Popular summer drinks called 'desserts in disguise'

August 13, 2002 in Food Companies, Manufacturing and Trends

Popular summer drinks called 'desserts in disguise'

Cooling off with the frothy, sweet beverages sold at so many coffee and juice bars could undermine a person's summer diet, according to nutrition experts. Nutritionists at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, say summer thirst quenchers like the Coffee Coolatta sold at Dunkin' Donuts and the Starbucks standby Tazoberry and Cream can supply a meal's worth of calories and more than a day's worth of saturated fat if consumers aren't careful.

However plain iced coffee poses no threat to the waistline. But when large doses of sugar, whole milk and cream enter the picture, these drinks should be considered desserts rather than beverages.

Among the potential diet busters according the Tuft's nutritionists are: Dunkin' Donuts' Vanilla Bean Coolatta, which in a large-sized cup boasts about 880 calories and 30 grams of saturated fat--the artery-clogging kind; Starbucks' large Tazoberry and Cream, which weighs in at 750 calories and 22.5 grams of saturated fat; and Au Bon Pain's large-sized Frozen Mocha-Blast, which supplies 480 calories and 3 grams of saturated fat.

Juices can also pack a big calorie punch, albeit a fat-free one. As some examples, they point to Fresh Samantha's 15.2-ounce Mango Mama, which contains 260 calories, and Nantucket Nectars' 16-ounce Strawberry Orange Banana juice, a 310-calorie treat.

Asking for skim or low-fat milk can slash calories and fat from those frosty coffee drinks. And with any high-calorie beverage, drinking only a small portion of the typically oversized servings is the way to go.

The recommended serving size for juice is just 6 ounces.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.