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7 Healthy Things To Eat Instead of a Twinkie

Posted By Candy Sagon On July 16, 2013 @ 7:30 am In Health Talk | Comments Disabled

Twinkie [1] Twinkie2 [2]Among the big news stories yesterday: The return of Twinkies!

Yeah, so what.

What is the big deal about this processed snack cake? Just because it’s been around since our childhood (or our parents’ childhood) doesn’t make it terrific or healthy or something worth celebrating.

When it was announced eight months ago that Hostess was seeking bankruptcy protection and the iconic “golden sponge cake” would disappear, all the people who hadn’t bought Twinkies in years – but still adored them, of course – started wailing in disbelief. Social media went nuts, Twinkies were sold on eBay [3], it was insane.

As a result, the company now has new owners and Twinkies are back on supermarket shelves – albeit slightly smaller, while still the same price, reports USA Today [4]. Plus, the new Twinkies have a longer life span: They can last unopened for 45 days without getting stale instead of 26 days. (They get stale? Someone can tell?)

I really don’t understand all the nostalgia about this squishy little cake. Back when it was first invented, in 1930, the Twinkie had real dairy ingredients. Now, writes Steve Ettlinger [5], author of Twinkie, Deconstructed, it’s mostly made with artificial stuff like polysorbate 60.

And that longer shelf life? Ettlinger, writing for The Atlantic, suspects it has to do with “injecting a combo of gases to control conditions inside the pack, thus controlling the PH of product, the moisture release, and inhibiting mold growth.” Sounds yummy.

The “old” Twinkies had 150 calories each. The new ones have 135 calories. It’s not a super-high calorie food, but there are many other, more nutritious, better-tasting snacks for equivalent calories that won’t give you a sugar rush.

Twinkies, New York dietitian Tracy Lockwood told Time magazine [6], contain no fiber to help stave off hunger and are loaded with sugar, “which will cause you to crash and become tired 15 minutes after” you eat one, she said.

You want to feed your nostalgia? Fine, have a Twinkie. But Lockwood and others suggest some other great things you could eat that would be a heck of a lot healthier:

  • 75 grapes
  • 22 almonds
  • 100 blueberries
  • 2 cups of carrots
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and 4 stalks of celery
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 6 ounces vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt

Photo: Christian Cable [7] via flickr

 

 

 

 


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URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Twinkie.jpg

[2] Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Twinkie2.jpg

[3] sold on eBay: http://business.time.com/2012/12/17/are-twinkies-a-good-investment-scouring-the-ebay-track-record/

[4] USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/07/15/twinkies-release-smaller/2517709/

[5] writes Steve Ettlinger: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/07/how-did-twinkies-double-their-lives/277781/

[6] Time magazine: http://healthland.time.com/2013/07/15/cant-resist-the-twinkie-a-guide-to-working-off-its-calories/

[7] Christian Cable: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nexus_icon/4577789974/in/photostream/

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