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The Worst Foods to Buy at Walmart

The store's Great Value brand has plenty of options, but there are some you should leave on shelves.
FACT CHECKED BY Meaghan Cameron

It's no secret that Walmart is a true one-stop kind of store: you walk in and are able to walk out with everything you need. The grocery section is impressive, as you can easily find, you guessed it, whatever it is you're looking for.

And the store's own Great Value brand features a large variety of foods—from canned vegetables, frozen breakfast options, to plenty of sweet treats, you can easily stock up your refrigerator and pantries with their items.

But, which Great Value foods just aren't worth it? We rounded up the worst Great Value foods you just shouldn't buy. Then, don't miss 26 Items Costco Is Discontinuing Right Now.

Great Value Peanut Butter

great value creamy peanut butter

Peanut butter really only needs to have two things: peanuts and salt. And, we know, sometimes people need a little sweet stuff and a bit more oil to make it spreadable. What it doesn't need is the three different kinds of sugar that the Great Value brand adds in the form of regular old sugar, dextrose, and molasses. Additionally, this peanut butter contains hydrogenated cottonseed, rapeseed, and soybean oils. Seek out the Organic Great Value peanut butter which only two ingredients: organic dry roasted peanuts and salt.

Great Value Cinnamon Applesauce

great value applesauce

Per 1 serving; 80 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 19 g carbs (1 g fiber, 15 g sugar), 0 g protein

Applesauce is an easy way to get your fruit fix, and it's a pantry staple that will last for a while. And while there is no high fructose corn syrup here, there are still 15 grams of sugar per serving, including added sugar. Instead, go just for Great Value's Organic Unsweetened Applesauce as it doesn't contain any added sugar.

Great Value Thin Sliced Roast Beef

great value roast beef

Per 2-ounce serving; 60 calories, 2 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 560 mg sodium, 0 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 10 g protein

While this roast beef has no artificial flavors and no nitrates—which are good things!—what you want to be cautious of here is the sodium. One slice is already 560 milligrams and most likely if you're making a sandwich, you're piling on two, or three slices of the meat. Factoring in every other aspect of building a yummy sandwich, you may come close to hitting the maximum recommended 2,300 milligrams of sodium (per the most recent USDA dietary guidelines) in just one meal.

Great Value Loaded (Cheddar & Bacon) Twice Baked Potatoes

great value twice baked potatoes
Per 1-piece serving; 290 calories, 13 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 500 mg sodium, 36 g carbs (5 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 9 g protein

Taking a glance at this nutrition breakdown, you're most likely thinking it's not that bad. But keep in mind, that's if you only eat half of a potato. That's not very much, and each serving packs 500 milligrams of sodium so if you eat two you're consuming 1,000 milligrams of sodium and 13 grams of saturated fat.

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Great Value Artisan Crafted Cheeseburger

great value mac and cheese
Per 3.5-ounce serving, as prepared; 310 calories, 10 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 860 mg sodium, 45 g carbs (2 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 11 g protein

The four-cheese gourmet-inspired mac and cheese sounds delicious. But again, the sodium you're going to consume from this product is just too high, because you'll inevitably eat more than one serving. Note how each box contains four servings. A reasonable serving would be half the box prepared which would net you 1,720 milligrams of sodium!

Great Value Crème Filled Swiss Rolls Snack Cakes

Great Value Crème Filled Swiss Rolls Snack Cakes
Per 1 serving; 240 calories, 9 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 150 mg sodium, 39 g carbs (2 g fiber, 19 g sugar), 1 g protein

Having a sweet treat on hand in the kitchen is never a bad thing, but this dessert option is one you're going to want to leave on the shelf. While the serving size is two cakes—19 grams of added sugar is still high. It will be far too easy to eat this entire box by yourself in a short span of time so you're better off just skipping these.

Be sure to check out 12 Frozen Breakfasts to Always Leave on Grocery Store Shelves for more packaged goods to steer clear of.

Great Value Magic Treasures Cereal

magic treasures cereal Walmart
Per 1 serving; 160 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 280 mg sodium, 35 g carbs (2 g fiber, 17 g sugar), 3 g protein

The 17 grams of sugar alone should have you leaving this cereal in the store. And if that's not enough, the ingredients list is filled with those pesky food colorings, Yellow 5 and 6 and Blue 1, which have their own lists of possible scary side effects. A bowl of colorful cereal in the morning just isn't worth it right now!

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Great Value Frosted Toaster Pastries, Cookies and Cream

great value toaster pastries

Per 1 pastry: 200 calories, 5 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 240 mg sodium, 37 g carbs (1 g fiber, 17 g sugar), 3 g protein

When sugar and high fructose corn syrup are high up on the ingredients list, you know you're in trouble. These pastries cost you 200 calories a pop and nearly 20 grams of sugar to boot. Skip!

Great Value Four Cheese Complete Potatoes

great value cheese potatoes

Per serving; 110 calories, 2 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 570 mg sodium, 20 g carbs (1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 2 g protein

Potatoes don't need to have that much sodium in them! Instead, boil some potatoes and mash them up yourself for a healthier option.

Great Value Lemonade

great value lemonade

Per 1 serving; 100 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 35 mg sodium, 26 g carbs (0 g fiber, 24 g sugar), 0 g protein

One glass of Great Value lemonade is packing the same amount of added sugar you would find in one Hershey's chocolate bar. This is one drink you surely don't need to have stocked in your fridge. Plus it's got preservatives and gums that you don't really want to consume.

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Great Value Pretzel Bites Filled with Beer Cheese

great value pretzel bites

Per 1 serving; 230 calories, 7 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 850 mg sodium, 31 g carbs (1 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 11 g protein

This may curb your craving for some classic bar food, but it's important to note that four pieces are one serving. So only four of these bites will set you back more than 200 calories and 850 milligrams of sodium. No thanks!

Great Value Sliced Strawberries with Sugar

great value sliced strawberries

Per 1/2 cup: 120 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 29 g carbs (3 g fiber, 23 g sugar), 0 g protein

Fruit has naturally occurring sugars, so it's not a bad idea to munch on a few strawberries when you're in the mood for something sweet. But these strawberry slices are coming in with 17 grams of added sugar (of the 23 total grams). And that is thanks to the sugar they're swimming in. This fruit is already sweet enough on its own!

Don't miss Eating This Fruit Daily Slashes Your Risk of Heart Disease, New Study Finds.

Great Value Pink Snowballs Snack Cakes

great value pink snowballs

Per 1 serving; 210 calories, 5 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 230 mg sodium, 38 g carbs (2 g fiber, 24 g sugar), 2 g protein

It's hard to really say what a pink snowball cake actually is, but just one of these is more than 200 calories and has 24 grams of sugar. Along with those 230 grams of sodium, this is one treat that isn't going to help you stay on track with your health goals.

Great Value Creamy Speculoos Cookie Butter

great value cookie butter

Per 1 serving; 210 calories, 14 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 95 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (0 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 1 g protein

While a cookie butter spread might sound like a nice change of pace, sticking with a classic nut butter is overall a healthier choice. Yes, peanut butter is good for you, as long as you're choosing the right one!

Great Value Fruit Cocktail

great value fruit cocktail

Per 1 serving; 100 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 26 g carbs (1 g fiber, 18 g sugar), 0 g protein

If you're not able to find fresh fruit, you might think going the canned route is a solid idea. Well, this fruit cocktail comes in a heavy syrup, which just screams unnecessary sugars. Instead, stock up on some frozen fruits.

A previous version of this article was originally published on May 4, 2020.

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