The Worst Holiday Foods at Trader Joe’s, According to Dietitians — Eat This Not That

The holidays are all about eating, drinking, and being cheerful, but some foods can make you feel stuffy on Christmas morning. While Trader Joe’s has plenty of festive foods, not all of them make it to the top nutritionists’ list.

This is what Eat this, not that! Medical Experts Board members Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, of Real Nutrition, and Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, author Finally full, finally skinny And a dietitian at a private practice, I recommend shoppers skip during last-minute holiday trips to Trader Joe’s.

Related Topics: Best Trader Joe’s Food of 2021

Courtesy of Trader Joe’s

per 1 cup220 calories, 9 g fat (6 g saturated, 0 g trans), 580 mg sodium, 28 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 6 g protein

Cauliflower Gnocchi’s festive cousin, Truffle Cream Filled Gnocchi, feels like an upscale pasta dish fit for family feasts. However, neither Young nor Shapiro recommend it.

“This dish is high in saturated fat plus sodium and offers very little nutritional value. Not worth it unless you’re a true gnocchi fan,” Young says.

“[It] It contains 25% of the recommended daily amount of sodium without any additional seasoning,” Shapiro adds, “not ideal for someone with heart problems or high blood pressure! “

Trader Joe's Chocolate Passport Set
Courtesy of Trader Joe’s

per 1.6 ounces: 570 calories, 41 g fat (26 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 0 mg sodium, 45 g carbs, 11 g fiber, 29 g sugar, 8 g protein

Another Trader Joe’s food to skip this year is the Chocolate Passport. While it brings together plenty of flavors from around the world—fruit, wood, flower, vanilla, and more—it’s also high in calories, fat, carbs, and sugar. Both Young and Shapiro say it’s a pass.

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Trader Joe's Candy Joe Joe's Ice Cream
Courtesy of Trader Joe’s

per 2/3290 calories, 17 g fat (8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans), 85 mg sodium, 38 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 33 g sugar, 3 g protein

It’s no surprise to see ice cream on this list, even during the holiday season. Although it’s packed with two of the month’s most popular ingredients (chocolate and mint), this option is pretty dense.

“With nearly 300 calories and more than 30 grams of sugar for a 2/3 cup serving, I’m going to eat it and enjoy a piece of dark chocolate candy instead,” Young says.

Shapiro agrees, noting that the second ingredient listed is cane sugar.

Trader Joe's White Chocolate Mint Brownie
Courtesy of Trader Joe’s

per 1 brownie130 calories, 6 g fat (2 g saturated, 0 g trans), 65 mg sodium, 17 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 13 g sugar, 1 g protein

Trader Joe’s boasts that their mint muffins are better than Sugar Plums. One serving of this dessert is a better option than another, but it depends on what you eat with it, according to Shapiro. “[It] May raise blood sugar unless combined with supplemental protein and light fiber.”

For more on what’s happening in the holiday section of your favorite grocery store, check out:

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