Let’s face it: America is hooked on junk food. And why is that? Is it the sugar, the fat, or the overall saltiness of a junk food item that draws us in? While there are plenty of varieties of every type of junk food, some contain more fat, calories, and sugar than others. We took a look at 10 different categories of junk food found in supermarkets, and rounded up the unhealthiest products in each.
Taking a stroll down the junk food aisle of a supermarket is an increasingly scary activity. So many of the processed items, like bags of chips and boxes of Ding Dongs, contain staggering amounts of calories and are laden with chemicals that are often hidden at the end of a long list of confusing ingredients.
According to Fitday.com, an average-size bag of potato chips contains between 15 and 20 grams of trans fats. A typical box of snack crackers will have 8 to 10 grams of trans fats. And for those thinking perhaps a bag of snack mix or sandwich cookies are any better, think again. A single Oreo cookie contains roughly 2 grams of trans fat.
While munching on junk food items, folks also don’t often pay attention to the serving size. While a serving size of three cookies won’t destroy your waistline, a package of 10 may be overloaded with sugar and fat. Potato chips and tortilla chips are known for being high in fat, and packaged snack cakes and baked goods can be outrageous when it comes to the grams of sugar they contain.
The Daily Meal has constructed its list of the junkiest foods by breaking the junk food aisle down into 10 categories: potato chips, tortilla chips, cookies, hard candy, gummy candy, chocolate, snack mixes, corn-based snacks, snack cakes, and baked goods. In each category we’ve found the worst offenders in terms of fat, calories, sodium, and sugar (when it’s candy). So take a look, and the next time you find yourself in the junk food aisle, you might just think twice before grabbing that Double Cheese Cheez-It Snack Mix.
Additional reporting by Kristen Oliveri.