Pound cake is one of the most delicious and versatile desserts. You can have it for breakfast, tea time, or as a midday snack. It’s also pretty simple to make.
This begs the question: Is pound cake bad for you?
If you’re starting your healthy lifestyle, you’ll need to cut all cakes, including pound cake! While pound cake isn’t the most unhealthy cake, it’s still pretty bad for you.
Do you want to find out more? In this article, we’ll tell you all about why pound cake is unhealthy and how to make your favorite recipe healthier. Let’s dive in.
Unfortunately, pound cake doesn’t make the list of healthy foods. After all, this cake contains a pound each of flour, sugar, butter, and eggs.
Store-bought pound cake mixes can be even worse. In addition to the copious amount of sugar and fat, they contain preservatives and other dough conditioners.
That said, everything is good in moderation. If you maintain a healthy diet and an active lifestyle, a slice of pound cake every now and then wouldn’t be too bad.
However, it’s a problem if you eat pound cake every day. Not only will you be having unhealthy food, but you’ll also be depriving your body of essential protein and vitamins.
Some people think any food is healthy as long as it’s homemade. Yet, this isn’t the case for pound cakes. While you can control the recipe to your liking, the basic formula for pound cake is incredibly unhealthy.
Here are all the different reasons why pound cake is bad for you:
As the name suggests, pound cake contains an entire pound of sugar. This is what makes the cake taste so irresistibly sweet.
Yet, everyone knows that the first step to becoming healthier is to cut out all simple sugars from your diet. That’s because sugar contributes to heart and kidney disease, weight gain, tooth decay, and diabetes.
Sugar has a high glycemic index. It causes your blood sugar levels to spike, resulting in a surge of insulin. Over time, your cells get used to the insulin, so it doesn’t work as well, and the high sugar levels persist.
This means the development of type 2 diabetes. In this case, you’ll need to take external insulin.
The second thing an excess of sugar causes is kidney disease.
In simple terms, the kidneys are responsible for filtering your blood. If your blood contains too much sugar, the filtration channels can easily become clogged, leading to kidney failure.
When you consume sugar, your heart rate increases as well as your blood pressure. Sugar also directly causes your blood vessels to constrict, leading to hypertension.
If this continues, you can develop chronic hypertension, which can lead to heart disease or a stroke.
There’s no doubt that butter enhances the taste and texture of any food, particularly desserts. Unfortunately, this rich, tasty ingredient is far from healthy.
Though a small amount of butter can be beneficial, a pound of butter will surely have plenty of health risks.
Butter is full of saturated fat. In high quantities, saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease.
This dairy product will also increase your blood cholesterol levels. In turn, this can lead to clogged arteries and hypertension.
Cutting calories is one of the first things that healthy individuals do. Once you control your calories, you can lose weight and increase your energy levels.
When you pay attention to your calories, you can include healthier, nutrient-rich food in your diet instead of food that’s full of calories with no benefits.
Typically, you need about 2,000 to 2,500 calories a day. If you’re looking to lose weight, you require even less.
Well, one slice of pound cake has a whopping 215 calories. That’s about 10% of your daily calories! However, you won’t feel full or gain any nutritional benefits.
If you have gluten or lactose sensitivity, you definitely don’t want to eat even a bite of pound cake. This cake contains a hefty amount of flour and milk, which can trigger an immune response in allergic individuals.
Even if you aren’t particularly allergic to lactose or gluten. Gluten-rich food might cause inflammation.
For this reason, many people who consume a gluten-free diet report feeling relief in their muscles and joints, as well as feeling healthier overall.
As for lactose, 68% of the world’s population has lactose intolerance. This inability to digest dairy products can cause stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhea, and nausea.
You can still enjoy your favorite cake sporadically if you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Still, if you don’t want to add any cheat meals, or you want to eat pound cake as often as you like, you can make a healthy version of pound cake.
Here are all the changes you can make to enjoy a healthier alternative:
One of the best parts about baking is that you can adjust the ingredients to your liking. Fortunately, reducing the amount of sugar won’t mess up the recipe.
Instead, you’ll have a healthier cake that’ll still satisfy your sweet tooth.
You might also add other flavorings to the cake, such as vanilla, almond extract, or coconut flakes. This way, the pound cake will have a distinct flavor, and you won’t need it to be too sweet.
If you want the sweet flavor of pound cake without all the sugar, you can use different sweetening agents.
For starters, one of the healthiest options you can use is stevia. This sweetener has zero calories, so it’s perfect if you want to lose weight. Additionally, it’s safe for diabetics.
Alternatively, you can go the natural route and use fruits. You’ll still need to add some sugar to the cake, though. Some fruits you can use include strawberries, blueberries, apples, peaches, or pineapples.
If you want an extra sweet cake, you can drizzle some honey or maple syrup once the cake is ready. While this extra sweetness isn’t particularly healthy, it’s healthier than simple sugar.
Butter gives the pound cake a rich, creamy taste and a fluffy texture. This can be hard to replicate with other oils and fats. Still, you can obtain a similar taste and texture by combining different ingredients.
Some great butter substitutes are olive oil, ghee, margarine, and coconut oil. To get the airy texture of pound cake, you can add a tablespoon of Greek yogurt too.
Is pound cake bad for you?
Pound cake is incredibly delicious and easy to make. Unfortunately, it’s full of fat, sugar, and calories, making it an unhealthy dessert.
The excess sugar in pound cake contributes to the development of diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease. As for the butter, it’s one of the main culprits for hypertension and clogged arteries.
Luckily, you can adjust the pound cake recipe to make a healthier cake. Simply substitute the sugar and butter for natural sweeteners and healthier oils. Then, you can enjoy your favorite beginner-friendly cake!
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.