18 Snacks That Are Much Worse for You Than You Thought

Written By Jill Taylor

It can be eye-opening to explore the hidden truths behind our favorite snacks. Some snacks are underestimated and might be extremely damaging to your health. These 18 popular snack choices might be more harmful to your health than you realize.

Flavored Yogurts

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You might think yogurts are a good healthy snack, but although plain yogurts can benefit your health, flavored yogurts can actually be bad for you! Cleveland Clinic says that “flavored yogurts – even those made with real fruit – can be more like junk food in disguise.”

Microwave Popcorn

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Many things make microwave popcorn unhealthy. It can often contain trans fats, which are harmful to heart health, and many flavored varieties have high sodium levels. Microwave popcorn bags are also sometimes lined with perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) that have been linked to health issues.

Granola Bars

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We all feel really healthy when we eat granola bars, but should we? These convenient snacks usually have a high sugar content, especially ones with chocolate or yogurt coatings! Also, granola bars are often low in protein and fiber, which are essential to satisfy your appetite.

Fruit Snacks

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It might have ‘fruit’ in the name, but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy! Fruit snacks are made predominantly from sugars and artificial colors. These fruity gummies lack nutritional value, with minimal actual fruit content. Maybe think twice before putting these snacks in your kid’s lunchbox.

Bottled Smoothies

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Smoothies are another example of something that we have always been told is healthy. However, bottled smoothies are frequently high in calories and sugars, and the portion sizes are often larger than recommended. They can also contain preservatives and color additives.

Diet Sodas

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With the word diet in the title, it’s easy to assume diet sodas are good for you, but the ingredients, including sweeteners like aspartame, prove otherwise. According to Time Magazine, the latest research links “diet drinks to mood disorders, fatty liver development, autoimmune diseases, and cancer, to name a few.”

Veggie Chips

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Veggie chips are typically high in sodium and calories, so they might not be the best choice if you want a healthy snack! These crispy treats are often fried, not baked, can contain unhealthy oils, and lack the healthy fiber found in whole vegetables.

Instant Noodles

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While instant noodles are quick and convenient, they aren’t very good for you. These noodles contain a lot of sodium and preservatives, as well as fats and oils that increase the calorie count. On top of this, they’re low in nutrients and often lack significant protein or fiber.

Store-Bought Muffins

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Muffins bought from a store are very high in calories and sugars, which is probably why they taste so good! Store-bought muffins also most likely have trans fats that are bad for cardiovascular health. If you want a healthy snack, bake your own.

Flavored Coffees

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Some of us can’t function in the morning without a coffee, but be careful what coffee you’re drinking. Flavored coffees have a high sugar content that can contribute to weight gain and often contain syrups and additives. They are also high in calories, especially if you add cream!

Energy Drinks

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Verywell Health points out that “over 30% of teens aged 12-17 consume energy drinks on a regular basis.” Keep an eye on what your kids are drinking, as energy drinks can harm your health more than you realize. High in caffeine and sugars, they can lead to an increased heart rate and anxiety.

Packaged Deli Meats

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High in sodium and preservatives like nitrates and often containing added sugars and fillers, packaged deli meats can be pretty bad for you. Terrifyingly, they are also associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases such as cancer.

Canned Soups

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Everybody loves canned soup when they’re ill, but it might not be as good for our health as we think. Canned soups can have a high sodium content, which can lead to high blood pressure. Fresh or homemade soups have much more nutrients and are far better for you!

Pita Chips

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Pita chips are often considered a healthier option, but they are still processed and can be high in calories. Sorry to burst your bubble! These crunchy chips are also high in sodium and often fried, so maybe pick something else the next time you want a healthy snack.

Frozen Pizza

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The BBC says, “13% of the USA population consume pizza on any given day, increasing to 22% when children and teenagers are included.” But it might not be the best idea to eat frozen pizza too often, as it is high in saturated fats and sodium and low in nutritional value.


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Pretzels, many Americans’ favorite snack, are less healthy than they seem. They are high in sodium and simple carbohydrates and low in essential nutrients. Pretzels can also lead to a rapid spike in blood sugar levels, which is not ideal!

Sweetened Dried Fruit

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Dried fruit might come to mind as a healthy snack, but be wary of sweetened dried fruit! A lot of sugars are added to enhance the taste, and the drying process reduces the amount of vitamin C they contain. Also, sweetened dried fruits can have a higher glycemic index than fresh fruit.

Cream-Based Salad Dressings

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Salads are often considered the ultimate healthy snack. However, cream-based salad dressings can turn a healthy salad into a high-calorie meal, as they are high in calories and saturated fats and often contain high levels of sodium and preservatives. Make sure you pick your salad dressing carefully!

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