Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Health Dangers of Cheap Snacks


Snack foods, often referred to as junk food, are everywhere. They are cheap, require no time or skill to prepare, and can be eaten anywhere, anytime - no cleanup required.

Unfortunately, what is cheap could be dear. That is certainly the case when it comes to filling up on cheap snacks. These foods are generally made with a hodgepodge of cheap, synthetic ingredients, artificial coloring, preservatives and binders. And of course, you get loads of calories from cheap fats and sugars. Then there is the salt - lots of it. All of this spells danger.

Snacking Dangers

While it is possible to eat healthy snacks, most people aren't choosing the right snack foods. Instead, they are opting for the wrong foods - filled with saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, high fructose corn syrup and refined flour. You should try to substitute healthier alternatives for these high-calorie snacks.

Here is a partial list of snack foods that could spell danger. Try to avoid or at least limit these foods:

Sodas. Sodas (soft drinks), are loaded with sugar. High fructose corn syrup is the sweetener used most often in these drinks. Sodas containing high fructose corn syrup may satisfy your taste buds but can wreak havoc on your weight and your health.

Cakes and pastries. Cakes and pastries are made from the terrible 3’s – saturated or trans fat, refined flour and sugar. Each bite takes you one step closer to gaining another pound and creating a chronicle of chronic diseases.

Candy/Confectionaries. Candy usually refers to sweets that are nothing more than solidified sugar. Eating excessive amounts of sugar puts you at risk for obesity. It can also lead to inflammation in your cells and lead to a number of chronic diseases.

Fast-food burgers, hot dogs, sausages and other cured meats. You might think that it is okay to eat fast-food burgers and other cured meats on a regular basis because they provide some protein. But keep in mind that these types of foods are also high in saturated fats and usually contain excessive amounts of salt/sodium, as well. You face the risk of gaining too much weight and developing high blood pressure and heart disease if you snack on these foods too often.

French fries, chips, and other deep-fried snacks. French fries, chips and other deep-fried snacks tend to be loaded with excessive amounts of calories from fat, along with high levels of sodium. Snacking on these foods too often can lead to obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease. Baked chips may be a healthy alternative to fried snacks, as they are likely to have less fat and salt. If you are buying packaged snacks, read the label to be sure.


This is just a taste of foods that are heavily consumed as snacks in the US. Unfortunately, these foods provide a lot of calories, sugars, unhealthy fats and sodium but offer little in the way of the vital nutrients that your body needs for optimum functioning. This can lead to unhealthy weight gain, diabetes and other dangerous health conditions.

What Can You Do?

Avoid snacks that are high in calories, unhealthy fats, large amounts of sugar and excessive salt. Opt instead for foods that are loaded with a wide variety of fiber and essential nutrients. And quench your thirst with a refreshing glass of water instead of sodas or other sweetened drinks.