After a bit of a hiatus and bankruptcy dealings that halted the production of Twinkies last year, the yellow cream-filled sponge cakes will return to store shelves next week. Not only will they be back, but they’ll be back with an extended shelf-life. While the myth that Twinkies last forever is apparently untrue (who knew!), we’re getting closer to that being a reality as the previous shelf life of 26 days will grow to 45 days.
The company hasn’t disclosed the change in the recipe that allowed them to extend the shelf-life of the product, but it seems a bit unnatural, which is to be expected as Twinkies aren’t exactly known for their “all natural” ingredients. And while I’ll admit to enjoying a Twinkie now and then, it’s one of those sometimes-foods that should only be enjoyed on occasion.
As much as possible, it’s recommended to avoid empty calories, which are calories in foods and beverages that come from added sugar and solid fat. Cakes, pastries, cookies, sodas and certainly Twinkies all fall in the empty-calorie category. But if you know you’re going to get a sugar fix on occasion, you should look for items that are as close to their natural states as possible. The fewer the ingredients and fewer the preservatives, the better. Go for fruits when you and the kids need sweet treats instead of packaged cakes that will give you that sugar high—and crash. If you must choose processed items—busy parents have all been there, so have no fear—check out ingredient lists and choose the products with ingredients you can recognize and easily pronounce. There are even cleaner versions of your favorite candies out there if you look around.
So don’t go throwing a Twinkie party, and don’t go stocking up; it seems that the popular treat will be around for years to come.