ORLANDO, Fla. -
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!