Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Random Picture 49

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Before I started paying attention to food labels, and indeed before most foods in Japan had full nutritional data, I used to think that the relative sweetness or composition of a food related to caloric values. That is, if it wasn't very sweet, didn't have frosting or a fatty filling, I figured that it couldn't carry much of a punch on the calorie front. Back in those naive days, the cake you see pictured above was one of my favorite treats. It's a mildly sweet, moist, vanilla cake which is about the size of your palm.

Fast forward to the present and my rather greatly enhanced knowledge of all things food and more comprehensive food labeling. I discovered that my favorite unassuming steam cake is about 470 calories. That's as much as I consume for entire meals. People think Japanese folks don't get fat because their sweets aren't as sweet, but that really does not relate to how fattening the snacks are. Take that from someone who has been paying close attention for the last several years - your hips are not safe merely because the food isn't as sweet.


Sarah said...

I lived in Japan for 3 years. When I first moved I was 120 pounds. When I left I was 140 pounds. This mushipan was one of my favorite snacks. It NEVER crossed my mind that this had so many calories. I'm positive that this very snack was a contributing factor to the weight gain.

Orchid64 said...

Hi, Sarah, and thanks for commenting!

It is amazing how many calories are in these packaged pastries. They are good (this one still beckons to me), but boy are they shockingly fattening!

I hope you've lost that weight now!