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10 Worst Snacks That Should Never Be In Your Pantry

When the snack-craving hits, these are the options you don't want to stock up on during your grocery trip.

There really is no way around it: sometimes, you just have to give in to that snack craving. And as long as you're making a smart choice, go ahead and enjoy that snack! But there are some snacks that are certainly worse for you than others. These processed foods are simply going to sabotage your healthy-eating goals and frankly, are just not doing anything good for you.

So in order to help you stay on track, we rounded common snacks that are terrible for your health, and could quite possibly be in your pantry or on your shopping list right now. Check out these offenders and be sure to stay away from them while you're at the grocery store. And while you're trying to adopt more healthy habits, be sure to check out these 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work.


Potato Chips—Herr's Salt & Vinegar

herrs salt vinegar chips
Per 1 serving: 150 calories, 9 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 490 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 2 g protein

There really is no nice way to put this: potato chips are simply bad news. They actually are addictive so it's nearly impossible to eat just one. Plus, one Harvard study found that participants who had potato chips as a part of their diet gained weight every year they were assessed. So yes, if you eat chips every day, you will start to pack on unwanted pounds!

One of the worst options? Herr's Salt & Vinegar chips. One serving contains a whopping 490 milligrams of sodium. Remember, the American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams per day of sodium, but it's very easy to mindlessly munch away and soon enough, you'll be eating a ton of sodium in one small snack.


Trail Mix—Archer Farms Monster Trail Mix

target trail mix
Courtesy of Target
Per 1 serving: 180 calories, 10 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 60 mg sodium, 20 g carbs (2 g fiber, 17 g sugar), 4 g protein

We do want to start by saying that trail mix can be healthy, but most store-bought versions fall in the "leave that on the shelf" category. See, while nuts are definitely a healthy snack, they're often coated in salt or sugar and trail mixes tend to be packed with yogurt or chocolate-covered dried fruit. Plus, it's hard to actually stick to the serving size.

A prime example? Archer Farms Monster Trail Mix. It has everything you would expect in a Monster Cookie—peanuts, M&M's, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and raisins. This means it's packing 17 grams of sugar in just one serving.


Chocolate Bars—3 Musketeers

3 musketeers candy bar

Per 1 bar: 240 calories, 7 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 95 mg sodium, 42 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 36 g sugar), 1 g protein

Sorry milk chocolate fans, but snacking on bars of the stuff is sadly only going to cause you to gain weight, according to a study in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers found that the one food associated with the highest energy density—which means the most with weight gain—was chocolate bars.

A big culprit? None other than 3 Musketeers. One bar knocks you back 240 calories and has 36 grams of sugar. Yes, 36. It's no wonder it lands a spot on our list of the sugariest foods in America!


Cookies—Keebler E.L.Fudge Elfwich

keebler el fudge double stuffed cookies

Per 1 serving, 2 cookies: 180 calories, 9 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 95 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 14 g sugar), 2 g protein

Oh, cookies. They might seem harmless, but if you find yourself wandering back to the kitchen over and over again, you'll soon realize just how much sugar you're consuming. The ones you want to avoid are Keebler's E.L.Fudge Elfwich. These cookies are double stuffed with fudge and are packing 180 calories and 14 grams of sugar. That's just for two small cookies. No thanks!


Donuts—Hostess Blueberry Jumbo Donettes

hostess glazed blueberry jumbo donettes

Per donut: 240 calories, 11 g fat (5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 200 mg sodium, 35 g carbs (1 g fiber, 21 g sugar), 2 g protein

If you think going for a store-bought donut would be a better-for-you option than picking some up from Dunkin', that's just not the case. These glazed Hostess Donettes are proof, with one blueberry sweet treat packing 21 grams of sugar.

Looking for an easy way to get more helpful tips? Your ultimate restaurant and supermarket survival guide is here!


Chocolate Hazelnut Spread—Nutella

jar of nutella and spoon
Per 1 serving: 200 calories, 11 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 15 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (1 g fiber, 21 g sugar), 2 g protein

Stocking up on a nut or seed butter is not a bad thing, as there are plenty of good-for-you options out there. The one you don't want is a hazelnut spread that is fooling you into thinking it's healthy, like Nutella. See, it's made mostly with sugar and palm oil and there aren't many actual hazelnuts in here. Plus, one serving is packing more sugar than you would get if ate two Original Glazed Krispy Kreme Donuts. And we all know how easy it can be to overserve yourself some of this spread.


Pastries—Hostess Suzy Q's

Hostess suzy qs

Per 1 cake: 290 calories, 13 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 370 mg sodium, 38 g carbs (1 g fiber, 31 g sugar), 2 g protein

A mini pastry can't be all that bad, right? Well, that's not exactly the case. Having these in your pantry is a no-go as they're high-calorie sugar bombs that are providing nothing for you, nutritionally speaking.

Take a closer look at Hostess' Suzy Q's and you'll see the first thing on the miles-long ingredients list is sugar, followed by water, and then high fructose corn syrup. Keep these out of your shopping cart so they can't make their way to your kitchen.


Cracker Sandwiches—Cheese Ritz Bits Sandwiches

ritz bits

Per serving: 160 calories, 9 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 160 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (0 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 2 g protein

Crackers are another snack that can be healthy if you choose the right one and go for an option that is packing with whole grains. You'll want to double-check the store-bought crackers that are in your pantry, as many are made with refined grains, are high in sodium, and don't have any fiber, stripping away any nutritional benefits this snack could have. And if a snack is high in fiber, then it will leave you full and satisfied for much longer.

One of the worst options out there? The classic Ritz Bits sandwiches. They're lacking in protein and have zero grams of fiber which means you're going to be hungry not too long after you're done downing these little guys. Not worth it!


Pretzels—Snyder's Hot Buffalo Wing Pretzel Pieces

snyders hot buffalo wing pretzels
Courtesy of Snyder's
Per serving: 140 calories, 7 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 380 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 2 g protein

The thing about pretzels is that they really don't offer up much as there is a major lack of fiber. So you'll end up eating more, as they don't really satisfy you. Snyder's Hot Buffalo Wing Pretzel Pieces are not only packing the salty stuff, but they're also rather high in fat for what you would think is a small snack.


Pudding—Snack Pack Chocolate Vanilla Pudding

snack pack

Per pack: 180 calories, 4.5 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 200 mg sodium, 33 g carbs (2 g fiber, 22 g sugar), 1 g protein

As a kid, finding a chocolate or vanilla pudding in your lunchbox was a true treat. Now, when you're in the mood for something sweet, you might think having some pudding around is harmless. Well, allow Snack Pack to debunk that theory. The chocolate/vanilla combination has 22 grams of sugar. Leave these in the supermarket, and never look back!

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