Ikea cinnamon bun is cheap, cheerful and chock full of caloriesJune 9, 2010Megan Ogilvie
DISH: Cinnamon bun with cream cheese icing
RESTAURANT: Ikea’s “Exit Café”
LOCATION: Ikea Burlington, 1065 Plains Rd. E.
Serving size: 114 grams
Fat: 13 grams
Sodium: 752 mg
Protein: 8 grams
Carbohydrates: 67 grams
RECOMMENDED DAILY ALLOWANCE
Fat: 60 to 105 grams/45 to 75 grams
Sodium: 1,500 to 2,300 mg
Carbohydrates: 281-325 grams
There’s a reason berries are called superfoods. The vitamins, minerals, fibre and protective plant nutrients that are jam-packed into sweet, juicy red, black or blueberries do your body good.
Food isn’t usually on the top of the shopping list for Ikea-goers. But once inside the sprawling space, it’s hard not to get sucked into wanting everything the neat, sleek, Swedish life has to offer.
Most of us have been known to come away with an “I-don’t-really-need-but-would-look-nice-on-my-couch” cushion or an architecturally pretty glass vase or a cinnamon bun from the conveniently located “Exit Café.”
Suddenly, it becomes nearly impossible to get out the door without a warm, sticky cinnamon bun in hand. That’s what half a million of us found last year, anyway.
According to Ikea, 500,000 cinnamon buns were sold at the four GTA stores in 2009.
You might have thought: “I just spent $50 on a lamp. What’s $1.30 for a tasty, to-go treat?”
Well, a lot of calories.
Ikea’s cinnamon buns aren’t the biggest — they’re about the size of a thick-slice of bread. But that impulse buy still packs 414 calories.
“That’s really what you should eat in a meal,” says registered dietitian Zannat Reza. “While this is good for your wallet, it’s not great for waistline if you eat this on a regular basis.”
And the bun is pretty salty. With 753 mg of sodium, it contains about half of what your body requires in a day and is the equivalent of 12 shakes with the salt shaker.
People who grab and go know they aren’t getting a nourishing snack. But Reza says they might be surprised that a single cinnamon bun has about the same amount of calories as two maple-dip donuts.
“You might think twice about eating two donuts, but not give a second thought to eating a cinnamon bun.”
The calories come from processed and refined carbohydrates, which cause blood sugar levels to spike, then crash, leaving snackers hungry soon after eating the bun.
“These 414 calories are not satiating,” Reza says. “There’s no protein here, there is no whole grains and hardly any fibre, the things that help you feel full.”
Those looking for a sweet after the check-out could opt for a cone of frozen yogurt, which likely has about 100 calories.
And cutting the cinnamon bun into two — or, even better, into four — pieces to share with your shopping buddy or your kids will cut the calories to a reasonable snack amount.