Pop Tarts are a popular breakfast pastry made by the Kellogg Company. With flavors like Brown Sugar Cinnamon, Strawberry, and S’mores, they can be a tasty way to start your day. However, like many processed foods, Pop Tarts are high in calories, sugar, and fat. So how many calories are actually in one packet with two Pop Tarts?
– There are about 400 calories in 2 Pop Tarts (1 packet).
– The number of calories ranges from 360 to 480 calories depending on the flavor.
– Pop Tarts get a significant amount of calories from added sugars.
– The high calorie count means Pop Tarts should be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced breakfast.
Pop Tarts nutrition can vary slightly by flavor, but on average a packet containing two pastries contains about 400 calories. Of course, this is just an average – calories can range from around 360 for unfrosted, lighter flavors to up to 480 calories for indulgent flavors like S’mores or Hot Fudge Sundae.
The exact calorie count and nutrition information depends on the specific type of Pop Tart you choose. But in general, a serving of two Pop Tarts provides a significant amount of one’s recommended daily intake of calories, fat, carbohydrates and sugar.
Nutrition Facts for Pop Tarts
To understand how many calories are in a typical packet of Pop Tarts, let’s look at the nutrition facts label on the back of the box.
Here are the nutrition facts for a serving size of 2 Frosted Strawberry Pop Tarts (1 packet):
|Nutrition Facts||Serving Size 2 pastries (1 packet) (76g)|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 12g||15%|
|Saturated Fat 3.5g||18%|
|Trans Fat 0g|
|Total Carbohydrate 63g||21%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||4%|
|Total Sugars 30g|
|Includes 28g Added Sugars||56%|
|Vitamin D 0mcg||0%|
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
As you can see, a standard Frosted Strawberry Pop Tart packet with 2 pastries contains 400 calories.
Let’s break down the key calorie and nutrition facts:
– There are 400 calories in total for the 2 pastries (76g total).
– 12g total fat (15% DV)
– 3.5g saturated fat (18% DV)
– 63g total carbohydrate (21% DV)
– 1g fiber (4% DV)
– 30g total sugars
– Includes 28g added sugars (56% DV)
– 3g protein
– 380mg sodium (16% DV)
Vitamins & Minerals
– Contains 0-6% DV of calcium, iron, potassium, and other vitamins and minerals.
The main takeaway when looking at the nutrition information is just how many calories come from added sugars – a whopping 28 grams accounting for 56% of the recommended daily value!
The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar intake to no more than 25 grams per day for women and 36 grams per day for men. So just 2 Pop Tarts would provide more than the recommended amount for women and over 75% of the recommended amount for men.
Calories by Pop Tart Flavor
While the Frosted Strawberry Pop Tarts used above provide 400 calories, the number of calories per packet can range from 360-480 depending on the specific flavor.
Here is an overview of the approximate calories per 2-pack for popular Pop Tart flavors:
– Frosted Strawberry – 400 calories
– Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon – 400 calories
– Frosted Chocolate Fudge – 410 calories
– Frosted S’mores – 430 calories
– Strawberry – 370 calories
– Brown Sugar Cinnamon – 360 calories
– Blueberry – 380 calories
– Cherry – 370 calories
– Hot Fudge Sundae – 480 calories
– Chocolate Peanut Butter – 470 calories
– Cinnamon Roll – 460 calories
– Red Velvet – 450 calories
As you can see, unfrosted flavors tend to be lower in calories, around 360-380 calories per packet. Frosted varieties clock in around 400 calories. And indulgent specialty flavors can contain up to 480 calories for just 2 pastries!
So be sure to check the nutrition facts for the specific flavor you are eating. But in general, expect around 400 calories for a typical Frosted Pop Tart packet.
Pop Tarts’ Calories and Macronutrients
Now that we know how many total calories are in 2 Pop Tarts, let’s examine the breakdown of those calories into macronutrients – carbohydrates, protein, and fat:
A packet of 2 Pop Tarts contains around 63 grams of total carbohydrate, providing 210 calories or about 53% of calories.
The majority of these carbohydrate calories come from added sugars. There are 28 grams of added sugar accounting for 112 calories or 28% of calories.
2 Pop Tarts contain only 3 grams of protein, providing just 12 calories or 3% of total calories.
There are 12 grams of fat in a Pop Tart packet, providing 108 calories or 27% of the total calories.
So in summary, the 400 calories in Pop Tarts are broken down as follows:
– Carbohydrates: 210 calories, 53%
– Added Sugars: 112 calories, 28%
– Fat: 108 calories, 27%
– Protein: 12 calories, 3%
This breakdown shows why Pop Tarts are considered more of an indulgent, high-sugar breakfast choice rather than a protein-rich or heart-healthy option. Over half the calories come from carbohydrates, mainly in the form of added sugar.
Pop Tarts’ Ingredients
To understand where all those calories in Pop Tarts come from, let’s look at the main ingredients:
– Enriched flour – Provides carbohydrates, some protein and micronutrients
– Sugar – Provides carbohydrate calories mainly as added sugar
– High fructose corn syrup – Another form of added sugar
– Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils – Source of unhealthy trans fats
– Dextrose – A simple sugar that adds sweetness
– Food dyes – Artificial colors like Red 40, Yellow 6, etc.
– Salt – For flavor
Many of the main ingredients on the Pop Tarts list are sources of added sugars, fats, and artificial additives.
There is some enriched flour that provides carbohydrates and a small amount of protein. But there are no whole grains or beneficial fiber from whole foods.
So while Pop Tarts may be tasty, they are full of nutritionally empty calories and added sugars. Moderation is key if you choose to enjoy them!
Pop Tarts’ Calorie Density
In addition to looking at total calories, nutritionists also consider a food’s calorie density as part of a healthy diet.
Calorie density refers to the number of calories per gram of food. Low calorie density foods like fruits and vegetables have fewer calories relative to their weight. High calorie density foods pack more calories into a smaller package.
Pop Tarts have a very high calorie density. Two pastries weighing just 76 grams contain 400 calories. That equals 5.3 calories per gram.
To compare, here are the calorie densities for other common foods:
– Broccoli: 0.7 calories/gram
– Apple: 0.6 calories/gram
– Chicken breast: 1.6 calories/gram
– Baked potato: 1.8 calories/gram
– Cookies: 4.5 calories/gram
– Pop Tarts: 5.3 calories/gram
– Nuts: 5.7 calories/gram
– Oil: 9 calories/gram
Eating high calorie density foods like Pop Tarts makes it easy to overconsume calories, especially if you eat mindlessly or don’t pay attention to portion sizes.
Choosing more low calorie density foods like fruits, veggies, lean meats, and whole grains can help you feel full on fewer calories.
Pop Tarts for Weight Loss
Can you eat Pop Tarts and still lose weight? The answer is yes – you can eat any food and still lose weight, as long as you maintain a calorie deficit by burning more calories than you consume.
However, Pop Tarts are very calorie dense and nutritionally poor. Most nutrition experts would recommend against eating them if your goal is weight loss.
Here are some downsides to eating Pop Tarts for weight loss:
– They provide empty calories without much nutrition.
– The refined carbs and sugar can spike blood sugar and hunger.
– The calorie density makes portion control and overeating difficult.
– The lack of protein, fiber and bulk doesn’t fill you up.
– Sugar crashes can lead to snacking later.
For weight loss, you would be better off choosing a breakfast with more protein, fiber and nutrients to keep you full, such as:
– Greek yogurt with berries
– Oatmeal with peanut butter
– Eggs with veggies
– A veggie and cheese omelet
– Cottage cheese and fruit
If you do enjoy Pop Tarts, some tips include:
– Stick to just 1 pastry to cut calories in half
– Choose unfrosted varieties to save calories
– Pair with protein like eggs or Greek yogurt
– Drink water to help fill you up
– Be mindful to avoid mindless overeating
But for sustained weight loss, it’s best to limit indulgent foods like Pop Tarts most of the time.
Healthier Pop Tart Alternatives
Pop Tarts don’t have to be completely off limits if you want a similar sweet, toaster pastry. There are a few healthier store-bought alternatives and homemade recipes worth trying:
– Nature’s Path Organic Pastries – 230 calories, lower sugar
– Natures Bakery Fig Bars – 200 calories, whole grains
– Annie’s Homegrown Organic Rising Crust Breakfast Pastries – 250 calories, less processed
– Kashi 7 Grain Waffles – 160 calories, higher fiber
– Banana “Pop Tarts” – Mash bananas as filling
– Pumpkin pie pop tarts – Use pumpkin puree as filling
– Apple cinnamon pop tarts – Filling with applesauce and cinnamon
– Berry breakfast pastries – Fill with fresh or frozen berries
While homemade can be more work, you can control the ingredients. Opt for less sugar, more fruit, and whole grain crusts.
Pop Tarts as Part of a Balanced Diet
At the end of the day, Pop Tarts are a highly processed, indulgent food high in refined flour, sugar and empty calories.
However, even nutritionists agree you can work them into your diet in moderation. The key is balancing it out with wholesome, nutritious foods for the rest of your meals and snacks.
Here are some tips for enjoying Pop Tarts as part of an overall healthy diet:
– Stick to just 1 pastry instead of eating the whole packet.
– Choose plain or unfrosted varieties to save calories and sugar.
– Enjoy them only occasionally as a special treat, not every day.
– Pair them with protein, healthy fats, and fiber like Greek yogurt or fruit.
– Don’t let them replace a meal – have them alongside a balanced breakfast or snack.
– Drink water with them to help fill you up.
– Be mindful of portions and calories.
– Balance out the rest of your day’s meals with lean protein, veggies, whole grains and healthy fats.
One packet of Pop Tarts won’t sabotage an otherwise balanced diet. But it’s smart to indulge in moderation while focusing on nutrient-dense whole foods most of the time.
Pop Tarts may be tasty treats, but the bottom line is they are high in calories, low in nutrition, and full of added sugars. A standard packet with two pastries contains about 400 calories, with over half those calories coming from refined carbohydrates and added sugar.
While an occasional Pop Tart as part of a healthy diet is fine for most people, they should not be a daily breakfast choice. Choosing nutritious whole foods that provide protein, fiber and essential nutrients will be better for overall health.
When enjoyed in moderation, Pop Tarts can be part of a balanced diet. But be mindful of portions, read nutrition labels, and balance them out with healthier choices for your other meals and snacks.