As Americans become more and more sentient due to work and stress, we find ourselves delighting in the little treats that line the grocery store shelves right at eye level where we can grab and go. However, as we move through the grocery aisles we are drawn to the pre-packaged delights that give us easy access to a quick snack when we are most at rest. But not only can those snacks pack on the pounds, they can do more damage from the inside out. There are tons of studies out there that show why snacking is so bad for us and most adults know that snacking before bed is the perfect way to gain weight as we watch television and relax, but here is a list of the top five worst of the worst snacks that you just may have in your pantry. #5 - Chips and Cheetos According to WebMD these snacks made the list because they are processed with gobs of fat and sodium and usually include a refined grain. A 2-ounce bag of chips or Cheetos usually adds more than 300 calories, 20 grams of fat, and over 450 milligrams of sodium. The worst part is we tend to eat too much of them because even a 2-ounce portion doesn’t seem to satisfy our stomach. #4 - Movie Theater Style Microwave Popcorn with Butter Movie theaters are not known for being stingy on their buttering of popcorn and when that translates to prepackaged snacks, that means trouble for our digestive system. The “Extra Butter” or “Movie Theater” microwave popcorn choices are some of the last products that still have shocking amounts of trans fat in them with a small serving of 3 tablespoons (unpopped) containing about 2.5 grams of saturated fat and 5 grams of trans fat. Each serving also adds at least 300 milligrams of sodium to your day’s total. #3 - Snack Cakes Goodbye Twinkie. Many people cried when Twinkies went away, but there is no reason to cry over what those snack cakes do to the system! Snack cakes have three of the four ingredients we need to eat less of: refined flour, added sugars, and saturated fat. The typical snack cake serving, such as two Hostess Ho Hos, contains 228 calories, 9 grams of saturated fat, and 28 grams of sugar. Keep in mind that 9 grams of saturated fat is half the maximum daily amount of saturated fat recommended for someone eating 1,800 calories a day, according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines. #2 - Sugary Breakfast Cereals Put down the Captain Crunch and Fruit Loops. Cold cereals were among the top sources of added sugar for children between the ages of 2 and 8, according to a recent report. A cereal that lists a refined grain and sugar as the first two ingredients won’t satisfy your hunger through the morning and it won’t contribute important nutrients, which come from whole foods like whole grains, nuts, or dried fruit. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it kick starts your metabolism to keep you energized. Loading up on these sugar breakfasts will only mean loss of energy and slowing down the processing of these sugars. #1 - Soda and Sweetened Beverages Some of the worst foods in their pantry are soda and other sweetened drinks because these contribute refined carbohydrate calories without nutrients. David Leopold, MD, director of integrative medical education for the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, puts any type of soda at the top of his “worst” list. Some might be surprised that sweetened teas and energy drinks rival the sugar in soda with about 50 grams of sugar per 16-ounce bottle. Taking in a bottle or can of carbonation mixed with syrup clogs up the arteries and does nothing to rehydrate the body. Water not only tells your stomach that you are full, but re-hydrates skin, muscles and helps you keep that youthful glow!
5 worst foods you may have in your pantry
Published On: Apr 28 2013 09:24:17 AM EDT