Reserve cake for special occasions and keep your slices small.
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A good cake is the star of the show at nearly any birthday party or wedding, but it's certainly not topping any lists when it comes to healthy foods. That doesn't mean you can't squeeze some cake into your healthy diet, though. Like most things, eating cake is fine in moderation, but it's important to know what you're consuming to prevent completely obliterating your diet plan.
Calories in Cake
Like most baked goods, cake packs quite a punch in the calorie department. A slice the size of one-twelfth of a 9-inch diameter chocolate cake with no frosting contains a whopping 352 calories. That could easily be 20 percent or more of your daily calorie allowance, especially if you're trying to lose weight. A slice of white cake the same size has 264 calories, and one-twelfth of a 10-inch diameter angel-food cake contains 128 calories. Add 2 tablespoons of frosting and you're tacking on an extra 163 calories for chocolate and 100 calories if you opt for cream cheese. You can save on calories by scraping off most of the frosting and keeping your servings small.
Many of the calories in cake come from fat, which has about nine calories per gram. A slice of chocolate cake contains just over 14 grams of fat, white cake has a little over 9 grams per slice, and angel-food cake has only 0.15 grams per serving. Two tablespoons of chocolate frosting contains about 7 grams of fat, and cream cheese frosting has around 4 grams. Fat should make up no more than 20 to 35 percent of your daily calories. Choosing low-fat foods for your meals on days you're having cake can help prevent you from going overboard on fat intake.
High in Sugar
It's no secret that cake is high in sugar, and that's one of the main ingredients that makes it unhealthy. The American Heart Association recommends keeping added sugar to no more than 100 calories a day for women and 150 calories a day for men. A slice of white cake has a little over 26 grams of sugar per serving, and angel-food cake has about 15 grams. Each gram of sugar contains four calories, so a single slice of white cake without frosting puts women over their recommended daily limit of sugar. Going over your daily allotment for added sugar isn't an issue for most healthy people, but don't make a habit of it.
Though no cake is ever going to be a healthy option you should include in your daily diet, you can make substitutions to cut down on the unhealthy components of the dessert. Use half the amount of butter or oil called for when baking a cake. Replace the other half with applesauce or a prune puree to get the sweet taste without the extra calories and fat. Reduce your baking time by 25 percent when making this substitution, recommends The Ohio State University Extension. Use two egg whites for every egg, and reduce the amount of sugar by one-third or replace the sugar with sucralose.