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

Is Frosting Bad For You?

Also Known As: icing



Short answer

When it comes to foods to avoid, frosting takes the cake. With nothing good to offer (except perhaps taste), it should only be enjoyed very sporadically, if at all.



Recommended Alternative

Long answer

Though frosting may be a delicious addition to any cake, cupcake, or other pastry, there is nothing redeeming about it in terms of health. Made from sugar and water (or milk) with such ingredients as butter, cream cheese, and egg whites (the nutrients in eggs are found in the yolk), frosting is full of calories and fat, especially saturated fat. According to the nutrition label of one well-known brand of frosting, just two tablespoons (35g) contain 7% saturated fat and 130 calories. There are zero calories and zero grams of protein. Even though dietary fiber and iron are present, the amounts are so small as to be negligible.

Not only does frosting contain an abundance of saturated fat, but many brands also contain the amount of trans fat in one serving that is "allowed" for one full day. High fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors / coloring, and a variety of other preservatives may also be present, but will vary brand to brand.

Consuming frosting regularly can lead to a host of health issues including, but not limited to, diabetes, heart disease, weight gain, liver dysfunction, and infertility in women (because of the trans fat). Due to its high sugar content, frosting can also lead to cavities and tooth decay.

With benefits that are slim to none and an array of associated problems too vast to list, frosting is one food that should be avoided. Having one cupcake or one slice of cake once in a while shouldn't do any harm, but making it a regular part of your diet could be putting your health in serious jeopardy.

Possible short-term side effects

  • nausea
  • bloating
  • blood sugar spike

Possible long-term side effects

  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • obesity
  • tooth decay, cavities
  • liver dysfunction
  • infertility (in women)
  • cancer
  • stroke

Ingredients to be aware of

Healthier alternatives

  • nut butter frosting
  • yogurt frosting
  • tofu frosting

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Simple Mills Vanilla Frosting

  • Organic ingredients
  • Gluten-free formula
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Made with coconut oil
  • Free from artificial flavors
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Jeff Volling
Published on: 12-27-2015
Last updated: 12-15-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Jeff Volling
Published on: 12-27-2015
Last updated: 12-15-2023

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