Thursday, July 5, 2012

7/11 Foods That May Be Killing You and How to Avoid Them

They're called convenience stores for a reason—they're convenient. They are easy to locate, and you can run in and grab whatever you need without the hassle of large grocery stores.

The problem with convenience stores is that they make snacking more convenient. They appeal to the impulse buyer by placing the candy bars right next to the register. We tend to buy items at convenience stores that we would otherwise overlook, or we run in and grab a quick snack because we don't have time for a full meal.

Convenience stores harbor an array of bad food choices. The following are just a few of the worst items you could eat from the convenience store.

Lay's Classic Potato Chips
You would think that buying the individual pack would be a healthy choice over buying the big bag. Though you're right, the individual packet of Lay's chips is still unhealthy. It contains 160 calories, 2 grams of protein, 170 mg of sodium and 10 grams of fat. This snack is completely void of any and all nutritional value and is very high in sodium.

Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Peanut Butter
Most people make the mistake of choosing one of these because they think the granola and the peanut butter are healthy. Though they're better for you than a candy bar, they're still unhealthy. One of these granola bars contains 190 calories, 7 grams of fat, 5 grams of protein and 180 mg of sodium. And you know what keeps the peanut butter and granola sticking together? It's not the peanut butter—it's sugar.

Cheez-Its may be tasty, and you may think that they're healthy because they're a cracker, but these orange squares are actually bad for you. They contain a great amount of oil, which makes them more fatty and contains more calories. A single serve pack of Cheez-Its contains 180 calories, 290 mg of sodium and 9 grams of fat.

Hostess Pudding Pie
They look tasty. In fact, they are tasty. But these little ditties are very, very bad for you. One package of these treats contains 75% of both your saturated and trans fat daily allowance. Racking in at over 520 calories, 24 grams of fat and 45 grams of sugar, these need to be avoided at all costs.

Sports Drinks
Most people visit the convenience store and pick up a bottle of Gatorade or other sports drink. They assume they're making a healthier choice over pop, and most people consider it to be almost the same as water. The problem is that sports drinks are not healthy. A 16-ounce bottle contains 120 calories and around 30 grams of sugar, which is the exact same as a regular can of pop. In fact, drinking one bottle of a sports drink every day can result in gaining 12 pounds per year.

Beef Jerky
Before you "snap into a Slim Jim" or other brand of beef jerky, be very cautious about what you're about to consume. The top brand jerkies contain MSG and sodium nitrate, which both contain carcinogenic effects. A small 1-ounce serving of jerky can have around 700 mg of sodium. People who suffer from high blood pressure or other cardiac issues need to stay as far away from jerky as possible. Jerky also contains a large amount of preservatives, so it doesn't contain any fiber or antioxidants.

Feeding yourself at the convenience store is not a healthy choice. If you do find yourself needing a quick snack, opt for a single serve whole grain cereal cup, such as Cheerios, or a low fat yogurt (just be sure to check the expiration date). Though they may not be as tasty as some chocolatey goodness, they’ll be better for you in the long run.

Jade Cook is a writer.  She enjoys giving tips on fashion, relationships, cooking, and shopping.  Jade recently wrote about her favorite recipe for salsbury steak.

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