I’m dedicating this week's story to “shocking and surprising” nutritional content of certain foods. The idea of this came to me, after my boyfriend and I were out shopping Mother’s Day weekend, and saw a Dairy Queen. He said he hadn’t had a Blizzard in years. In we went, he ordered a large Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard. A few days later I went to www.dairyqueen.com and read just how many calories and fat were in that Blizzard.
I was blown away when I saw it was a whopping 1050 calories and 38 grams of fat. I expected it to be high, but certainly not THAT high. I decided to investigate other surprising and shocking nutrition info. I discovered some of them while reading a health info websites (www.healthy-girl.comwww.prevention.com among others). Others, I knew about, just had to look up nutritional content to share. Still, others, I had NO idea. The scary thing about some of these is, that it is inferred that they are “healthy”. (what’s so harmless about a smoothie after all? It’s just fruit, right?) Ask for nutritional info whenever it is possible so, you don’t have to waste 1000 calories on a smoothie!
COSTCO We don’t have a Costco membership, simply because it doesn’t make sense for us. We are a small family, and we live in an apt and just don’t have the room or need for bulk products. I know a lot of people who do have memberships though, especially here in the NJ suburbs. --My uncle refers to anything from Costco as “Home Depot food”. This makes me laugh, because if you’ve ever been to Costco, it certainly has that Home Depot warehouse feel, yet they are selling FOOD.-- I’ve had these muffins many, many times in the past and was SHOCKED to discover that the Costco Kirkland chocolate chocolate chip muffins are 690 calories and 38 grams of fat each. This is terrible. How many people are eating these on a daily basis and thinking that they aren’t THAT bad (I know I didn’t think they were). I’ve never had their Chicken Bake but it chimes in at 987 calories and 52 grams of fat per serving!
AT THE MOVIES Popcorn is healthy. Isn’t it? HA!!!! You know that huge bucket that they push as such a great deal? It has around 1500 calories for the entire bucket! Would you like butter flavored topping? That will be an additional 300 calories to the bucket, sir. Add a GIANT sugary 40oz soda (usually for another measly 25 cents), you’re adding another 500 calories. Those harmless looking Gummi Bears?—390. That giant box of Reece’s Pieces? 1200 calories and 60 grams of fat!!! Even those sweet Twizzlers have a whopping 600 calories! This means if you and your lovely date shared a bucket of popcorn with butter flavored topping, a sugary soda, and a box of Reece’s Pieces, you will be sharing the better half of 3500 calories!!!!
CHINESE For some reason, we assimilate Chinese food with healthy. A lot of these dishes come fried and/or covered in greasy, fattening sauces. I actually searched our local take out menu looking for healthy dishes and they were few and far between. Some of the offenders: Kung Pao pork—700 calories and 53 g fat per ONE CUP serving! A perfectly browned egg roll (oh how I love them)—350 calories! Fried rice can go up to 500 calories PER CUP! The worst of the worst: Egg Foo Young and Sweet and Sour Pork can top 1000 calories and 80g fat per order.
STARBUCKS How many people stop at Starbucks on a daily basis and get themselves a Venti Frappuccino? These tasty blended drinks start around 300 and go up to a shocking 600 for Strawberries and Crème Frappuccino. Detailed drink info is available on their website. However, note that this info is for a 16oz drink, any larger size and you are adding MORE calories. www.starbucks.com
JAMBA JUICE When I lived out west, I had easy access to Jamba Juice. I LOVED this place, and sucked down smoothies on every hot day. (I lived in Vegas, just how many do you think I consumed in a 3 year time period?!—yikes!) Most drinks average around 400 (+or-) calories for the “original” size and about 600 (+or-) for the “power” size The worst offenders of the bunch are Peenya Kowlada, Chocolate Moo’d, and Peanut Butter Moo’d which can bring you up to 1000 calories for the power size!!! Detailed info is also available on their website. www.jambajuice.com
The worst offenders I think are the fast food salads. My personal opinion is that these are one of the worst things for fat America. We live in a fast paced society, where most people do not take the time to absorb all the information possible. Therefore, people hear the word “salad” they automatically assume that it’s good for them. I was planning on listing some of the worst offenders for you to read, but the three major fast food chain websites I checked (Wendy’s, McDonald’s, and Burger King) are really sneaky with their info. Salads are listed separately from dressings, as well as things that are normally added to them (croutons, parm. cheese, etc). Wendy’s goes as far as listing each item in salads separately. The problem with listing these items separately is, if you are in a rush, and you look at their nutrition info pamphlet and see ‘abc salad is 140 calories’, you think “GREAT, I’ll take that”. However, these salads are not served to you in the 140 calorie version. Usually, the 140 calories listed on the pamphlet is simply the veggies, and not all the other ‘stuff’ that is standard to the item. The worst offender I came across was Wendy’s Southwest Taco Salad at 705 calories and 40 grams of fat. I did not do the math for any other salads on any other sites, however, most of them seemed to be around 400 (+or-) calories with chicken, croutons and dressings. Some may have been even more. That’s a lot of calories for a salad, especially when lettuce has almost none on it’s own. You can check for yourself if you frequently order these. www.wendys.comwww.mcdonalds.comwww.bk.com
Now, I’m not saying you should never eat any of these things. If you enjoy them, enjoy them. I’m just trying to bring your attention to the nutritional facts of these foods (there are a million more out there). There are probably people consuming all of these foods on a daily basis and not even realizing it is bad for them, possibly even thinking it is GOOD for them! You should be aware of what you are consuming, even if you are not trying to lose weight. Make better choices, your arteries will thank you.