15 Snacks You Should Avoid That Are The Worst For Your Body

We all know the struggle. Hunger pangs hit, your willpower weakens, and suddenly you find yourself reaching for that tempting bag of chips or sugary treat. But beware!  These seemingly harmless snacks can wreak havoc on your health goals and leave you feeling sluggish and unsatisfied.

Sugar Crash Culprits: Sweet Treats that Spike and Dip

Let’s face it, sugary snacks often masquerade as innocent pick-me-ups. But don’t be fooled!  That quick burst of energy is followed by a blood sugar crash that can leave you feeling even hungrier and reaching for more unhealthy options. Here are some sugary culprits to ditch:

Candy Bars:

These concentrated sugar bombs are loaded with empty calories, unhealthy fats, and minimal nutrients. The high sugar content leads to a blood sugar spike followed by a crash, leaving you craving more.

Fruit Snacks:

While some brands might contain real fruit, many are packed with added sugars, artificial flavors, and coloring. A handful of fresh fruit is a much healthier and more satisfying alternative.

Flavored Yogurts:

Don’t be fooled by the fruity swirls and colorful packaging! Many flavored yogurts are loaded with added sugars and might not be much better than eating a candy bar in terms of sugar content. Opt for plain yogurt and add your own fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey for natural sweetness.

Salty Saboteurs: Snacks High in Sodium That Leave You Wanting More

Salty snacks can be just as tempting as their sugary counterparts. But be cautious!  Excessive sodium intake can contribute to high blood pressure, bloating, and water retention. Here are some salty snacks to avoid:

Potato Chips:

These crispy classics are often deep-fried, loaded with unhealthy fats, and heavily salted. The combination of fat, salt, and crunch makes them highly addictive, leading to overconsumption.

Microwave Popcorn:

While popcorn itself is a whole grain, many microwave popcorn options are doused in butter, artificial flavors, and high amounts of sodium. Air-popped popcorn with a sprinkle of olive oil and herbs is a much healthier alternative.


While seemingly innocent, pretzels can be surprisingly high in sodium, especially hard pretzels. Opt for whole-wheat crackers or homemade baked pretzels with minimal salt for a healthier crunch.

Disguised Deceptives: “Healthy” Snacks that Fall Short

Sometimes, even seemingly healthy snacks can be misleading. Here are some disguised deceptives to watch out for:

Granola Bars:

While granola bars might sound like a wholesome choice, many are packed with added sugars, refined carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats. Read the labels carefully and choose bars with whole grains, nuts, and minimal added sugar.

Fruit Juices:

While fruit juice does contain vitamins, it’s also loaded with concentrated sugar and lacks the fiber found in whole fruit. Stick to whole fruits for a more satisfying and nutrient-rich snack.

Trail Mix:

Trail mix can be a great source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber. However, some commercially available mixes are loaded with candy pieces, dried fruit with added sugar, and unhealthy fats. Make your own trail mix using nuts, seeds, and dried fruit with minimal added sugar for a healthier option.

Beyond the Label: What Makes a Healthy Snack?

So, what should you reach for when that afternoon slump hits? Here are some key features to look for in a healthy snack:

Balanced Nutrients:

Aim for snacks that combine protein, fiber, and healthy fats. This combination helps keep you feeling full and energized for longer. Examples include apple slices with almond butter, a handful of mixed nuts, or Greek yogurt with berries.

Fiber Power:

Fiber slows down digestion, keeping you feeling satisfied and preventing blood sugar spikes. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains are all excellent sources of fiber.

Mindful Portions: Even healthy snacks can lead to weight gain if overconsumed. Practice mindful portion control and choose single-serving packs or pre-portion your snacks to avoid mindless munching.

Making Smart Swaps: Healthy Alternatives to Curb Cravings

Instead of reaching for those unhealthy snacks, here are some delicious and satisfying alternatives that will leave you feeling energized and on track with your health goals:


These little green soybeans are packed with protein and fiber, making them a perfect snack to curb hunger pangs. They’re also low in calories and fat.

Hummus and Veggie Sticks:

Hummus is a delicious blend of chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice. It’s a great source of protein and healthy fats, while veggies like carrots, cucumbers and celery sticks provide a satisfying crunch and essential vitamins.

Hard-Boiled Eggs:

A classic and convenient snack, hard-boiled eggs are a good source of protein and healthy fats. They’re also portable and keep you feeling full for longer.

Greek Yogurt with Berries:

Greek yogurt is higher in protein and lower in sugar than regular yogurt. Top it with fresh berries for a delicious and nutritious snack with a satisfying sweetness.

Apple Slices with Almond Butter:

This classic combination provides a perfect balance of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. The apple slices offer natural sweetness and a satisfying crunch, while the almond butter keeps you feeling full and energized.

Roasted Chickpeas:

These crunchy treats are a delicious and healthy alternative to potato chips. Simply toss chickpeas with olive oil, your favorite spices, and roast them in the oven for a satisfying snack that’s low in fat and calories but high in protein and fiber.

Homemade Trail Mix:

As mentioned earlier, commercially available trail mix can be a sneaky source of added sugars and unhealthy fats. Make your own trail mix using nuts, seeds, and dried fruit with minimal added sugar for a customizable and healthy snack option.

Listen to Your Body: Cravings Can Be Clues

While these tips can help you make smart snacking choices, it’s important to listen to your body’s cues.  Sometimes, cravings can be a sign of underlying nutrient deficiencies.

  • Craving Salty Snacks? You might be lacking electrolytes like sodium or potassium. Opt for healthy alternatives like unsalted nuts or homemade veggie sticks with a sprinkle of sea salt.
  • Sugar Cravings? Your body might be seeking a quick energy boost. Reach for fruits like berries or apples, or try a handful of nuts with a piece of dark chocolate for a satisfying combination of protein and healthy fats.
  • Fatigue After Snacking? This could be a sign of a blood sugar crash. Choose snacks that combine protein, fiber, and healthy fats to keep your energy levels stable.

The Takeaway: Snacking Can Be Smart and Satisfying

By making informed choices and opting for healthy snacks, you can curb cravings, maintain your energy levels, and stay on track with your health goals.

Remember, a little planning goes a long way.  Stock your pantry with healthy options and prepare snacks in advance to avoid reaching for unhealthy choices when hunger strikes.

With a bit of creativity and these helpful tips, you can transform snack time from a diet nemesis into a delicious and healthy ally on your journey to a healthier you.

Leave a Comment