Monday, June 01, 2009

Does this frosting make me look fat?

Happy Birthday Kid! Enjoy your pound cake.

Ask any kid if he'd like his birthday cake with or without icing, and I bet you could guess the answer. "ICING!!" Why, because it tastes better. Kids don't care about calories, fat content or carbs. All they care about is how something tastes. When we're kids, we know the more icing the better. Maybe that's because our parents were always trying to keep us out of the cookie jar, away from the snack cupboard, and out of the candy isle. As we get older, we come to accept that bran flakes are better for us than Frosted Flakes, Rice Krispies are better for us than Coco Krispies and, "you can just forget about Lucky Charms mister, you're having Cheerios!" It's a fact of life. The frosted something, is always going to be worse for us than its unfrosted counterpart.

"Dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria!!"

If everything you've read in the paragraph above seems to be on target then I'm afraid I have some bad news. The world has just been turned upside down. North is now south, east is now west and the Chicago Cubs are on track to with their 5th World Series in the past 7 years. Forget everything you think you know about anything because Frosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts and actually better for you than unfrosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts! I'll give you a minute.......

Okay, now that your head has stopped spinning, let me explain what brought me make this seemingly outlandish claim. The first, and most obvious, bit of evidence is the number of calories per serving. The unfrosted weigh in at 210 calories per serving. That means you're looking at 420 calories per package. On the other hand, the frosted variety weighs in at 200 calories per serving and 400 per package. Second, the unfrosted have 6 grams of fat to 5 grams for the frosted. The unfrosted also have 10mg more sodium than the frosted, 180 to 170 respectively. In fact, the only place the unfrosted beat out the frosted is in the total carbohydrates category. As you would imagine, the frosted actually have a little more sugar than the unfrosted (17g to 16g respectively) but I ask you, "Is it worth it?"

The Price of Good Taste

Just as in the comparison between the Low Fat Frosted Strawberry and the Frosted Blueberry, we see that there's always some give and take. In order to make something with less sugar taste better, you seem to have to add more fat. Conversely, if you want to make something with less sugar taste better, you had better add some more sugar. The bottom line is if you'd been depriving yourself of frosted flavors of Pop-Tarts just because you think they might be a little better for you, you might as well have the frosted ones a live a little. Hooray frosting!

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