Unhealthy Foods You Should Never Buy at a Gas Station

If you’ve ever been on a road trip, you already know that a gas station is far more than a place to fuel up. You’ll find all kinds of tasty treats and tempting snacks in the store aisles, and some even have heartier fare like hot dogs, pizza, and fried chicken.

Gas station snacks are a great road trip guilty pleasure, but they can be a dietary disaster. If you’re watching your waistline, steer clear of these unhealthy foods.

Hot dogs

hot dogs

Hot dogs aren’t good for you to begin with. | iStock.com/liveslow

Hot dogs are, by far, one of the unhealthiest meats you can eat. They’re made with meat trimmings from various animals and full of sodium, fat, corn syrup, and other additives. Plus, the nitrates won’t do your health any favors.

Next: This treat will cause a major blood pressure spike.

Mini donuts

Donut with sprinkles on the pink background

They may be tasty, but those little donuts are terrible for you. | iStock.com/Mindstyle

Those little donuts might look like a sweet snack, but they’ve got at least 15 grams of sugar, meaning your blood sugar will spike in a second and you’ll be hungry again quickly. Just four donuts have 240 calories, 12 grams of fat, and tons of sodium.

Next: This is nacho best option.

Nacho cheese

Want botulism with those nachos? | iStock

Not only is that gas station queso sauce unhealthy, it could actually be deadly. In May 2017, one person died and nine were hospitalized after eating nacho cheese from a gas station in Sacramento that tested positive for botulism. If it happened once, it can happen again.

Next: This is a tempting snack, but you should skip it.

Potato chips

Open Bag of Chips

The fat in potato chips can lead to some serious health issues. | artisteer/iStock/Getty Images

Check those labels. Potato chips are often made with olestra, a fat substitute that binds to vitamins A, E, D, and K as well as carotenoids, and flushes them out of the body. Carotenoids provide vital and healthy antioxidants.

Next: There is nothing natural or healthy about these beverages.


PHILADELPHIA - APRIL 21: Consumers fill up their tanks at a Sunoco gas station on April 21, 2006 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Trust us, you do not want a gas station slushie. | Jeff Fusco/Getty Images

Those gas station slushies might look tempting on a warm day in the middle of a long road trip, but they’re loaded with sugar, calories, and harmful chemicals (that’s how they get their color and flavor). Also, the machines may not be cleaned often enough, so there’s a good chance they’re full of mold.

Next: This snack is both salty and sweet, but you’ll eat a lot more than you’re meant to.

Chocolate covered pretzels

Can you really eat a healthy serving of chocolate-covered pretzels? | iStock

These might be tasty, but it’s almost as if they were designed to destroy your diet. Not only are they full of salt, sugar, and fat, but a serving size is just eight — and it’s basically impossible to stop after so few.

Next: When you’re tempted to grab this off the shelf, just keep walking.

Beef jerky

Pile of beef jerky shot

Store-bought beef jerky is loaded with preservatives. | Rez-Art/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Making your own jerky at home is actually fairly healthy, but store bought jerky is terrible for you. It’s loaded with preservatives like MSG, and so are its friends, Slim Jims.

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!