We binge and we purge.
On one side we’re reveling in a sense of food-based excess that can only be rivaled by the cocaine binge of the ‘80’s with our super-sized burger meals and bacon makes it better mentality. Yet on the other we’re a bunch of health nuts that refuse even the smallest semblance of a carb and routinely “detox” with an array of herbal appetite-curbing teas.
As a whole our dietary habits are bi-polar at best, and even when we try to toe the line and be truly healthy without starving ourselves, the restaurant industry screws us over with promises of good-for-you items that have a dirty secret.
The newest evil in this battle between healthful eating and advertising are the frozen beverages that have flooded the market with their icy promises of vitamin C, protein and calcium that will “boost” our energy levels and supplement our nutrient-poor diets.
In the recently published report by the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) some of these frozen beverages contain as much as 48 grams of fat and more than half of your daily recommended allotment of calories.
With numbers like that you might as well chug a cup of liquefied lard with all the calories and fat that these “healthy” frozen beverages are injecting straight into your gut.The report details the calorie and fat levels of the top five worst slushy drinks. Starting with the worst drink the list includes Rebek’s P-Nut Power Shake, Krispy Kreme’s Berry and Kreme Chiller, Dunkin’ Donuts’ Strawberry Banana Smoothie, Starbucks’ Mint Mocha Chip Frappaccino and Steak ‘n Shake’s Strawberry Breakfast Fruit Smoothie.
All of these drinks have at least 548 calories, 11 grams of fat and 79 grams of sugar and the worst offender, the P-Nut Power Shake has a whopping 1125 calories, 48 grams of fat and 99 grams of sugar.
According to the PCRM’s staff dietician, Susan Levin M.S., R.D., one of the top areas calories creep into your diet is through beverages.
“There’s no fiber in a liquid,” says Levin. “So it’s not going to fill you up and [beverages can be a] really concentrated source of calories.”
Levin warns consumers to be wary of what’s actually in these frozen drinks. Is it made from real fruit or is it from juice concentrate? Are they using ice cream, sorbet or yogurt or is it just blended with ice?
These are things to think about in a world where bigger is better and sugar and fat are often added to foods and drinks to make them ‘taste better.’
“If you want to get more vitamin C,” says Levin, “you’re way better off eating something whole that orange.”