1 Star Foods

Only on your honeymoon.  OK, not that rarely, but once in a great while.  Think yearly.  On vacation, holidays treat, etc.  These foods have little nutrional value, but, c’mon everything deserves at least ONE star.

Taquitos

Per 2 taquitos: calories 250, fat 12g, carbs 26g, protein 8g, (salt 20%)

My only taquito experience is the gas station version.  Which means I’ve had frozen taquitos.  Unless you have one of those spinning hot dog/taquito cookers/warmers I’d suggest keeping your taquito intake confined to a I’m-drunk-and-no-other-food-is-available situation.  Tu casa es no taquito casa.

King’s Hawaiian Rolls®

Per roll: calories 100, fat 2g, carbs 17g, protein 3g

These sweet rolls are delicious.  And, sadly, standard enriched flour based white bread.  Another reminder if it doesn’t list whole grain as ingredient one, stay away.

Chicken Pot Pie

Per pie:  calories 1180, fat 68g, carbs 108g, proteins 38g, (Salt 72%DV)

Possibly the worst food I’ve reviewed.  Ever.  Look, it’s a treat to be consumed once a year at most.  But, for me, I can think of a lot better options for a treat.  Deep fried twinkies for one….

Ritz Snack Pack Crackers®

Per pack: calories 200, fat 11g, carbs 21g, protein 4g

First ingredient: Enriched flour.  Eighth ingredient: High fructose corn syrup.  That’s all you need to know.  In addition, it’s oddly disconcerting that it touts REAL peanut butter.  There’s fake pb out there somewhere?  God help us.

Eat Smart Whole Grain Natural Cheese Curls® 

Per 1 ½ cups (2-3 handfuls): calories 130, fat 6g, carbs 20g, protein 2g

Whole grain.  Great!  All natural. Terrific!  Cheese curls! Sigh. Unfortunately no matter how you dress them up, cheese curls are cheese curls.  (Which is to say, they don’t exist in nature.)  Don’t be fooled by the whole grain and natural nonsense.  These are what they appear to be, junk food.

Oatmeal Raisin cookies  

Per cookie: calories 80, fat 3.5g, carbs 12g, protein 1g

What happened to you oatmeal?  I just decreed you a five-star food!  Then you go mixing with enriched flour and sweeteners and get all processed. What a fall from grace.  Don’t even get me started on the raisins.  If you like oatmeal raisin cookies, enjoy these treats.  But remember, they’re still cookies.

Blueberry Preserves  

Per tablespoon (a one knife slathering worth): calories 50, fat 0g, carbs 13g, protein 0g

Preserves are so delicious because they are straight sugar.  The second ingredient is the dreaded high fructose corn syrup.  Go easy on this blueberry flavored sugar goop.

Ramen Noodles

Per package: calories 380, fat 14g, carbs 52g, protein 10g, (salt 72% DV)

Ah, the days of dorm living.  Ever, in a pinch, eat them raw?  Not good.  This is a perfect lesson in misleading nutritional info. The back of the package lists a serving as half a package.  A quick glance shows only 190 calories.  No one, and I mean no one, eats half a pack of ramen noodles.  Especially a starving, and potentially stoned, college kid.  Freshman 15 anyone?

Jelly Beans

Per 35 Pieces (2 handfuls): calories 140, fat 0g, carbs 37g, protein 0g

Another candy, another incredible amount of sugar (carbs), another one star.  Look, a no-fat candy is still candy.  Candy is a treat.  Eat it as such.  One curious question: The first 2 ingredients listed are sugar and corn syrup.  Um, those are the same thing….

Doritos (any flavor)

Per 1 Big Grab (2 ¼ oz): calories 310, fat 17g, carbs 37g (sugars 34g), protein 4g

It’s a shame, really.  I love Doritos.  But it’s mass produced junk food, pure and simple.  Little nutrition value means these guys are for the rare treat, not regular snacking.

Chips A’hoy Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Per 3 cookies: calories 160, fat 8g, carbs 21g (sugars 10g), protein 2g

You probably saw this one coming.  Yes, they’re tasty, but completely devoid of nutritional value.  High in calories, and loaded with the blood sugar spiking carbs, these guys should be for only the occasional treat.

Veggie Sticks

Per 50 sticks: calories 140, fat 7g, carbs 18g, protein 1g

What in good gravy are these?  They’re not veggies, that’s for sure.  They’re actually refined potato sticks colored like different vegetables and somehow given a flavor.  Consider these the same as cheetos.  Only not as good.  If you like them, eat sparingly.  Personally, I’d rather have the orange fingers for my cheat snack.  And if you’re gonna eat something called veggie sticks, be sure they’re actually veggies.

Lunchables
Per pack: calories 350, fat 19g, carbs 27g, protein 18g. sodium 1000mg
Holy crap.  I had no idea how many different varieties of lunchables there were now.  Tacos?  Seriously!?  How can that be good?  Anyway, here’s the old standard: meat, cheese, and crackers.  Highly processed and loaded with sodium (half a day’s worth), these things are, um, not good for you.

Apple Pie 

 
whatscookingamerica.net

Per slice: calories 350, fat 17g, carbs 51g, protein 3g

I define one star foods as once or twice a year, special day treats.  Well, 4th of July counts as special to me.  Get a thin sliver of warm apple pie and a small scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy on the anniversary of the day we declared our independence.

Pancakes

Per 3-4 inch cake: calories 150, fat 1.5g, carbs 31g, protein 0g

Pancakes are obvious treats to be eaten once or twice a year on special occasions (holidays, vacations, when reeealllyy hungover).  Loaded with awful, processed carbs, breakfast doesn’t get much worse.

Actually….

Maple Syrup

Per ¼ cup: calories 210, fat 0g, carbs 53g, protein 0g

I’m even more impressed with Thorn and Rabbit from Super Troopers. It’s liquid sugar.  Dense liquid sugar.  If you’re gonna eat maple syrup it better be on top of pancakes on a special occasion.  No chugging please…

Baked Cheetos

Per 34 cheetos:  calories 130, fat 5g, carbs 19g, protein 2g

Generally, baked is a healthier way to go.  Not here.  Whether it’s bakedor fried it’s still a processed cheese thingy.  If you’re gonna get Cheetos, get Cheetos.  (Just get a small “treat” bag!)  Baked Cheetos = Regular Cheetos.

Bagel Chips
Per 6 chips: calories 130, fat 5, carbs 17 (sugar 16), protein 3g
They seem like they’d be healthier for you than say, potato chips, but, alas, they’re the same kind of processed stuff that makes us fat.  High in carbs and sugars, these guys are to be eaten as a once-every-6-months treat.

Cheese Crisps

Per 10 crisps (one handful): calories 135, fat 6g, carbs 14g, protein 6g

The first in a long ingredient list is “enriched flour”.  If you’ve learned nothing else, this ingredient (let alone the first) should make you run for the hills.  A thinly veiled attempt at making a junk food not appear to be a junk food.

Pop Tarts

Per 1 pastry:  calories 200, fat 5g, carbs 37g, protein 2g

First off, anything that is called a pastry isn’t very good for you.  A pastry that comes out of a box is worse.  The insanely long ingredient list is a dead giveaway.  Avoid, avoid, avoid.

Whopper’s Candy

Per 18 pieces (2 handfuls): calories 180, fat 7g, carbs 31g, protein 1g

Obviously, balls of sugar wrapped in chocolate not good for you.  What’s not obvious is why “Made with Natural and Artificial Flavors” is predominantly displayed on the box.  Shouldn’t it just say “Made with ingredients”.   Are there other types besides natural and artificial?  I may never know.

Townhouse Wheat Crackers

Per 5 crackers: calories 80, fat 4g, carbs 10g, protein 1g

They’re processed.  Alas, most crackers are.  They attempt to use “wheat” to distract you but, unlike the sandwich thins, they use enriched flour and add wheat flour later.  Tricky, tricky.  Also, be mindful of the calories being low. Eighty calories doesn’t seem too bad, but who only eats 5 crackers?  Especially when there are roughly 45 crackers per sleeve.

As a quick aside, how healthy would I consider a snack combining the tuna and crackers?  I’d give it a 3 star.  Primarily because the protein in the tuna will help you feel full.  Likely decreasing the amount of crackers you scarf.

Eat by Stars overview, 5 stars, 4 stars, 3 stars, 2 stars

Disclaimer: I take all these pics myself at local markets.  In no way am I attempting to single out a specific brand or company.  One company’s product is not different or better than another’s similar product. I get all my nutritional info from the package.  For items without packages I consult fitday.com and the USDA Nutrient Data Labratory website.

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