If you’re munching on some melon bread right now, you may want to put that thing down.
Melon bread is awesome. Anyone who has ever been to a Japanese convenience store before in need of a quick breakfast or afternoon snack knows that the soft, sweet melon-y bread has no equal when it comes to pure deliciousness.
But all of that tasty goodness comes at a price. If you thought melon bread was just some warm, fluff bread baked with a dash of farm fresh melon, then think again.
According to Japanese nutritionists, melon bread is an “extremely unhealthy food,” even more so than the average sweet snack. There are several reasons for this, but one of the most important is melon bread’s high level of aluminum.
▼ Injesting too much aluminum can lead to liver, kidney, bladder malfunction,
and a giant melon bread slamming into the Earth.
メロンパン (@melonpan_japan) September 13, 2016
Aluminum is found in small quantities in many foods, but is especially high in melon bread. In order to achieve the crispy, cookie outer shell of the bread, bakers use baking powder which has aluminum sulfate in it, making melon “bread” more like melon “cake/donut.”
Now, all this finger-pointing at melon bread may seem unfair. It’s just another unhealthy snack. As long as you’re not eating it every day, who cares? Right?
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what’s happening. In 2011 to 2012, the Japanese Ministry of Health carried out an investigation on melon bread, precisely because of the fact that the number of parents who were too busy to make breakfasts or lunches for their kids and just gave them melon bread instead was increasing dramatically.
Parents usually wouldn’t give their kids cake or donuts for breakfast and lunch every day, but melon bread’s labeling as a “bread” led many to do just that.
▼ Melon bread – a complete breakfast that satisfies all four food groups:
anime, rainbow, kawaii, and oOOoiiishiiiiii.
朝食に昨日のプリキュアいちごメロンパンとソーセージをw メロンパンサクサクで美味しい！ https://t.co/5TX9MrA85J—
せせらぎ (@keihin233ura157) September 13, 2016
But high aluminum levels are only the beginning of melon bread’s unhealthiness. Since there’s not actually any melon in the bread at all (the bread gets its name from merely looking like a melon), additives and artificial flavors are used to achieve melon bread’s trademark taste. Specifically it uses Blue 1 (connected to kidney tumors) and lecithin emulcifiers (which can damage intestines).
But wait! There’s more!
When it comes to just straight up nutrition facts, melon bread is fairly horrendous. The average bun contains somewhere around 400 to 500 calories (a quarter of your daily calories gone in five bites), and those calories are made up entirely of sugar and fat with virtually no vitamins, protein, or fiber to speak of.
Eating melon bread regularly would not just lead to worse health, but could lead to diabetes, high cholesterol, and even osteoporosis due to the high sugar levels eating away at the body’s calcium.
▼ Mmm… tastes like future misery!
でじ (@ztanaman1) September 02, 2016
Of course, the most important takeaway here is that – like all things – melon bread should be enjoyed in moderation. Even Japanese nutritionists agree that one melon bread every two weeks shouldn’t cause any damage, it’s just when it’s consumed on a regular basis that dietary action should be taken.
Here’s how Japanese netizens reacted to their melon bread dreams being crushed:
“Crap… now I have a horrible craving for melon bread!”
“I knew melon bread wasn’t that great, but geez.”
“Obviously. Anything is bad if you have too much of it. News flash: if you drink a whole bottle of soy sauce you’ll die.”
“Melon bread! How could you betray me like this?!”
Don’t worry friends, we have a plan. What if we put a big slab of healthy cheese on the melon bread? That would make it better, right?