A rumbling stomach sometimes has the power to override our common sense, driving us to nutritionally-void noshes when we're in the market for a quick fix. If it's one of these packaged eats you crave, make sure your head prevails over your gut. Though these munchies may temporarily quash a mid-afternoon hankering, they'll also load you with calories, harmful fats, and sodium. (Video: Secretly Salty Foods) From trans-fat-hiding popcorn to calorie-loaded crackers, discover eight of the worst supermarket snack offenders.
For more foods to avoid in the supermarket, check out Eat This, Not That--your ultimate healthy eating guide.
180 calories, 12 g fat, 2.5 g sat fat, 5 g trans fat, 310 mg sodium (2 Tbsp unpopped or 4 cups popped)
This movie night staple can be a real heart stopper. The buttery treat will load you up with 5 g of trans fats--more than three times the American Heart Association's (AHA) recommended daily allowance. (Search: What do trans fats do to your body?) Trans fats have been linked to cardiovascular disease and stroke and may also increase LDL (bad) cholesterol levels while lowering HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
Foods That Make You Do Bad Things
170 calories, 11 g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 250 mg sodium (1 ounce or 21 pieces)
Cheetos will leave more than just a fluorescent orange dust on your fingertips--they could also add inches to your waistline. A measly 1-ounce serving of the spicy version delivers about as much fat and nearly twice as many calories as a tablespoon of butter.
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200 calories, 17 g fat, 3 g sat fat, 3.5 g trans fat, 150 mg sodium (2 cups)
Some types of popcorn can make a healthy snack. This is not one of them. Just one serving racks up more than twice your daily recommended intake of trans fats, as well as more than 25% of your recommended daily allowance for fat. With stats like that, you'd be better off eating a White Castle cheeseburger.
Try these instead! 5 Healthier TV Snacks
90 calories, 1 g fat, 500 mg sodium (1 pretzel)
Boasting low fat and calorie content, at first this savory snack might seem like a wise selection. But a closer look reveals that each pretzel packs 500 mg of sodium, one-third of the AHA's suggested daily intake. Too much salt in your diet can put you at risk for stroke, heart failure, kidney disease, and other ailments.
Bonus: 7 Salt-Free Ways to Season Food
160 calories, 9 g fat, 8 g sat fat, 310 mg sodium (11/3 cup)
The only bounty you'll find in these cornucopia-shaped eats are bad-for-you fats. One serving will fill you with 40% of your recommended daily saturated fat allowance, as well as a hefty dose of calories.
Related: Unbelievably Bad Regional Foods
90 calories, 1 g fat, 45 mg sodium, 12 g sugar
In addition to steering clear of savory saboteurs, you'll want to avoid this sweet snack. A pouch of the fruit-flavored gummies (and we use the word fruit loosely) will set you up with 12 g of sugar, or about 3 teaspoons.
More: 18 Foods That Pack a Secret Sugar High
190 calories, 9 g fat, 2.5 g sat fat, 290 mg sodium (1 package or 6 crackers)
Apparently the Keebler elves have been hard at work, shoving as much fat and calories as possible into this popular lunchbox treat. One package contains about 20% of your suggested salt intake and more calories than four strips of bacon. Instead try one of these 15 Healthy Grab and Go Snacks.
170 calories, 10 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 3 g trans fat, 320 mg sodium (1/2 cup)
Appearances can be deceiving: This classy-looking nosh actually carries more calories and as much fat per serving as Lay's potato chips. Not to mention, the crisps also contain 3 grams of harmful trans fats (two times the daily limit, for those of you keeping track at home), and cram in as much sodium as two small orders of McDonald's French fries.
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