Sugary drink follow up (as promised!)


If you remember, in my blogs about the health benefits of coffee (here, here and here) as well as a previous blog on the health risks related to sugary soft drinks, I promised to bring you more information about our favorite devil-in-disguise, Starbucks.  (I will give them credit for making this information easily accessible, even if it is tiny print.)

I call Starbucks this because on initial consideration..

Coffee: Good!      Big super-sized coffees: Even Better!  and look – a Regular black coffee, no cream, no sugar, any size (including their super-size Venti) is only FIVE calories..

Coffee loaded with cream and sugar:  Not so good.  (How bad is it – you ask? or you should be asking)

well once you start drinking their specialty drinks (and I must be the only person who drinks regular coffee anymore) – that’s when you get into trouble.. so knowing that everyone loves their super-sized coffees, I’ve skipped right to the “Venti” calorie counts..

Cafe Latte with skim milk: 170 calories

Cafe Latte with 2% milk:  240 calories and NINE grams of fat

Cafe Mocha (without whipped cream in these examples)

with nonfat-milk: 280 calories

with 2% milk: 340 calories and 10 grams of fat (that’s a reasonable sized salad with a vinaigrette dressing and maybe cheese or not-so-healthy add-ons)

Vanilla (or other flavored) Lattes:

with non-fat milk: 250 calories (all sugar)

with 2% milk: 320 calories and eight grams of fat

Even the ‘skinny’ lattes have 160 calories..

The specialty espressos are no better (in fact – some are worse, as you will see)

Carmel macchiato:

 with non-fat milk: 240 calories, one gram of fat

with 2% milk:  300 calories, 8 grams of fat

White chocolate mocha (without whipped cream – I think they were afraid of putting the whipped cream calorie counts on this brochure)

with non-fat milk: 450 calories and 7 grams of fat (that’s a decent meal’s worth of calories!!)

with 2% milk: 510 calories and fifteen grams of fat – for a ‘coffee’ !  (I think you can see here how a few of these coffees a week can certainly pile on the pounds.)

Now, if you think that’s no big deal – go on over to www.Fitday.com (and don’t lie to yourself about your exercise) and put in your information (they have free accounts) and figure out how much walking, jogging or aerobics you have to do to equal out that one coffee.. Hint: It’s a lot more than you’d think – or we wouldn’t be in this mess!

The other items on the menu (including the teas) are no better once you pile in the milks, sugars and other garbage.

What about coffee with soy milk?  Isn’t that supposed to be good for you?  Well, in theory, perhaps.. But actually, for some products, the fat and calorie counts for Starbucks products with soy milk go way, way up.

Cafe Latte with soy milk: 220 calories, 6 grams of fat

Cafe Mocha (no whipped cream) with soy milk: 320 calories, 8 grams of fat

Vanilla Latte with soy milk: 300 calories with 6 grams of fat

Carmel macchiato with soy milk: 280 calories with 6 grams of fat

White chocolate mocha: (no whipped cream): 490 calories, 12 grams of fat

all of this – for a little eye-opener in the morning – time to stick with the regular coffee!

In fairness – I am not picking on Starbucks, they are just the most popular.  Even the local 7 – 11 has a coffee flavored slushy drink that is packed full of sugar and calories.  Of course it’s delicious – but really, that’s besides the point.  Obesity and diabetes are just a mathematical formulation – and it seems many of us are failing the subject entirely.

The Lancet, a well reputed medical journal has just published a series on Obesity, and the numbers are frightening – researchers estimate that by 2030 – (really not that far away) over 165 million Americans will be obese.

The costs of this to society are enormous, and frankly staggering.  Bloomberg published a story estimated an additional 66 BILLION dollars PER year in obesity related costs.  That isn’t just a threat to our health as a nation, but our financial future.

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