Ask the Diet Doctor: Anatomy of a Cadbury Crème Egg
An inside look (literally) at this popular Easter treat.
We're all familiar with the things that signal spring’s arrival: extra hours of daylight, budding flowers, and Cadbury Crème Eggs on display at every supermarket and drugstore in America. It’s easy to justify grabbing one (or two) of the seasonal treats on your way to the checkout (They’re only available for a few weeks out of the year). But have you ever wondered what’s inside the chocolate shell? You'll be happy to learn that there is actual egg in Cadbury Crème Eggs, but the rest might (or might not) surprise you.
Here's the ingredient list (which isn’t available on Hershey's website):
- Milk chocolate (sugar; milk; chocolate; cocoa butter; milk fat; nonfat milk; soy lecithin; natural and artificial flavors)
- Corn syrup
- High fructose corn syrup
- 2% or less of: artificial color (yellow 6); artificial flavor; calcium chloride; egg whites
Three of the four main ingredients are sugar by various names (sugar, corn syrup, and high fructose corn syrup). And since the first ingredient (the shell) is primarily sugar as well, this isn’t the best Easter treat for diabetics or the one-third of Americans with insulin resistance.
Consider this: One Cadbury Crème Egg has the same amount of sugar as two ¾-cup servings of Count Chocula cereal. It’s also equivalent to what the American Heart Association considers an entire day’s worth of sugar (20g or 5 teaspoons of sugar).
Indulge in three Cadbury Crème Eggs throughout Easter Sunday (which isn’t unheard of), and you’ll take in the dosage of sugar that a physician would use during an oral glucose tolerance test to determine if you have diabetes (60g). That’s a powerful punch of sweetness!
For a festive treat that fares a little better on the health front (as dark chocolate does contain powerful antioxidants), try Green & Blacks’ Organic Dark Eggs. They’re organic, made with 70 percent cacao, and still come in the festive Easter egg shapes—no creme filling included.
We all have our favorite guilty pleasures, so if you don’t mind using up 150 of the calories you burned during the Easter Sunday Bunny Hop 5K, go ahead and indulge. One sugar bomb every so often isn’t going to make you fat or give you diabetes. If you want to minimize the damage, enjoy your Cadbury Crème Egg after exercise, when your body is most equipped to handle the sugar.
Nutrition info (1 egg): 150 calories, 6g fat, 4g saturated fat, 20g sugars, 2g protein
Dr. Mike Roussell, PhD, is a nutritional consultant known for his ability to transform complex nutritional concepts into practical habits and strategies for his clientele, which includes professional athletes, executives, food companies, and top fitness facilities. Dr. Mike is the author of Dr. Mike's 7 Step Weight Loss Plan and the 6 Pillars of Nutrition.