These 40 American Groceries Are Possibly The Worst Foods You Can Put In Your Cart

Grocery shopping can already be an ordeal – especially if you have young kids in tow. But you may be making life harder for yourself even before you step through those electronic doors. You see, your shopping list can be full of unhealthy stuff without you even realizing it! Yes, even the tasty treats that market themselves as low-fat or low-sugar. So, next time you head out to the store – with or without a snotty toddler – swerve these 40 foods. Your body will thank you for it.

40. Cheap vegetable oil

If you thought vegetable oil was a safe bet, nutritionist Lindsey Pine has some bad news. She told Reader’s Digest, “Cheap refined vegetable oils are known for their high amounts of omega-6 fatty acid content. And while we absolutely need omega-6s to survive, our Western diets get way too much of them. [This] possibly [leads] to systemic inflammation, which can lead to chronic disease.” Yikes.

39. Cocoa Pebbles

Not looking forward to another day of the 9 to 5? Wish you were a kid again? Well, a bowl of delicious Cocoa Pebbles can be great for that much-needed hit of childhood nostalgia. But if you take a closer look at the cereal’s nutritional value, you’ll probably fall with a bump back down to Earth. A whole three-quarter cup of Cocoa Pebbles contains no fiber whatsoever. Yep, zip, zilch, nada. And, apparently, the coloring is a possible cancer risk, too. Wow.

38. Tofurky kielbasa sausage

Vegan, vegetarian or just trying to cut back on your meat intake? Then you may have picked up a pack of Tofurky kielbasa sausages. But perhaps you should have put them right back down again, as eating a single wiener will hit you with around 660 milligrams of sodium. That’s massive for a so-called healthy option and just under 30 percent of your entire recommended daily intake.

37. Boxed mac and cheese


We get it. You’re exhausted and have no time to cook. What you want is a fail-safe meal that’s guaranteed to cheer you up with practically no preparation needed. But before you reach for your beloved boxed mac and cheese, registered dietitian Janine Whiteson has a message for you. She explained to Reader’s Digest, “[Boxed mac and cheese] has virtually no fiber and is made with additives and chemicals that have been banned in countries around the world. This dinner option is probably one of the worst supermarket buys with no nutritional value.” That’s hard to hear!

36. Pre-grilled chicken breasts

You may save a lot of time in the kitchen with pre-grilled chicken products, but they’re not a healthy option. Don’t believe us? Just ask nutritionist Whiteson. As she explained, “Pre-cooked chicken is often loaded with lots of bad stuff to make it have a longer shelf life – all the while reducing your life! All that added sodium will bloat you for days.”

35. Smartfood White cheddar Popcorn


Bored of salted or butter popcorn? Fancy a savory switch-up? Then cheesy corn may sound right up your street. But think before you sneak Smartfood Popcorn’s white cheddar flavor into your shopping cart. Apparently, a serving of just under two cups of the stuff contains over one-third of an ounce of fat.

34. Cheez-It Snack Mix Double Cheese

Who doesn’t love a snack every now and again? Mind you, the nutritional information for certain products could very well make you lose your appetite. For instance, half a cup of the double cheese flavored Cheez-It Snack Mix will hit you with 360 milligrams of sodium. We can feel ourselves getting bloated just thinking about it.

33. Veggie wraps


Surely, you can’t go wrong with a pack of veggie wraps? Well, nutritionist Whiteson says they’re not as good for you as you’d think. She told Reader’s Digest, “A basic tortilla takes about four ingredients to construct – flour, water, oil and salt – but some brands, like one that claims to contain spinach, uses no fewer than 30 ingredients.” Even that healthy veggie is in short supply. Whiteson added, “Spinach falls under the ‘2 percent or less’ portion of the ingredients statement.”

32. Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon

Oscar Mayer’s turkey bacon may sound like an intriguing – and healthier – alternative to the standard rashers that you find at the store. But not all is as it seems. Surprisingly, a single slice of the stuff is said to contain higher measurements of sodium and less protein than regular bacon. Doesn’t sound so appetizing now, does it?

31. Nissin Chow Mein spicy chicken flavor


Even the most useless chefs among us can whip up a batch of noodles. But if your go-to is Nissin Chow Mein’s spicy chicken flavor, you need to take the following facts on board. As the CDC warns that you shouldn’t eat more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium and 22 grams of saturated fat each day, just one bowl of the meaty noodles accounts for nearly half of these recommended fat and salt totals. Ouch.

30. Lay’s Sour Cream & Onion chips

Have you ever wondered what the nutritional breakdown is for a bag of potato chips? Well, ponder no more – although the results could put you off a little. Eat just 17 chips in a bag of Lay’s Sour Cream & Onion, and you’ve quickly wolfed down a whopping ten grams of fat and 160 calories. We did warn you!

29. Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon


Pop-Tarts aren’t just for breakfast, but be wary of which flavor you buy. Take the brown sugar cinnamon option as an example. Unsurprisingly, it’s not great for diabetics, as you’ll apparently find 30 grams of the sweet stuff hiding away in just two of the toaster pastries. That covers almost your entire daily recommended intake if you’re a man and goes over it if you’re a woman. Yikes!

28. Reduced-fat peanut butter

Surely a less fatty peanut butter isn’t that bad? Well, perhaps it is. Lindsey Pine told Reader’s Digest, “Reduced-fat peanut butter may save you a few grams of fat, but the multiple types of added sugar and unnecessary fillers make it a very poor choice. So, choose real, natural-style peanut butter instead of the laboratory concoction.”

27. Boca Extra Large All American Veggie Burgers


If you’re not in the know, the Boca Extra Large All American Veggie Burger may look like a healthier alternative to its meaty counterparts. But have a peek at the nutrition facts on the back of the packet. While there are 26 grams of protein in a single patty, this is canceled out by close to 1,000 milligrams of sodium. Who saw that coming?!

26. Hormel pepperoni

No pizza is complete without pepperoni, right? It’s absolutely delicious! But maybe you should consider leaving the tasty meat off your pie in the future. Apparently, you see, just 30 grams – or around one ounce – of Hormel-brand pepperoni houses 14 grams of fat. Even that small amount contains roughly 150 calories, too.

25. Bisquick pancake mix


Pancakes for breakfast? Well, if you insist… The next time you decide to pick up a mix from the store, though, think twice over Bisquick. Why? Well, by the company’s own admission, the boxes are full of partially hydrogenated oils. This means your stack could well bump up the so-called bad cholesterol in your blood, so steer clear.

24. Yogurt-covered raisins

Yogurt-covered raisins shouldn’t in theory have a negative impact on your health, but we’ve got some bad news. Surprisingly, these nibbles are loaded with sugar and contain very little calcium for the dairy they contain. You won’t find much fiber or protein in a pack, either. That’s a lot of strikes against them.

23. Land O’Lakes sharp American singles


Ever get overwhelmed with the sheer amount of cheese at the store? Well, this’ll make picking out the right variety a little easier. Swerve Land O’Lakes sharp American cheese slices, as a single serving is said to host over 300 milligrams of sodium. That’s a whole lot of salt.

22. Hillshire Farm smoked bratwurst

Bratwurst sausages may be the best thing Germany ever gave the world, but the Hillshire Farm weiners should be approached with caution. Just a single one contains more than 200 calories and roughly 520 milligrams of sodium. Perhaps the scariest stat of all, though, is to do with the fat in a solitary sausage, which comes in at an astonishing 19 grams. We’re sure you can find a healthier alternative.

21. Bottled peach tea


Flavored tea beverages really hit the spot. But the next time you pick up one of the peach varieties, have a look at the ingredients. Reader’s Digest claims, you see, that some bottles harbor close to 40 grams of sugar. How bad is that? Well, it’s the equivalent of ten teaspoons. Oof!

20. Spam Lite

If you’re watching your weight, Spam Lite may appear to be a worthwhile investment. It says on the can, after all, that there’s less fat and sodium than in regular Spam. But here’s the kicker. For every two ounces of the cooked meat, you’ll still find 580 milligrams of salt. And the tins weigh in at 12 ounces each…

19. Kraft American Singles


When you buy cheese slices, you expect them to contain…well, cheese. Kraft American Singles are known, however, as a “pasteurized prepared cheese product,” meaning they only need to be made up of 51 percent of the dairy item. On the label, you’ll instead spot the less appetizing whey and milk protein concentrate. And that’s before you even get to the additives!

18. Wonder Classic White bread

As you browse the bread aisles, you’re sure to spot the Wonder classic white loaves sitting on the shelves. But the product isn’t a particularly nutritious choice. Reportedly, there are only two grams of fiber in the two slices you’ve selected for your sandwich. Not great, is it?

17. Oscar Mayer smoked cooked ham


Struggling to think of a sandwich filler for your lunch? Well, ham is the obvious choice. With the right condiments, it’s irresistible! But the Oscar Mayer smoked cooked meat is particularly salty. Each slice contains around 200 milligrams of sodium, and it all adds up if you eat more than one.

16. Lentil chips

To all the lentil chip fans out there, nutritionist Varbanova has an alarming message. She told Reader’s Digest, “Just because a product is ‘gluten-free,’ ‘non-GMO’ and a ‘great source of fiber,’ [that] doesn’t actually mean it’s good for you. Lentil chips sound healthy but contain potassium chloride, canola oil and calcium chloride – all ingredients that should make you think twice about picking it up.”

15. Bottled green tea


Green tea has long been touted as a wonder-beverage that can help you with all manner of ailments. It’s best, though, to just stick to brewing the leaves. A doctor named Adrienne Youdim explained why, saying to Reader’s Digest, “You may see trading your can of soft drink for a bottled tea as a healthy swap, but often bottled teas are high in sugar and even fructose corn syrup. Bottled green tea is essentially like drinking that can of soft drink you just gave up.”

14. Breakstone’s Cottage Doubles honey vanilla

Cottage cheese is often a slimmer’s savior when hunger strikes, and Breakstone’s Cottage Doubles are a little less bland than other varieties. Before you buy the honey vanilla version, though, check the label. One 4.7-ounce tub holds 13 grams of sugar and 400 milligrams of sodium. Is the taste worth it?

13. Kellogg’s Honey Smacks


Are you looking to cut back on sugar? Well, you should probably think twice about Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, then. Apparently, you’ll find 14 grams of the sweet stuff in just a one-and-a-quarter cup of the cereal. And if that wasn’t enough, there are only two grams of fiber in there. Best keep it as a treat, really.

12. Margarine

Butter’s bad rap has seen folks flocking in their droves to margarine instead. But Paul Salter warns you against making the switch. The dietitian told Reader’s Digest, “Margarine is high in trans fat, which has been shown to lower ‘good’ HDL cholesterol and raise ‘bad’ LDL (and total) cholesterol.”

11. Thomas’ Cinnamon Swirl Bagels


Deli-made bagels may be a delight, but buying one every day for lunch is going to put you considerably out of pocket. That’s where store-bought breads come in, although you should probably give Thomas’ Cinnamon Swirl Bagels a miss. They contain ten grams of sugar and just three grams of fiber each. Not the best combo, really.

10. Frozen whipped cream

Lindsey Pine made an interesting point about “lower fat” frozen whipped creams to Reader’s Digest. She said, “Just because something seems to have less fat than the real thing doesn’t make it the better choice. Whipped toppings are mixtures of hydrogenated vegetable oils, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors. Just eat real whipped cream to top your treat.”

9. Nissin Cup Noodles chicken flavor


Remember your days as a college kid or a broke twenty-something? We bet you ate your fair share of cup noodles and didn’t give a hoot about the nutritional content. Now that you’re older, though, you should know that the chicken flavor of Nissin-brand noodles houses 1,070 milligrams of sodium in a single container. Yes, you’re reading that correctly.

8. Bugles Nacho Cheese Flavor

Think of cone-like corn snacks, and Bugles probably pop into your mind. You’re getting hungry, right? But if you’re now compelled to grab the nacho cheese flavor at the store, bear this in mind: there’s way too much saturated fat in the bag. In fact, a single helping of the chips could account for close to half of your recommended daily sat fat intake.

7. Johnsonville Beddar with Cheddar


Cheesy sausages – a unique concoction, wouldn’t you say? However, while that combo may sound delish, your heart won’t thank you for placing a pack of Johnsonville Beddar with Cheddar into your cart. A single sausage carries 17 grams of fat, you see, as well as a relatively meager eight grams of protein. So, yeah… They’re not ideal.

6. Canned spaghetti and meatballs

Like the look of a can of spaghetti and meatballs? Don’t be taken in by that clever marketing. Instead, listen to Neda Varbanova, who told Reader’s Digest, “The colors [on the can] are fun, but there’s nothing healthy about this concoction.” Specifically, processed spaghetti and meatballs are full of both sugar and sodium.

5. Horizon Shredded Cheddar Cheese


Grabbing some shredded cheese for your salad? You’re best off buying a block and using a little elbow grease. Bags of the Horizon brand in particular are infused with cellulose – otherwise known as wood chip powder. Yes, really. Apparently, it stops the cheddar from “caking.” Gross.

4. Buddig Original beef

Beef slices are great sandwich fillers, but Buddig’s packs leave a lot to be desired on the nutritional front. Just two ounces of meat contains seven grams of fat and three grams of saturated fat as well as a whopping 600 milligrams of sodium. That’s pretty hefty! Surely you can find a better option?

3. Bar-S Classic Bologna


Whether you know it as Bologna or baloney, the porky deli sausage is beloved throughout the land. But if you go with the Bar-S brand, get ready for your body to fight back. Why’s that? Well, the company’s Classic Bologna is loaded with salt. Just a couple of slices contain over 700 milligrams of sodium, which is more than 30 percent of your recommended daily intake. Wow!

2. Creamy spinach dip

Green, leafy veggies are among the best things we can eat, so surely creamy spinach dip must be okay for us, right? Wrong! Food expert Neda Varbanova told Reader’s Digest that certain varieties of the stuff contain monosodium glutamate – otherwise referred to as MSG. And if some folks are to be believed, this chemical can reportedly cause mental health issues and severe weight gain.

1. Spam with Real Hormel Bacon


Spam and bacon, together in one can? Sounds good to us. Nutritionists may disagree, though. You see, while the stuff may have its fair share of protein, it’s also high in saturated fat – which makes it the equivalent, in that respect, of two Snickers bars. We’re stunned.