As a kid who didn't love the taste of a fresh and warm Pop Tart out of your toaster? Are they healthy for you? We'll get to that in a minute. But first, we just have to admit how friggin' delicious these things are, even as adult!
What's on the label?
Okay now the cold hard truth sets in. We really wish we could deny the frosted strawberry Pop Tarts nutrition facts and just be blissfully ignorant of them. The 200 calories per pastry isn't bad, but the 16 grams of sugar and 38 grams of carbs are harder to overcome with a slower adult metabolism. Worse yet, since they put 2 tarts in 1 foil wrapper, obviously no one has enough self control to just eat one, so we might as well double those values!
Are there any redeeming nutritional qualities? Let's see, their antioxidant (ORAC) value of 150 is about as low as you can go on the ORAC chart. It's the same amount - if comparing equal weight portions - you would get from one of those super cheap Celeste frozen pizzas. Hardly healthy, right?
Sure, a Pop Tart may not be bad for you if compare it to some other processed foods, but it certainly isn't healthy versus less refined whole foods. And sorry, the "dried strawberries" which are way far down on the ingredient list don't qualify as a serving of fruit.
Are Pop Tarts vegan, gluten free, kosher?
Are Pop Tarts vegan? The answer depends on how strict you are. Those who tell you they're vegan because they don't contain dairy or eggs are ignoring something on the ingredient label... the gelatin. That comes from the ligaments and other connective tissues of cows and pigs. That wouldn't even work for a lacto vegetarian. Unless the box is marked Kosher, then you shouldn't assume it is. And since they don't specify the source of the gelatin, it may contain pork. Pop Tarts have gluten in them from the wheat flour.
Ultimately as an adult, this leaves us with a total train wreck of a meal. Between allergies from gluten, being vegan, etc., there's a chance this yummy toaster pasty is something you can no longer enjoy with your adult diet. Given the nutrition facts, maybe that's a blessing in disguise.
Ingredients: Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, vitamin b1 [thiamin mononitrate], vitamin b2 [riboflavin], folic acid), corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, soybean and palm oil (with tbhq for freshness), sugar, cracker meal, contains two percent or less of wheat starch, salt, dried strawberries, dried pears, dried apples, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, monocalcium phosphate), citric acid, milled corn, gelatin, soybean oil, modified corn starch, caramel color, soy lecithin, xanthan gum, modified wheat starch, vitamin a palmitate, red 40, niacinamide, reduced iron, color added, turmeric extract, vitamin b6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), yellow 6, vitamin b2 (riboflavin), vitamin b1 (thiamin hydrochloride), blue 1
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't: Carlsen MH, Halvorsen BL, Holte K, et al. Nutrition Journal NIH Jan 2010