How many grams of sugar are in a Gansito?

A Gansito is a beloved Mexican snack cake that has been satisfying sweet cravings for decades. With its fluffy vanilla sponge cake, strawberry jelly filling, and chocolatey coating, the Gansito delivers an irresistible combination of flavors. However, with its sweet taste comes a high amount of added sugar. If you are watching your sugar intake, you may be wondering just how much sugar is packed into one of these tasty treats.

What is a Gansito?

The Gansito snack cake consists of two small cylindrical pieces of light, fluffy vanilla cake filled with strawberry jelly. The cake cylinders are then coated with a layer of chocolate or strawberry flavored coating. The finished product resembles a miniature Twinkie. Gansitos are produced by Mexican bakery Grupo Bimbo under the Marinela brand. They have been popular snack cakes in Mexico since 1957.

Gansitos are packaged individually in plastic wrapping to maintain freshness. Their small size makes them a convenient portable snack. They are typically around 4 inches long and 1 inch wide. Gansitos are widely available at grocery stores, convenience stores, school cafeterias, and more throughout Mexico.

These snack cakes are beloved for their taste and nostalgia factor. Many Mexicans have fond childhood memories of enjoying Gansitos. Their sweet strawberry filling provides a nice fruit flavor, while the soft cake and chocolate coating offer comforting textures and sweetness. Gansitos make an indulgent treat for both kids and adults.

Nutritional Profile of a Gansito

While Gansitos may be delicious, their nutritional profile is less than ideal. Here is the nutrition information for a typical mini Gansito snack cake (28 grams):

  • Calories: 140
  • Total Fat: 7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.5 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Sodium: 85 mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 18 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0 g
  • Sugars: 13 g
  • Added Sugars: 12 g
  • Protein: 1 g

As these nutrition facts show, the Gansito is high in calories, fat, and carbohydrates for its small size. It contains no fiber and minimal protein. But the most concerning number is the whopping 13 grams of total sugars in a single mini cake.

Breaking Down the Sugar

To better understand where all that sugar is coming from, we need to take a closer look at the Gansito’s ingredients:

  • Enriched bleached wheat flour – Used to make the sponge cake base. Does not contain significant sugars.
  • Sugar – Used to sweeten the cake. A major source of added sugars.
  • Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil – Used for texture and moisture in the cake. Does not contain sugars.
  • Whole eggs, skim milk powder, baking powder, mono and diglycerides, guar gum – Help give the cake its lift and texture. Do not contribute meaningful sugars.
  • Corn syrup – A thick sweetener that adds moisture and sweetness to the cake. A source of added sugars.
  • Water, strawberries, food starch – Used to make the strawberry jelly filling. The natural sugars in the strawberries contribute to the total sugar content.
  • Sugar, corn syrup, modified food starch, artificial flavors, salt, artificial colors – Additional ingredients in the strawberry jelly that add sweetness and color. More sources of added sugar.
  • Cocoa processed with alkali, vegetable oil, sugar, milk powder, soy lecithin, vanillin – Make up the chocolate coating, which derives sweetness primarily from sugar.

By looking at the ingredients list, we can see that added sugars in the form of regular sugar, corn syrup, and other sweeteners make up the majority of the Gansito’s 13 grams of total sugars.

Sugar Limits

Eating too much added sugar can negatively impact health over time. The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars to no more than:

  • Men: 150 calories or 9 tsp per day
  • Women: 100 calories or 6 tsp per day

For children, the recommended limits are even lower:

  • Ages 2-18: 6 tsp added sugar per day
  • Ages 4-8: 3 tsp added sugar per day

With 12 grams of added sugar, a single Gansito exceeds the per-serving limits for both children and adults.

Putting Gansito Sugar in Perspective

To understand just how much 13 grams of sugar is, here are some equivalent amounts:

  • 3 teaspoons of granulated white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup or honey
  • 1 1⁄2 tablespoons of brown sugar

13 grams of sugar is more than half the recommended daily limit for women and children. It’s nearly the full daily recommendation for children 4-8 years old.

Here is how the sugar in one Gansito compares to the sugar found naturally in fruit:

Food Grams of Sugar
1 Gansito snack cake 13 g
1 medium apple 13 g
1 cup raspberries 8 g
1 medium banana 12 g

As you can see, the Gansito contains a similar amount of sugar as fruits like apples and bananas. However, fruits come with beneficial nutrients like fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, while the Gansito offers very little nutritional value.

Daily Value Percentages

Looking at daily value percentages can also help put the Gansito’s sugar content in context:

  • Total Sugars: 13g – 13% DV
  • Added Sugars: 12g – 24% DV

The Gansito provides 13% of the recommended Daily Value for total sugars and 24% of the Daily Value for added sugars alone. So with just one small snack cake, you are getting nearly a quarter of the recommended daily added sugar intake.

Sugar Content of Other Popular Snacks

Snack Item Grams of Sugar
1 Gansito 13 g
1 Twinkie 13 g
1 Oreo cookie 12 g
1-ounce bag Skittles 25 g
1 Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup 20 g
1-ounce Hershey’s Chocolate Bar 24 g

The Gansito has a similar amount of sugar as other popular sweet snacks like Twinkies, Oreos, and Reece’s Peanut Butter cups. Candy items like Skittles and Hershey’s chocolate have higher amounts of sugar per serving.

Ways to Reduce Gansito Sugar Intake

If you want to keep enjoying Gansitos while cutting down on sugar, here are some tips:

  • Eat only half a Gansito at a time
  • Enjoy a Gansito only occasionally as a special treat
  • Drink water instead of sugary beverages like soda or juice when eating a Gansito
  • Pair your Gansito with fresh fruit or yogurt for more nutrients
  • Choose the mini Gansito size instead of a larger cake
  • Buy an unfrosted Gansito variety to reduce sugar coated on top

The Bottom Line

Gansitos may be delicious, but these tiny snack cakes pack a sugar punch. Each mini Gansito contains 13 grams of sugar, which is 24% of the daily recommended limit for added sugars. The sweetness comes primarily from added sugars like white sugar, corn syrup, and other sweeteners used in the cake, jelly filling, and chocolate coating.

While enjoying the occasional Gansito as a treat is fine for most healthy individuals, the snack cakes should not be a daily habit due to their high sugar content. Following a low-sugar diet regimen would mean limiting or avoiding indulgent sweets like Gansitos.

When consumed in moderation though, Gansitos can be part of an overall balanced diet. Be mindful of portion sizes and accompanying beverages to keep sugar in check when satisfying your craving for one of these beloved Mexican snack cakes.

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