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Most of us have the tendency of satisfying our mid-meal hunger pangs by munching away the easily available, low-cost snacks. It is time to watch out for the nutrient quotient of your snacks. Find out more about the unhealthy snacks that you should avoid.

Whenever you eat anything, it is best advised to carefully analyze its nutritional value. A snack that is high on the nutritional value index is healthy for you. On the other hand, snacks that are low on nutritional value index but high on calories and fats should be avoided at any cost.

Such snacks are unhealthy and only contribute towards making us obese. Owing to our busy schedules and easy access to low-cost snack vending machines, we tend to satisfy our hunger pangs with unhealthy snacks. While buying snacks, you should always look out for the calories, total fat, trans and unsaturated fats, milligrams of sodium, and grams of sugar specified on the nutrition facts label.

Another fact commonly associated with munching unhealthy snacks is that people tend to forget to keep the portion sizes in control. Working people tend to consume chips, crackers, pretzels, and fries in between meals and many a times it becomes an addiction. Unhealthy snacks taste great but are bad for the body.

Some of the most commonly consumed unhealthy snacks that ought to be avoided are listed below.

Cookies

Cookies are loaded with trans fats and excess sugar. They are high on hydrogenated vegetable oils, flour, and shortening and are clearly the unhealthiest snacks that you can consume. All these ingredients are excellent resources for childhood obesity. They taste good but are not filling and as a result are over-consumed.

Potato Chips

Potato chips are one of the most easily available, sinfully tasty, but extremely unhealthy snacks. They are full of fats, oils, and salt. The amount of salt consumed while eating potato chips is good enough to cause hypertension and water retention when consumed on a regular basis. Consumption of potato chips also leads to obesity. Potato chips are known to contain acrylamide, a carcinogen that forms when foods are fried or baked at high temperatures.

Ice cream

Ice cream is made of whole milk and refined sugars, both of which are rich in fats and can cause obesity. They are full of calories but less in nutrients and are therefore not healthy.

Chicken nuggets

Most people think that because chicken nuggets have chicken as the basic ingredient, it is bound to be healthy. On the contrary, it is one of the worst snacks. Chicken nuggets comprise hydrogenated oils which make them easy to reheat and transport. Trans fat found in chicken nuggets is known to cause heart disease, cancer, and obesity. People are best advised not be lured by the protein content of chicken nuggets. There sure are healthier alternatives to meet your protein requirements without the extra dose of fat and sodium found in chicken nuggets.

Continue reading after recommendations

  • “Obesity prevention in children: physical activity and nutrition”, by Melinda S Sothern. Published in the July 2004 issue of Nutrition, accessed on September 07, 2012.
  • “Fast food: unfriendly and unhealthy”, by S Stender, et al. Published in the 2007 issue of International Journal of Obesity, accessed on September 07, 2012.
  • Photo courtesy of nicolesusanne on Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/nicolesusanne/1728698209
  • Photo courtesy of andreelau on Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/andreelau/4874189150