Dr. Becky Maes - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Becky Maes

Are Twinkies Bad For You?

Also Known As: golden sponge cake with a creamy filling



Short answer

Twinkies are horrible for you. They are loaded with sugar, preservatives, and artificial colors and flavors. Keep them off your shelves - your health will thank you.



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Long answer

If a study conducted by Professor Mark Staub is to be trusted, Twinkies could actually help you lose weight, lower LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, and raise HDL cholesterol levels. So, are Twinkies diet food? Hold that thought.

Twinkies are an American favorite. When Hostess filed for bankruptcy, they got pulled off the shelves on November 21, 2012. On July 15, 2013, many of us breathed a collective sigh of relief as grocery shelves were restocked with the treat. However, as far as health is concerned, it may have been better for them to have stayed gone. These treats contain 37 ingredients, none of which sound remotely like food. At the top of the list are the following: enriched wheat flour, corn syrup, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, water, and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and/or animal shortening (soybean oil, cottonseed oil and/or canola oil, beef fat). In other words, wheat, sugar, sugar, even more sugar, water, and trans fat. As if too much sugar (just one Twinkie contains a startling 16.5 grams of it) wasn't enough of a concern - leading to a higher risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease - high fructose corn syrup contains high amounts of fructose, a substance that if you eat too much of, the liver simply turns into fat. High fructose corn syrup greatly increases the risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

One Twinkie contains 135 calories. This is actually better than the original Twinkies, which were larger and carried 150 calories, but is still a fairly hefty amount considering a Twinkie can be eaten in 2-3 bites.

Other ingredients found in Twinkies are natural and artificial flavors, calcium sulfate, polysorbate 60, cellulose gum, soy lecithin, sodium caseinate, sodium stearoyl lactylate, and artificial colors yellow #5 and red #40. Yellow 5 is highly suspected of causing hyperactivity in children and red 40 has been shown by lab studies to be carcinogenic. Cellulose gum is poorly absorbed in the body and can lead to flatulence, while polysorbate 60 has been found by studies to be possibly carcinogenic.

Twinkies can also cause a problem for people with allergies to the following: dairy, soy, wheat. As it is made from animal products, it is also not a vegan food. Perhaps the only saving grace is the casein, which some studies link to improvement in people with autism.

Possible short-term side effects

  • may cause flatulence
  • nausea
  • bloating
  • blood sugar spike
  • hyperactivity in children

Possible long-term side effects

  • diabetes
  • obesity
  • heart disease
  • cancer
  • damage to vital organs
  • immune disorders

Ingredients to be aware of

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Annie's Organic Fruit Snacks

  • Organic ingredients
  • Gluten-free
  • Berry flavored
  • Convenient pouches
  • Value pack size
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Jeff Volling
Published on: 12-29-2015
Last updated: 12-15-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Jeff Volling
Published on: 12-29-2015
Last updated: 12-15-2023

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