advice / Gluten Free / Health / nutrition / Snacks / Uncategorized

Worst Gluten-Free Snacks

Today’s post is dedicated to all of my gluten-free followers. I understand that being gluten-free is hard. Also, I want to help all of my newbie gluten-free peeps navigate what to stay away from especially if you are trying to get healthy. I’m here to help. I’ve done the research and took the time to bring you this list with nutritional facts. I get it. Life is already tough enough when you’re met with a groan and eye roll from every waiter when you politely ask about the restaurant’s gluten-free options. And don’t get me started on the fact that every grocery run is automatically lengthened due to the fact that you’re committed to meticulously scanning dozens of labels to see if you can find a “Certified Gluten Free” logo or “Made in a facility that also produces wheat.”

“Gluten-Free” has made a somewhat misguided transition from being a serious health problem to a blanket statement that’s interchangeable for “healthy,” not all gluten-free products are good for you just because they don’t have those dreaded wheat proteins. (Yes, they’re types of proteins! Wheat is a grass widely cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain which is a worldwide staple food. The many species of wheat together make up the genus Triticum; the most widely grown is common wheat.) So, to help you navigate the choppy ocean waters of the gluten-free world, I’ve gathered some not so-approved gluten-free snacks

If you are new to my blog Hello. My name is Amanda and I run the blog Amanda Explains It.  Here I explain everything related to the health world. Recently I’ve done a series called the best/worst of something if you are interested in reading past posts all the links will be posted at the end of today’s blog.

LARABAR Coconut Cream Pie

larabar coconut cream pie

Per 1 bar (48 g): 210 calories, 10 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 5 mg sodium, 31 g carbs (5 g fiber, 24 g sugar), 3 g protein

Stay Away!: Even though this is one of the top-selling gluten-free products on Amazon, I hate to have to put it a Stay Away Even though it’s made with five simple ingredients (including dates, coconut, almonds, and cashews), it contains 24 grams of sugar—which is excessive to consume in one sitting for only providing 5 grams of digestion-slowing fiber. It’s not an everyday snack, but you can certainly reserve it for a post-workout treat once in a blue moon.

Gluten Free Chex Granola Mix: Honey Nut

gluten free chex granola mix: honey nut

Per ⅓ cup: 130 calories, 4 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 35 mg sodium, 20 g carbs (2 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 2 g protein

Stay Away!: It might be lower in calories, but Chex’s gluten-free granola is also lacking where it matters: on the protein and fiber front. I’m not pleased by Chex’s addition of BHT: University of California-Berkeley researchers say this petroleum-derived antioxidant is linked to an increased risk of cancer in animals. It’s hard to say whether these effects would be prevalent in humans, but experts say to avoid it as much as possible to err on the side of caution.

 Horizon Gluten-Free Macaroni & White Cheddar Cheese

horizon gluten-free macaroni & white cheddar cheese

Per 1 cup (71 g): 280 calories, 5 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 540 mg sodium, 46 g carbs (2 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 10 g protein

Stay Away!: While I certainly commend Horizon for using a blend of lentils, rice, and corn for their gluten-free pasta, I’m disappointed by their high sodium content, which is one of the highest in the market.

Also, If you have a corn allergy like I do and a lentil sensitivity like I do then this Is a 100% stay away!!

Glutino GF Duo Cheese Pizza

glutino gf duo cheese pizza

Per 1 pizza (175 g): 410 calories, 19 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 660 mg sodium, 48 g carbs (3 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 12 g protein

Stay Away!: Don’t be a glutton with this personal pizza. Glutino’s single-serving pies are consistently higher in calories and fat than the competition.

Bakery on Main Gluten Free Apple Pie Flavor Instant Oatmeal

bakery on main gluten free apple pie flavor instant oatmeal

Per-packet (50 g): 200 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 40 mg sodium, 36 g carbs (5 g fiber, 11 g sugar), 6 g protein

Stay Away!: Apple Pie Oatmeal from Bakery on Main is higher in sugar and calories.



Perdue SimplySmart GF Breaded Chicken Breast Tenders

perdue simplysmart gf breaded chicken breast tenders

Per 4 tenders: 210 calories, 11 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 520 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 13 g protein

Stay Away!: They might be called “tenders,” but the part of the chicken which is actually called the “tender” isn’t even used in this product. Instead, it’s chicken breast with rib meat, which is then coated in rice flour and cornmeal. Compared to Ian’s, Perdue’s offering is much higher in sodium, which won’t help you with that belly bloat.

King Arthur Flour GF Pancake Mix

king arthur flour gf pancake mix

Per 1/3 cup mix: 180 calories, 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 430 mg sodium, 41 g carbs (1 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 2 g protein

Stay Away!: For the same size serving, you consume an extra 40 calories and 10 grams of carbs by choosing King Arthur’s mix over Bisquick’s.



Special K Touch of Brown Sugar Gluten Free

special k touch of brown sugar gluten free

Per 1 cup (49 g): 180 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 180 mg sodium, 42 g carbs (5 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 3 g protein

Stay Away!: For the same sized cup of cereal, you’d scarf down an extra 80 calories, 20 grams of carbs, and 7 grams of sugar (probably from the addition of sugar, brown sugar syrup, honey, dried invert cane syrup, and molasses) by choosing Special K’s gluten-free option over Rice Chex. Skip it.

Bob’s Red Mill GF Brown Sugar & Maple Oatmeal Cup

bob’s red mill gf brown sugar & maple oatmeal cup

Per cup (61 g): 240 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 310 mg sodium, 43 g carbs (7 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 7 g protein

Stay Away!: I love Bob’s Red Mill as much as any foodie, but I’m disappointed to see they use “caramel color” and “natural maple flavor” instead of real maple syrup to flavor and color their instant mix.

Duncan Hines GF Vanilla Creme Cake

duncan hines gf vanilla creme cake

Per 1/16 package (34 g): 210 calories, 9 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat), 150 mg sodium, 32 g carbs (0 g fiber, 21 g sugar), 2 g protein

Stay Away!: Like I said before, “gluten-free” should not be synonymous with “healthy.” This is the perfect example of that. Duncan Hines’ cake mix is gluten-free, but that doesn’t erase the negatives of stuffing a cake full of shortening, sugar, inflammatory carrageenan, artificial flavor, and artificial dyes Yellow 5 and Yellow 6.

Barilla Gluten Free Spaghetti

barilla gluten free spaghetti

Per 2 oz (56 g): 200 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 44 g carbs (1 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 4 g protein

Stay Away!: Besides corn and rice flour, there are a couple of nasty ingredients lurking in this gluten-free spaghetti: mono- and diglycerides. These man-made additives often contain the same artery-clogging trans fats that the FDA’s decision to ban in June 2018. The only reason these ingredients are allowed in your food is that the FDA reviewed evidence and concluded that we don’t consume enough of them to count as hazardous; however, that “evidence” hasn’t been updated since 1975.

Good Health Gluten Free Pretzels Sea Salt

good health gluten free pretzels sea salt

Per 4 pretzels (28 g): 100 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 350 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (3 g fiber, 1 g sugar) 1 g protein

Stay Away!: If you want to snack on a pretzel, you’ll probably want to go for a whole handful; however, you’ll only be able to eat four pretzels from Good Health before you’ve eaten what the nutritional information reads. Besides the fact that you may have trouble sticking to the serving size, these pretzels aren’t too bad of a choice. In fact, they come complete with as much mood-boosting vitamin B6 as seven cups of spinach!

Udi’s Gluten Free Everything  Bagel

udi’s gluten free everything inside bagel

Per 1 bagel (99 g): 290 calories, 10 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 490 mg sodium, 43 g carbs (3 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 7 g protein

Stay Away!: When Udi’s says “everything inside,” they really just mean “salt.” Their sodium count is over three times that of Katz’s!

Nature’s Path Gluten Free Honey Almond Granola


Per ⅓ cup: 187 calories, 6 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 65 mg sodium, 21 g carbs (2 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 3 g protein

Stay Away!: Made simply with only 10 ingredients, Nature’s Path falls short in that it’s lower in protein and healthy fats—both of which will help you stay full throughout the morning—but is higher in sugar.

Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Brownie Mix

bob’s red mill gluten free brownie mix

Per 1 brownie (37 g): 150 calories, 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 65 mg sodium, 33 g carbs (2 g fiber, 24 g sugar), 2 g protein

Stay Away!: I’m all for the simple blend of ingredients, but Bob’s brownies are higher in carbs — mainly sugar — and lower in protein than those from Enjoy Life.

And Enjoy life Is allergy Friendly

Glutino Cheddar Crackers

glutino cheddar crackers

Per 8 crackers (30 g): 130 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 280 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 1 g protein

Stay Away!: Even though Glutino has less fat than Simple Mills, more of that fat is from LDL-cholesterol-raising palm oil. And with more sodium and carbs per gram.

Lucy’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

lucy’s chocolate chip cookies

Per 3 cookies (32 g): 150 calories, 6 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 150 mg sodium, 23 g carbs (2 g fiber, 16 g sugar), 2 g protein

Stay Away!: They’re allergen friendly, but Lucy’s is a little too heavy handed with the sugar scoop, leading these cookies to be sweeter than other brands in the market.


Canyon Gluten-Free Hamburger Buns

canyon gluten-free hamburger buns

Per bun (85 g): 200 calories, 4 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 320 mg sodium, 38 g carbs (3 g fiber, 6 g sugar) 3 g protein

Stay Away!: With fewer satiating macronutrients like protein and fiber and more blood-glucose-spiking sugar than their gluten-free counterpart, Canyon’s Hamburger Buns just don’t stack up to the competition.

Nature’s Path GF Waffles

nature’s path gf waffles

Per 2 waffles (70 g): 210 calories, 7 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 460 mg sodium, 34 g carbs (1 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 1 g protein

Stay Away!: Sure, Nature’s Path uses all organic ingredients in these homestyle waffles, but they’re a little too high in sugar compared to other products on the market.

Back to Nature GF Double Chocolate Cherry Brownie Cookies

back to nature gf double chocolate cherry brownie cookies

Per 2 cookies (30 g): 130 calories, 5 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 100 mg sodium, 21 g carbs (1 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 1 g protein

Stay Away!: Gram for gram, these cookies have more than double the amount of sugar than what Mary’s Cocoa Minis have.


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? Soon I will be posting the best gluten-free snacks. And like always if you have any questions please don’t hesitate in reaching out and I will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.


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Hello, my name Is Amanda and I'm the woman behind AmandaExplainsIt. I'm a Free Spirit, coffee sipping blogger and I embrace all of the messy parts of life.I'm a mommy of two precious doggies and an advocate for food allergies, animals, and nutrition In real life. I've always loved writing and writing a blog fulfills that. I'm all about spirituality and going with the flow of things. I'm new to the beauty world and I'm excited to share what I learn along the way. Come back often because I post often and I post things related to but not limited to Beauty Reviews, Product Reviews, Spirituality, Nutrition and Food Allergies, and Gluten-Free Recipes. If you like what you read let's be friends. ~XOXO A.


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