is to eat an entire box of mac and cheese by yourself and here, that will set you back 1,250 milligrams of sodium and 130 grams of carbs.

8

Market Pantry Butter Flavored Pancake Syrup

butter syrup

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Per 1 serving: 210 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 130 mg sodium, 52 g carbs (0 g fiber, 34 g sugar), 0 g protein

When the first two ingredients are corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup, you know you're in trouble. And one serving of this butter-flavored pancake syrup clocks in at 34 grams of sugar. Be sure you're always buying pure maple syrup instead.

9

Market Pantry Mixed Berry Fruit Flavored Snacks

mixed berry fruit snacks

Per 1 serving: 70 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 20 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (1 g fiber, 14 g sugar), 1 g protein

Fruit snacks are a childhood staple, but you're basically just eating sugar. Plus, 13 of the 14 grams are added sugar in one little pack, and you know it's easy to down more than one pack at a time. Instead, eat actual instead.

10

Market Pantry Raisin Bran Breakfast Cereal

raisin bran

Per 1 serving: 190 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 210 mg sodium, 46 g carbs (7 g fiber, 17 g sugar), 0 g protein

Don't let the raisins in this cereal fool you! It's not particularly healthy. Although it does dish up a solid serving of fiber, which is great for a breakfast food, 17 grams of sugar is high. Nutritionally speaking, it's almost identical to Kellogg's Raisin Bran, so the takeaway here is to make sure both of these cereals never enter your shopping cart.

11

Market Pantry Mini Frozen Cheeseburgers

mini cheeseburgers

Per 1 serving: 330 calories, 14 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 710 mg sodium, 34 g carbs (2 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 0 g protein

These sandwiches are mini, and one serving—which is two burgers—will already set you back 710 milligrams of sodium and 14 grams of fat. It's always a risk with frozen meals, and this one, unfortunately, is an example of an option you shouldn't even bother with.

12

Market Pantry Traditional Pasta Sauce

traditional pasta sauce

Per 1 serving: 60 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 480 mg sodium, 11 g carbs (2 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 2 g protein

Out of all the Market Pantry brand sauces, this is the one that has the most sodium, which is something you always have to keep an eye on when it comes to jarred pasta sauces. You can always try your hand at making your own right at home if you're feeling truly adventurous.

13

Market Pantry Mini Corn Frozen Dogs

mini corn dogs


Per 1 serving: 170 calories, 7 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 370 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (1 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 7 g protein

These little hit dogs are cooked in a cornmeal batter and the problem with a bite-sized appetizer like this is that it's very easy to keep mindlessly eating them. Be mindful and only have a few if you do end up in indulging!

14

Market Pantry Strawberries and Cream Instant Oatmeal

market pantry strawberries and cream instant oatmeal

Per 1 serving: 130 calories, 1.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 180 mg sodium, 27 g carbs (2 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 3 g protein

Instant oatmeal is an easy breakfast, but this packet serves up 13 grams of sugar, 10 of which are added. The Quaker brand version of this flavor actually has less sugar and calories, which is a bit surprising! Either way, it's always better to just start with plain oats and add your own fruit and nut butters instead of going for the premade stuff.

15

Market Pantry Cherry Mixed Fruit Cups

cherry mixed fruit

Per 1 serving: 70 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 5 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (1 g fiber, 16 g sugar), 0 g protein

Although this fruit cocktail is in a light syrup, the fact that it's in any syrup at all is reason enough to ditch it and just go for fresh fruit instead. The real stuff won't have any added sugars!

16

Market Pantry Zesty Italian Dressing & Marinade

italian dressing

Per 1 serving: 60 calories, 4.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 300 mg sodium, 3 g carbs (1 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 0 g protein

While this dressing is overall pretty low in sugar, it's still packing up a lot of sodium and fat. When in doubt, toss your salad with a classic oil and vinegar dressing you can whip up yourself!

17

Market Pantry Deluxe Shells Macaroni & Cheese Dinner

Mac and cheese dinner

Per 1 serving: 370 calories, 13 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 860 mg sodium, 52 g carbs (2 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 0 g protein

Thought maybe Market Pantry's deluxe shells mac and cheese would be a better option? This one has even more sodium per serving at 860 milligrams, which means the whole box will cost you 2,580 milligrams. And that's just one meal!

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Jennifer Maldonado
Jennifer Maldonado is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and health content. Read more
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