Frosting is Definitely on Our List of What Not to Eat

No one thinks that frosting—or the cake it decorates—is a health food.

But few people see frosting for what it is: essentially a mix of sugar and butter (if you make it at home) or sugar and palm oil (Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy or Hershey’s) or, worse yet, sugar and partially hydrogenated oil (Betty Crocker Whipped, any Duncan Hines or Pillsbury). Yes, some frostings still harbor heart-threatening trans fats that have disappeared from most other foods.

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Each serving (two level tablespoons) of regular frosting has around 140 calories, 5 teaspoons of sugar, and either 2½ grams of saturated fat (if made with palm oil) or 1½ grams each of saturated and trans fat (if made with partially hydrogenated oil).

But 2 tablespoons may be just the start. Expect 2 to 3 tablespoons in a cupcake from a bakery like Sprinkles, and 5 to 6 in a slice of Carrot Cake or Linda’s Fudge Cake from The Cheesecake Factory. Six tablespoons of most frostings would add 420 calories and 15 teaspoons of sugar, plus 7½ to 9 grams of bad fat (sat and/or trans) to your cake. Mayday!

Instead: Try Reddi-Wip Original or Chocolate Dairy Whipped Topping (just 15 calories, half a gram of saturated fat, and less than 1 gram of sugar in two tablespoons).

 

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