Change Your Choices

Change Your Life…Tips for a healthier you

Another McDonald’s Summer Beverage

on June 29, 2011

We stopped at McDonald’s on our road trip because it is cheap, quick, right off the freeway, and I love their fries! Actually, a meal from McDonald’s can be quite healthy, especially if you stick to the salads but even my Dollar Menu meal of a hamburger, small fries, and a Diet Coke was not horrible calorie or nutrition-wise.  Granted, I don’t eat this way all the time, but once a month or so is a nice treat. 

There was a coupon on the soda cup for $1 off a frapee, frozen lemonade, or fruit smoothie. I’m not one to turn down a coupon so I thought about using this one.  Frapee is out because I am not a coffee drinker (I know, black coffee is good for you, but I just have never developed a taste for it), the frozen lemonade is definitely out (see the previous post about this calorie and sugar bomb), so I decided to check out the nutrition facts on the Mango-Pineapple smoothie.  As we’ve learned, just because it sounds healthy, doesn’t mean it is.

First, this smoothie has 210 calories in the small size, not bad but I still think it is alot for a beverage.   It’s not that much if you call it a treat in place of ice cream or a candy bar.  If this smoothie is good nutritionally, it might make the cut. 

It is very low in sodium and high in Vitamin C.  So far, so good.  Low cholesterol and very little fat!  Yay- it even has 3 grams of fiber, this might be a winner.  Let’s check the sugar…

Uh-oh.  45 grams.  That equals about 12 teaspoons of sugar!  I was hoping to find that it was from naturally occurring sugar in the fruit but it turns out that a “fruit base” is used that has most of the sugar, the rest is in the yogurt.  I could not find an ingredient list for the “fruit base” which is never good news.

Imagine sitting down with a cup of coffee and adding 12 teaspoons of sugar.  Or dumping 12 teaspoons on your bowl of Cheerios.  That sounds ridiculous yet that is exactly what you are putting into your body when you have this smoothie. 

The American Heart Association has recommended that adult men should consume no more than nine teaspoons or 36 grams of sugar daily, while adult women’s daily recommended intake is five teaspoons or 20 grams- for the WHOLE DAY.

So a man and a woman could split one of these smoothies but then eat no more sugar the rest of the day. Finishing one alone, on the other hand, will put either a man or a woman over their daily sugar limit.

Darn- I really wanted to use this coupon but eating that much sugar in one sitting is not worth the dollar. 

Oh- and don’t be fooled by the 150 calorie ice cream cone- this treat is considered 2 servings so it is actually 300 calories and 36 grams of sugar! ouch. 

Yes, this is TWO servings!

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