14 of the Worst-of-the-Worst Junk Foods

“Junk food” refers to processed foods that have low nutritional value. In fact, some may contain downright harmful ingredients.

Unfortunately, these foods are usually tasty, inexpensive and widely available.

However, research suggests that frequent consumption of junk food can lead to food addiction, overeating and obesity.

Here are 14 of the unhealthiest junk foods in United states.

1.   Pop Tarts

Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts have been around since the 1970s. These pastries have a sweet filling and are often covered with an outer coating of frosting as well.

Pop-Tarts can be a tempting breakfast choice When you have a short time. You can store them at room temperature and prepare them quickly in a toaster.

Despite their convenience, Pop-Tarts contain highly processed ingredients, including soybean oil and refined flour.

In addition, they are loaded with three types of sugar: corn syrup, refined sugar, and high fructose corn syrup. All of these contain large amounts of fructose, a simple sugar that has been associated to some adverse health effects such as diabetes and heart disease.

The nutrition information on the Pop-Tarts label refers to the amount contained in one pastry. However, each package contains two pastries, which is a more realistic serving size.

Two Frosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts contain about 400 calories, 70 grams of carbs, less than 2 grams of fiber, and just 4 grams of protein. This high-sugar, low-protein fast food is a terrible choice to start off your day.

Summary

Pop Tarts are high in sugar and contain refined flour, unhealthy oils, and refined sugar. They provide very little protein or fiber.

2.   Arby’s Curly Fries

French fries are one of the most popular junk food items around. Despite their popularity, these deep-fried potatoes are very unhealthy.

Studies have associated deep-fried foods such as French fries to some inflammation, heart disease and impaired artery function, among other health problems.

In addition, French fries are extremely high in calories and fast-digesting carbs. Arby’s Curly Fries are a perfect example. A large order contains 650 calories, 30 grams of fat and 70 grams of carbs, only 6 of which are fiber.

Summary

Arby’s Curly Fries are a deep-fried side dish that contains 650 calories, 70 grams of carbs and 30 grams of fat.

3.   Popeyes Chicken Tenders

Popeyes is a fast-food restaurant chain specializing in fried chicken. One of its menu offerings is an item called Handcrafted Chicken Tenders. A three-piece serving of Mild Handcrafted Chicken Tenders contains 350 calories and 25 grams of carbs.

Although the calories in a single serving of tenders seem like a modest number compared to other junk food entrees, this number can increase dramatically after adding dipping sauce, and soda.

In addition to being another fried food, these tenders contain partially hydrogenated oils, better known as trans fats.

Artificial or industrial trans fats are created by adding hydrogen molecules to vegetable oils in order to make them more stable. Trans fats have been implicated in inflammation, heart disease and obesity, Including increased abdominal fat storage. Trans fats (trans fatty acids) have been outlawed in Europe and have been removed from most US restaurants and fast food establishments.

However, at present, Handcrafted Chicken Tenders still contain one gram of trans fat per serving.

Summary

Popeyes Handcrafted Tenders are battered and deep-fried. They also contain trans fats (trans fatty acids), which are inflammatory and can increase the risk of heart disease and obesity.

4.   Cinnabon Caramel Pecanbon

Cinnabon Caramel Pecanbon is known for the seductive aroma and gooey sweetness of its signature cinnamon rolls.

Classic Cinnabon cinnamon rolls are large and dense, high in fat and carbs and contain 870 calories each. But this is not even the unhealthiest item on the menu. This honor is reserved for the Caramel Pecanbon.

The Caramel Pecanbon contains a whopping 1,060 calories, 50 grams of fat and 145 grams of carbs, only 3 of which are fiber.

What’s more, 76 of those 145 grams of carbs come from added sugars. That’s more than the double of the amount added sugars the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends as the upper limit for the entire day.

Depending on your individual nutrition needs and rules, Caramel Pecanbon can provide more than half of your daily calories and carbohydrates while falling short on vitamins, minerals and other valuable nutrients.

Summary

The Cinnabon Caramel Pecanbon contains more than 1,060 calories and is loaded with fats, carbs and added sugars.

5. Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino

Coffee is a zero-calorie drink that offers a number of wonderful health benefits. However, we should consider that sugary coffee drinks liquid form of fast and junky food.

This applies to hot coffee drinks such as mochas and lattes, and this is also true for frozen mixed blended coffee beverages. A “large” (medium) portion of these drinks usually contains 250 calories or more.

Starbucks’ worst option beverage is the white chocolate Mocha Frappuccino with whipped cream. It contains 520 calories and 65 grams of carbs, including 64 grams of sugar.

Additionally, research has shown that drinking liquid calories does not lead to the same fullness signals as calories from solid foods. Therefore, when you drink something sweet, you are less likely to compensate by eating less other foods later.

Summary

Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino contains over 500 calories and 64 grams of sugar. scientist have shown that liquid sugar calories fail to activate signals of sweetness that help regulate nutrition.

6. Outback Steakhouse Bloomin’ Onion

While most junk food can be found at the snack aisle in the grocery store or at restaurant that meet fast food standards.

Take for example, the Bloomin’ Onion Restaurant in Outback Steakhouse. Although it is considered an appetizer, it is actually one of the highest calorie items on the entire list.

One Bloomin’ Onion has more than 1800 calories and 122 grams of carbohydrates. It also contains about 154 grams of fat, including 7 grams of saturated fat that you should avoid completely.

While these very large snacks are meant to be shared at least by two persons, eating a quarter of this fried dish will put saturated fats and a lot of empty calories to your food.

Summary

Steakhouse Bloomin’ Onion Snacks contains approximately 1954 calories, 120 grams of carbohydrates and 134 grams of fat, which include 7 grams of trans fats, and this could be linked to an increased risk of ill health.

7. Burger King Oreo Shake

Milkshakes have been well-liked fast-food restaurants for decades. But today’s smoothies are sweeter than ever, resulting in a much higher number of calories than expected.

The Oreo Milkshake from Burger King weighs around 700 calories, more than most burgers. It also contains 119 grams of carbohydrates and 101 grams of sugar.

Most importantly, at least half of this sugar is fructose, which in turn may raise the risk of heart disease and stroke, insulin resistance, obesity, blood pressure problems and more.

Summary

Burger King’s Oreo Milkshake contains around 700 calories, 119 grams of carbohydrates and 101 grams of sugar. Its high fructose content may raise the risk of heart disease and health problems.

8. Corn Dogs

In US, corn dogs are the favorite at the state fair. It is made by dipping a frankfurter in a cornbread mixture and then frying them until golden brown.

Unlike many junk food, Calorie and nutritional values of dogs corn doesn’t seem like a big deal. One corn dog can be about 300 to 400 calories, 30 grams of carbs and about 9 grams of protein.

However, corn dogs are unhealthy, it contains processed meat, which several researches have assumed to an increased risk of colorectal cancer and heart disease according to (WHO) the World Health Organization.

In addition, corn dogs are another food fried in processed vegetable oil.

Summary

According to (WHO) the World Health processed meat found in corn dogs is a major contributor to colorectal cancer.

9.Dunkin’ Glazed Jelly Stick

Most of donuts are deep-fried sugary treats, some can be more dangerous to health than others.

One of the worst is Dunkin’ Donuts Ice Glazed Jelly Stick, which contains about 400 to 500 calories, 60 grams of carbohydrates and more then 20 grams of fat.

The first two ingredients mentioned are refined wheat flour, sugar, which means they are present in larger amounts. falling into the category of ultra-processed foods.

Frequent consumption of refined grains has been associated to some adverse health effects such as fructose, including inflammation, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.

This donut’s jelly filling also contains several ingredients that are bad for you, such as saturated fats, high fructose corn syrup.

Summary

Dunkin’ Donuts Glazed Jelly Stick is a 480-calorie fried pastry rich in refined white flour and sugar. 

10. Dairy Queen Royal Reese’s Brownie Blizzard

Dairy Queen’s frozen treats are legendary. They include dipped cones, sundaes and an extremely popular thick shake with mixed-in ingredients known as a Blizzard.

All of Dairy Queen’s Blizzards are high in calories, carbs and fats. However, one option is really the best in this regard.

A large Royal Reese’s Brownie Blizzard Treat checks in at a whopping 1,500 calories, 190 grams of carbs and 71 grams of fat.

Its 1.6 grams of trans fats are a combination of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and the naturally occurring trans fats found in dairy.

Summary

A large Dairy Queen Royal Reese’s Brownie Blizzard Treat consists of 1,500 calories, 190 grams of carbs and 71 grams of fat. It contains both artificial and natural trans fatty acids.

11. Sugar-Sweetened Soda

Sugary soda is one of the unhealthiest liquid junk foods you can consume due to its high content of fructose.

In fact, research suggests that consuming fructose in beverage form may be especially risky with regard to heart disease and obesity.

In one study, overweight and obese adults who consumed 27% of calories as fructose-sweetened beverages on a weight-maintenance diet experienced decreased insulin sensitivity, increased belly fat and risk of heart disease.

A 16-ounce bottle of soda contains 210 calories and 53 grams of sugar, at least half of which is fructose.

Summary

Sugar-sweetened soda is high in fructose, which has been linked to insulin resistance, belly fat and worsening of heart health markers.

12. KFC Famous Bowl

Kentucky Fried Chicken is a fast-food chain. KFC added in recent years other items to its menu, like chicken bowls and chicken pot pies.

But the famous Kentucky dish contains fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, broth, and cheese. And this meal contains more than 700 calories, about 29 grams of fat and more than 79 grams of carbohydrates.

However, frying is one of the unhealthiest ways to prepare food.

Plus, the ingredient list in this bowl shows many unhealthy elements, including partially hydrogenated oils and corn syrup and more.

Summary

The KFC Famous Bowl consists contains more than 700 calories, about 29 grams of fat and more than 79 grams of carbohydrates. the ingredient contains several potentially harmful ingredients, and frying is one of the unhealthiest ways to prepare food.

13. McDonald’s Triple Thick Milkshake

McDonald’s is famous for its burgers like Big Mac and Quarter Pounder. These burgers contain high calories, carbohydrates, and bad fats, and nutritional value pale compared to those found in some McDonald’s smoothies.

A large Triple Thick Milkshake can include to your daily meal more than 1000 calories equals two Big Macs. It also contains 190 grams of carbohydrates and 125 grams of sugar.

This is at least three or four times the number of added sugars you should eat throughout the day according to the American Heart Association (AHA). A small amount of trans fats in this product is naturally present in milk and doesn’t lead any health risks.

However, the very high number of calories and sugar added in this this shake’s makes it one of the unhealthiest food options on the entire McDonald’s menu.

Summary

McDonald’s Triple Thick Milkshake contains more than 1000 calories and 125 grams of sugar. This is at least three or four times the number of added sugars you should eat throughout the day

14. Cold Stone Mud Pie Mojo

Cold stone creamery is popular and known for its blended concepts, where sweet and crispy toppings are mixed with soft ice cream instead of flecks sprinkled on top.

While mixes can make ice cream more delicious, they also increase the number of calories, the product is already rich by sugar and fat.

Many Cold stone creations can qualify for the top list of unhealthy junk foods. But one of those products deserves a special mention. It is Mud Pie Mojo  — made with coffee ice cream, Oreo cookies, peanut butter, and more unhealthiest ingredients.

Take, for example a “Gotta Have It” medium serving can add to your daily meal more than 1140 calories, about 70 grams of fat and 120 grams of carbohydrates, including 105 grams of sugar.

Given the number of ingredients mixed in, it’s hard to say if 1.5 grams of trans fat per serving is the only type naturally found in dairy.

Summary

Cold stone Creamery Mud Pie Mojo consists of 70 grams of fat more than 1140 calories, and 1120 grams of carbohydrates per medium serving. Also, it may contain industrial trans fats.