This will, I’m sure, come to many of you as a shock, but: I like Oreos. I really like them. I like them so much, in fact, that I generally don’t buy them, because the temptation is simply too strong to eat them.
OK, that’s not true. I do buy Oreos. All the time. But I’m just buying them for the kids, as a treat to put in their otherwise Very Nutritious Lunches which I prepare for them.
OK, that may not be true, either. Well, the part about buying Oreos is true, and I do put some in the kids’ lunches. But I generally will eat an Oreo or two as I put them in the kids lunchboxes.
Or perhaps I might eat three (the official serving size). Or so. Hey, why not?
Oh, because three Oreos has seven grams of fat and 160 calories?
Well, I suppose that’s a fair point.
An Excellent Solution
It was with this fairly phenomenal number in mind — 7g of fat in just 3 cookies — that I recently found myself considering something unusual at the grocery store: buying the Reduced Fat version of Oreos.
30% less fat than the original Oreo? Sounds good. Which means only (ha!) 4.5g of fat in my three cookies.
The thing is, I have a well-defined philosophy on dessert, which I have named Fatty’s Dessert Philosophy:
Fatty’s Dessert Philosophy
Let dessert truly be dessert. If it’s really high-fat, let it be high-fat. If you’re concerned about calories and fat, eat less. But don’t compromise the taste and texture of dessert. Seriously.
There is a minor problem with this philosophy, however, which can be found in the “eat less” clause. Specifically, it finds itself in direct conflict with Fatty’s First Axiom of Junk Food in Pantries, which goes as follows:
Fatty’s First Axiom of Junk Food in Pantries
Any junk food in a pantry, especially cookies — and doubly especially Oreos — in easily opened and accessed packages, will be consumed. Promptly.
So, back to the grocery store (remember?). I decided that by buying the Reduced Fat Oreos, I could combine Fatty’s Dessert Philosophy with Fatty’s First Axiom of Junk Food in Pantries to my weight-gain-fighting advantage. To wit: since Reduced Fat Oreos wouldn’t taste as good, I’d want to eat them less, and might in fact not eat them at all. At which point they of course become not merely reduced fat, but entirely fat free.
Wherein The Universe Gets Knocked On Its Ear
There was just one small problem with my Very Clever Solution. And that small problem would never, ever ever (ever!) have occurred to me. And I’ll bet it hasn’t occurred to you, either, because it’s just never happened before.
The Reduced Fat Oreos taste better than the original Oreos.
Not “as good.” Not “similar.” Better. Do you see the problem?
Allow me to illustrate.
Here, we have two stacks of cookies. The Reduced Fat Oreos are on the left, the original Oreos are on the right.
In this circumstance, the stack of Oreos on the left are in fact a better (less awful?) eating choice, due to having 30% less fat.
Sadly, the above photo does not reflect reality. Thanks (and I mean that “thanks” very sarcastically) to the excellent taste and mollifying “Reduced Fat” combination, Fatty’s First Axiom of Junk Food in Pantries actually gets cubed. “They’re less-fattening and they taste better?” I find myself asking.
Which leads to the second illustration, once again with the Reduced Fat Oreos on the left, and the original Oreos on the right:
Do I really need to explain what’s happening here? OK, fine. As it turns out, while an individual Reduced Fat Oreo does in fact have less fat than an individual original Oreo, that happy fact tends to be only marginally helpful when you eat a dozen.
Please, somebody help me.
PS: I haven’t done the math, but I’m pretty sure that once you’ve made one additional change to the Reduced Fat Oreo, as follows –
– the whole “Reduced Fat” thing may no longer apply anyway.