We Wish We Could Believe Alton Brown's Latest Culinary Truth About Dessert

Alton Brown, host of Food Network's "Chopped: Alton's Maniacal Baskets" and much more, treated his Twitter followers to some mischievous misinformation this afternoon in the form of a PSA-style tweet that has already received its share of likes and reposts. The subject of the announcement? Canned frosting.

"#CulinaryTruth," read the tweet. "Canned frosting contains a day's worth of fiber and zero calories." Anyone who enjoys the occasional spoonful of Duncan Hines chocolate buttercream would have been overjoyed to hear this. Storebought icing turns out to be not only calorie-free, but also semi-healthy? Who wouldn't want to believe that? Coming from Brown, who has made a career on his knowledge of food science, the good news about frosting almost seemed plausible. But it was all a joke, as it turned out. Leaving a margin of several spaces below his too-good-to-be-true #CulinaryTruth, Brown admitted: "Okay that's actually a lie but for a moment there, all was right with the world."

Brown was sugarcoating the nutritional facts of frosting

At the beginning of 2021, Brown began dropping his Culinary Truths on Twitter, in which he shares facts and opinions about food, cooking, and science. Notable #CulinaryTruths have included trivia about a common meat cooking myth, the proper classification of bananas, and the difference between shrimp and prawns. His humorous announcement about canned frosting is only the latest in a long-running series.

For the record, in the vast world of confections and desserts, canned frosting is about as non-nutritious as it gets. Per Nutrition Action, most frosting is essentially a mixture of sugar and butter — and that's the best-case scenario. In the worst-case scenario, butter may be substituted with partially hydrogenated oil, which can be a source of trans fats, known to pose a risk to heart health. The average 2-tablespoon serving of frosting can contain 140 calories, 5 teaspoons of sugar, and 1.5 grams each of saturated and trans fats. Suffice it to say, canned frosting is definitely not a miracle "zero calorie" food, by any stretch of the imagination. (Nor is it a reliable source of fiber. Have a look at the nutritional information for Betty Crocker vanilla frosting over at Calorie King, if you need convincing.)