The Kellogg’s Company first began the production of Pop-Tarts in the 1960’s, and it is the most popular brand to date with their sales averaging over 2 billion each year.
Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts are most popular in the United States, but they are also sold in Canada, Finland, the United Kingdom and Ireland. Australia discontinued selling Pop-Tarts in 2005, and now they can only be purchased in import stores.
Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts started out with four original flavors, including apple currant, blueberry, brown sugar-cinnamon and strawberry. Originally they were not frosted, but as time went by and they became an increasingly popular pastry, and frosting was introduced. Today due to their popularity, Pop-Tarts come in a wide variety of flavors. Today Pop-Tarts come in over 29 flavors. If you fantasize about a flavor, they most likely make it, including limited edition Pop-Tarts.
Pop-Tart Popularity in the Fitness Community
Pop-Tarts are considered a fruit filled breakfast pastry that can be warmed in the toaster prior to eating, but a lot of individuals prefer to eat them cold. Recently, Pop-Tarts have been gaining popularity in both the fitness and bodybuilding community alike. For some, Pop-Tarts are being used as a carb tool of choice. Bodybuilders are eating them pre and post workout for a quick source of carbs.
Many claim Pop-Tarts are not only good tasting, but can provide you with just the right amount of high carbs, with minimal fat, making them the perfect pre or post workout meal. Others state they have zero nutritional value and are full of sugar. And then there are those individuals in the fitness community who feel that if it fits your macros; then you can eat them. Bodybuilders are also using Pop-Tarts as the ultimate pre-contest carb load food.
Frosted Cherry Pop-Tarts Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 Pastry
- Calories – 200
- Total Fat – 5g
- Saturated Fat – 1.5g
- Trans Fat – 0g
- Polyunsaturated Fat – 2g
- Monounsaturated Fat – 1g
- Cholesterol – 0mg (0%)
- Sodium – 170mg (7%)
- Total Carbohydrate – 38g (13%)
- Dietary Fiber – less than 1g
- Sugars – 17g
- Protein – 2g
Here’s what you need to know:
Ingredient #1 – Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Vitamin B1[Thiamin Mononitrate], Vitamin B2 [Riboflavin], Folic Acid)
Enriched flour goes through a process to have both its natural minerals and vitamins extracted. This not only increases a products shelf life, but it prevents bugs from eating it. Once the flour’s bran and germ are removed, the body will then absorb the wheat differently.
Essential nutrients are lost during the process that would help and aid in digestion. Enriched flours flood the blood stream all at once with a lot of sugar. This causes quick highs and lows in the blood-sugar levels, which has been shown to lead to type-two diabetes and obesity.
Ingredient #2-3 – Corn Syrup and High Fructose Corn Syrup
Corn Syrup and High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) are used in processed foods because they are cheaper than sugar. Both are hard for the body to digest and can take up to four days before they are completely digested.
HFC is created by converting dextrose sugar from corn syrup into fructose sugar. This process enables HFCS to taste sweeter than corn syrup. HFCS when eaten on a regular basis can become problematic for a body; it has been linked to obesity and can also create imbalances in the blood sugar. HFCS is used in products that need to be extra sweet; it can be found in fast food, processed food and sodas.
Corn Syrup originates from powder and is made up of dextrose sugar. Studies have shown that consuming too much corn syrup has the potential in the development of diabetes.
Ingredient # 4 – Dextrose
Dextrose is naturally occurring in some whole foods; it is also added to a wide range of processed foods. Processed foods which contain dextrose are full of empty calories and provide little to no nutritional value. Sugar consumption has been linked to obesity and excess amounts of dextrose in the blood stream can contribute to the development of type-two diabetes.
Ingredient #5-6 – Soybean and Palm Oil (with Tbhq for freshness)
Soybean oil is used primarily for frying and baking. Soybean oil is produced by cracking soybeans and adjusting the moisture content by heating it. Next, the oil is refined and blended for different purposes. The remaining residue is then used for animal feed. Soy itself has been linked to many health conditions including thyroid dysfunction. Soybean oil itself contains a chemical that is considered poisonous called PHG; this chemical has been shown to slow down blood circulation.
Palm oil is a highly saturated vegetable oil that is GMO free, and it is used in processed foods because of its low cost. Palm oil has a high oxidative stability which lends itself to processed foods, specifically for frying. It is used as a replacement for trans fats, but may not be good for individuals that have elevated LDL levels.
Tbhq is a petroleum derivative and is used to increase the oils shelf life.
Ingredient #7 – Sugar
Sugar is used to stabilize and help form the structure of baked goods. Sugar serves as a preservative and works by binding water; this makes it unavailable for microbial growth. Over consumption of sugar has been linked to obesity, diabetes and weight gain.
Ingredient #8 – Cracker Meal
Cracker meal is a blend of ground up crackers that are used to coat fatty foods and give them a crisp flavor. The amount of sodium and carbohydrates is dependent on the type of crackers that will be used including processed ingredients such as flour.
Ingredient #9 – Wheat Starch
Wheat starch is derived from corn, potato, or wheat by removing the protein and gluten. It’s primarily used in processed foods as a food thickener or stabilizer.
Ingredient #10 – Salt
Salt is in processed foods for two primary reasons, preservation of the food and its taste. The salt in processed foods is used as a binder for the ingredients. Processed foods contain higher sodium contents than natural foods.
The American Heart Association recommends that people limit their sodium consumption to 1500 mgs daily. Studies have shown a link between high sodium consumption and health complications including, high blood pressure, stroke and weight gain.
Ingredient #11 – Dried Cherries
Dried cherries are made from real cherries which are dried and usually sweetened before they are added to packaged foods. These cherries have gone through a dry heat process to dehydrate them. During this process nutrients including vitamin c and calcium deteriorate. In general cherries are considered healthy, but if they are sweetened, they will have a higher sugar content.
Ingredient #12 – Dried Apples
Dried apples, just like cherries go through a dry heat process to dehydrate the fruit. Drying the fruit decreases phenols in the fruit, and healthy nutrients suffer from the heating process. In most cases the fruit is sprayed with a sugar solution before the drying process is completed. The FDA claims that dehydrated fruit has approximately twice as much sugar than its natural counterpart.
Ingredient #13 – Leavening (Baking Soda, Sodium Acid, Pyrophosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate)
Leavening agents can be any number of substances that are used in batters and dough for processed foods. These substances cause a foaming action to occur; this foaming action lightens and softens the final product. These agents incorporate gas into the dough, batter or other processed food. The gas most commonly used for the leavening agents is carbon dioxide.
Ingredient #14 – Citric Acid
Citric acid occurs naturally in both fruits and vegetables, but in this case it is a chemical that is primarily used as an acidifier for flavoring.
Ingredient #15 – Gelatin
Gelatin is a mixture that has been produced by partial hydrolysis of collagen. The two primary materials that are used for processed foods are beef skin and pig hide.
Ingredient #16 – Caramel Color
Caramel Color comes from a wide range of carbohydrates, including corn, dairy, gluten or wheat. In most cases this coloring has been Genetically Engineered or Modified. This coloring is linked to allergic reactions for individuals sensitive to corn, dairy, gluten or wheat.
Ingredient #17 – Modified Wheat Starch
Modified wheat starch has been found to have higher quantities of gluten and can be modified genetically. This wheat starch is created by chemically, enzymatically or physically altering the starch to change its properties. It is used in processed foods as a thickener or stabilizing agent thus increasing the products shelf life. It is also used in the paper industry for adhesives and sealants.
Ingredient #18 – Xanthan Gum
Xanthan gum can be derived from a variety of sources; corn and wheat are the most common. In processed foods the gum is used as a food thickening agent and a stabilizer. In some cases it has also been Genetically Engineered or Modified. Individuals who are allergic to corn, soy, gluten or wheat should avoid it. Xanthan gum has been known to cause a laxative effect, intestinal bloating or diarrhea in sensitive individuals.
Ingredient #19 – Soy Lecithin
Soy lecithin is made by cleaning and cracking soybeans into small pieces. The soybeans are then heated and pressed while they are still warm and changed into flakes. Soy lecithin acts as a binding agent during frying, and it is considered a stabilizer and emulsifier for processed foods. Its molecular structure lends itself to not only processed foods, but cosmetics, paints, lubricants, textiles and pharmaceuticals.
Ingredient #20 – Vitamin A Palmitate
Palmitate is added to replace vitamins that are lost during the removal of milk fat.
Ingredient #21 – Red 40
Red 40 dye is a chemical that was often referred to as ‘coal tar.’ Many years ago that term was coined to describe synthetic chemicals. These synthetic chemicals started out with tar as their precursor. This is a water soluble dye. Once the chemicals have been highly processed no residual petroleum remains. Studies have linked red dye 40 to potential behavior effects, including hyperactivity and attention deficit order in children.
Ingredient #22 – Niacinamide
Niacinamide is a water soluble vitamin that generates energy in the body. It can also be found in some processed foods.
Ingredient #23 – Reduced Iron
Reduced iron is a mineral that is added for fortification of baked goods and processed foods.
Ingredient #24 – Natural Flavor
Natural flavoring is flavor that has been added to enhance the taste of a product.
Ingredient #25 – Red 40 Lake
Unlike red dye 40, red 40 lake dye is not water soluble. It is manufactured by combining red dye 40 with aluminum hydroxide. Aluminum hydroxide is safe in food if it is by itself, but when it is paired with red dye 40 the chemicals form a deeper red powder that sticks. Once these chemicals have been combined and changed to a powdered form consistency it can be applied to the outside of tablets, gumballs and other solids. Studies have linked this dye to behavioral problems since the 1970’s.
Ingredient #26 – Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride)
The processing of food results in the loss of B6. Cooking, storing and processing also contributes to the loss, pyridoxine is a compound that is used as a food additive.
Ingredient #27 – Yellow 6
Yellow 6 is a dye that has been derived from ‘coal tar.’ Due to several studies on children and hyperactivity, the European Union requires food containing yellow 6 to have a safety statement on it. It has also been shown to cause possible negative health effects including exacerbation of asthma, headaches, hives and skin rash.
Ingredient #28 – Carnauba Wax
Carnauba wax is made from a Brazilian wax palm tree. The wax is processed and used as a glaze on baked goods.
Ingredient #29 – Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Riboflavin is also used as a yellow food coloring agent and is produced with the assistance of GM microorganisms. These additives are produced in closed systems that have the help of the GM microorganism and do not need to be labeled as such, as long as the additive has been purified. The microorganisms may have nutrient substances that have been derived from GM, but it is not subject to labeling.
Ingredient # 30 – Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Hydrochloride)
Thiamin Hydrochloride is a nutrient that is added to help convert food into fuel to produce energy.
Ingredient #31 – Confectioners Glaze
Confectioners Glaze is also called a pharmaceutical glaze, resinous glaze, pure food glaze and a natural glaze; it is very common in candies and pills. This chemical can be found in hardware stores and is used for both sealing and varnishing.
Confectioners glaze comes from the shellac of a beetle. Shellac is a chemical that is secreted by the female iac bugs. The iac bug creates a shellac in order for it to form. The iac bug can be found in the Asian forest, and it is extracted by tubes for industrial use. Once extracted by tubes the tube is then heated over an open flame until the shell melts. When the process is complete, it is then dried into flakes for sale. It can also be found in children’s frozen foods and medications.
Ingredient #32 – Blue 1
Blue 1 is made from a ‘coal tar’ derivative and is usually a disodium salt. Animal studies indicate that it can cause tumors and be carcinogenic to certain organs.
*Contains WHEAT & SOY INGREDIENTS
*Filling made with equal to 10% Fruit
Pop-Tarts, The Final Word
If you open a package, I can almost guarantee you’ll eat both.
What’s your favorite? Kellogg’s Pop-Tart website asks, ‘do you love this flavor so much that you want to shout it from the rooftops?
We’d love to hear from you. Give us a shout out; tell us what your favorite flavor is, and if you use them pre or post. Please leave a comment in the section below.
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For more fun facts on Pop-Tarts click here.