August 5, 2010

America; the Sugar Junkie

Alright America time for an intervention!  Here is a list of the 20 worst drinks in America in terms of caloric intake and sugar content.  As you can see sugar is the culprit in all these drinks, yet even the most highly educated fools cannot seem to figure out the correlation between sugar and our ever expanding obesity problem.  And these are just the drinks listed we have not gotten into candy, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) etc.  

Even ordering that Starfuck's latte with milk and SUGAR is going to pack on the pounds.  Though I cannot stand Starfucks I used to frequent the baristas down the road from my old house and get a vanilla latte (light on the syrup) once or twice a week.  While I was preparing for the 09 No Gi Worlds I cut out all sugar and dairy, and one of the first things to be cut lose was the lattes.  I started drinking coffee at home, just plain old black (which tastes better anyways) and I seriously dropped about 5 pounds right there!  It was a real eye opener as to how much sugar (and dairy) affect our bodies, no matter how little we are consuming.  

Brian (my BJJ coach) has a great dietary strategy... avoid the middle of the store.  Simply put avoid the shelved items as they contain preservatives, sugar, and a whole host of stuff that is simply just not good for you.  If it does not spoil, do not consume it.  Now I understand we all have a sweet tooth to a degree, but all these drinks (even the "sports" drinks) are just rife with sugar and/or HFCS!  The solution?   

More aqua.  H2O.  Water.  More water.  The overwhelming majority of us are walking around SEVERELY dehydrated as is, add in the soda's and other shit we consume and that is making matters worse!  Other than water I drink three things and basically three things only; coffee / beer / juice.  

So here is my challenge to you... slowly (not a joke, sugar is HIGHLY addictive) ween yourself off of sugar.  You will lose weight.  Your digestion will improve.  Your bowel movements will become more frequent.  Your teeth will be healthier.  The list goes on but you get the idea.  And for those of you whom are parents, start investing in your child's future and build good habits to keep them away from sugar and HFCS.  Also get involved with your local school district and work to ban soda machines in schools and "sponsorship" programs that companies like Coke have with your schools.  It is pure garbage and we have allowed corporate America to walk right in and abuse our children without a second thought.  Take responsibility and control of our futures health, because the path we are on will lead to nothing but self destruction.  And we have only ourselves to blame!


20. Worst Water 
Snapple Agave Melon Antioxidant Water (1 bottle, 20 fl oz) 
150 calories  
0 g fat  
33 g sugars 
Sugar Equivalent: 2 Good Humor Chocolate Éclair Bars 
While “Worst Water” may sound like an oxymoron, the devious 
minds in the bottled beverage industry have even found a way to 
besmirch the sterling reputation of the world’s most essential 
compound. Sure, you may get a few extra vitamins, but ultimately, 
you’re paying a premium price for gussied-up sugar water. Next 
time you buy a bottle of water, check the recipe: You want two parts 
hydrogen, one part oxygen, and very little else. 

19. Worst Bottled Tea 
SoBe Green Tea (1 bottle, 20 fl oz) 
240 calories 
0 g fat 
61 g sugars 
Sugar Equivalent: 4 slices Sara Lee Cherry Pie 

Leave it to SoBe to take an otherwise healthy bottle of tea and 
inject it with enough sugar to turn it into dessert. The Pepsi- 
owned company’s flagship line, composed of 11 flavors with 
names like “Nirvana” and “Cranberry Grapefruit Elixir,” is 
marketed to give consumers the impression that it can cleanse 
the body, mind, and spirit. Don’t be fooled. Just like this bottle of 
green tea, all of these beverages are made with two primary 
ingredients: water and sugar. 

18. Worst Energy Drink 
Rockstar Energy Drink (1 can, 16 fl oz) 
280 calories 
0 g fat  
62 g sugars 
Sugar Equivalent: 6 Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Doughnuts 
None of the energy provided by these full-sugar drinks could ever 
justify the caloric load, but Rockstar’s take is especially frightening. 
One can provides nearly as much sugar as half a box of Nilla 
Wafers. In fact, it has 60 more calories than the same amount of 
Red Bull and 80 more than a can of Monster. If you’re going to 
guzzle, better choose one of the low-cal options. We like Monster; 
it offers all the caffeine and B vitamins with just enough sugar to 
cut through the funky extracts. 

17. Worst Bottled Coffee 
Starbucks Vanilla Frappuccino (1 bottle, 13.7 fl oz) 
290 calories 
4.5 g fat (2.5 g saturated) 
45 g sugars 
Sugar Equivalent: 32 Nilla Wafers 
With an unreasonable number of calorie landmines 
peppered across Starbucks’ in-store menu, you’d think the 
company would want to use its grocery line to restore faith in 
its ability to provide caffeine without testing the limits of your 
belt buckle. Guess not. This drink has been on our radar for 
years, and we still haven’t managed to find a bottled coffee 
with more sugar. Consider this—along with Starbucks’ 
miniature Espresso and Cream Doubleshot—your worst 
option for a morning pickup. 

16. Worst Soda 
Sunkist (1 bottle, 20 fl oz) 
320 calories 
0 g fat 
84 g sugars 
Sugar Equivalent: 6 Breyers Oreo Ice Cream Sandwiches 
Wait . . . but aren’t all sodas equally terrible? It’s true they all 
earn 100 percent of their calories from sugar, but that doesn’t 
mean there aren’t still varying levels of atrocity. Despite the 
perception of healthfulness, fruity sodas tend to carry more sugar 
than their cola counterparts, and none make that more apparent 
than the tooth-achingly sweet Sunkist. But what seals the orange 
soda’s fate on our list of worsts is its reliance on the artificial 
colors yellow 6 and red 40—two chemicals that may be linked to 
behavioral and concentration problems in children. 

15. Worst Beer 
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot (1 bottle, 12 fl oz) 
330 calories 
0 g fat 
32.1 g carbohydrates 
9.6% alcohol 
Carbohydrate Equivalent: 12-pack of Michelob Ultra 
Most beers carry fewer than 175 calories, but even your average 
extra-heady brew rarely eclipses 250. That makes Sierra’s Bigfoot 
the undisputed beast of the beer jungle. Granted, the alcohol itself 
provides most of the calories, but it’s the extra heft of carbohydrates 
that helps stuff nearly 2,000 calories into each six-pack. For 
comparison, Budweiser has 10.6 grams of carbs, Blue Moon has 13, 
and Guinness Draught has 10. Let’s hope the appearance of this gut- 
inducing guzzler in your fridge is as rare as encounters with the 
fabled beast himself. 

14. Worst Kids' Drink 
Tropicana Tropical Fruit Fury Twister (1 bottle, 20 fl oz) 
340 calories 
0 g fat 
60 g sugars 
Sugar Equivalent: Two 7-ounce canisters Reddi-wip 
Don’t let Tropicana’s reputation for unadulterated OJ lead you to 
believe that the company is capable of doing no wrong. As a 
Pepsi subsidiary, it’s inevitable that they’ll occasionally delve 
into soda-like territory. The Twister line is just that: a drink with 
10 percent juice and 90 percent sugar laced with a glut of 
artificial flavors and coloring. You could actually save 200 
calories by choosing a can of Pepsi instead. 

13. Worst Functional Beverage 
Arizona Rx Energy (1 can, 23 fl oz) 
345 calories 
0 g fat 
83 g sugars 
Sugar Equivalent: 6 Cinnamon Roll Pop-Tarts 
Obviously Arizona took great pains in making sure this can came 
out looking like something you’d find in a pharmacy. But if your 
pharmacist ever tries to sell you this much sugar, he should have 
his license revoked. And if it’s energy you’re after, this isn’t your 
best vehicle. Caffeine is the only compound in the bottle that’s 
been proven to provide energy, and the amount found within is 
about what you'd get from a weak cup of coffee. 

12. Worst Juice Imposter 
Arizona Kiwi Strawberry (1 can, 23 fl oz) 
345 calories 
0 g fat 
81 g sugars 
Sugar Equivalent: 7 bowls of Froot Loops 
The twisted minds at the Arizona factory outdid themselves with 
this nefarious concoction, a can the size of a bazooka loaded 
with enough of the sweet stuff to blast your belly with 42 sugar 
cubes. The most disturbing part isn’t that it masks itself as some 
sort of healthy juice product (after all, hundreds of products are 
guilty of the same crime), but that this behemoth serving size 
costs just $.99, making its contents some of the cheapest 
calories we’ve ever stumbled across. 

11. Worst Espresso Drink 
Starbucks Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha with Whipped Cream (venti, 20 fl oz) 
660 calories 
22 g fat (15 g saturated) 
95 g sugars 
Sugar Equivalent: 8½ scoops Edy’s Slow Churned Rich 
and Creamy Coffee Ice Cream 
Hopefully this will dispel any lingering fragments of the 
“health halo” that still exists in coffee shops—that misguided 
belief that espresso-based beverages can’t do much 
damage. In this 20-ounce cup, Starbucks manages to pack 
in more calories and saturated fat than two slices of deep- 
dish sausage and pepperoni pizza from Domino’s. That 
makes it the equivalent of dinner and dessert disguised as a 
cup of coffee. If you want a treat, look to Starbucks’ supply 
of sugar-free syrups; if you want a caffeine buzz, stick to the 
regular joe, an Americano, or a cappuccino. 

10. Worst Lemonade 
Auntie Anne’s Wild Cherry Lemonade Mixer (32 fl oz) 
470 calories 
0 g fat 
110 g sugars 
Sugar Equivalent: 11 bowls of Cookie Crisp cereal 
There is no such thing as healthy lemonade, but Auntie’s line of 
Lemonade Mixers takes the concept of hyper-sweetened juice and 
stretches it to dangerous new levels. See, sugar digests faster 
than good-for-you nutrients like protein and fiber, which means it’s 
in your blood almost immediately after you swallow it. Drinking the 
3 or 4 days’ worth of added sugar found here jacks your blood 
sugar and results in strain to your kidneys, the creation of new fat 
molecules, and the desire to eat more. Ouch. 

9. Worst Hot Chocolate 
Starbucks White Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream 
(venti, 20 fl oz) 
520 calories 
16 g fat (11 g saturated) 
75 g sugars 
Sugar Equivalent: 9 Strawberry Rice Krispie Treats 
See that stack of Rice Krispie Treats? It’s just three treats shy of 
two full boxes. Unless you were a contestant on Fear Factor— 
and there was a sizeable monetary prize on the line—you’d 
never even consider noshing down that much sugar at once. But 
here’s what’s interesting: While that stack is the sugar 
counterpart to this atrocity from Starbucks, it still has 40 percent 
less saturated fat. Makes us wonder what’s going on in the hot 
chocolate. Stick to beverages with single-flavor profiles instead of 
pile-on recipes like this and you’ll fare better every time. 

8. Worst Frozen Coffee Drink 
Dairy Queen Caramel MooLatte (24 fl oz) 
870 calories 
24 g fat (19 g saturated, 1 g trans) 
112 g sugars 
Sugar Equivalent: 12 Dunkin’ Donuts Bavarian Kreme Doughnuts 
Coffee-dessert hybrids are among the worst breed of beverages. 
This one delivers 1 gram of fat and 4.6 grams of sugar in every 
ounce, making even Starbucks’ over-the-top line of Frappuccinos 
look like decent options. Maybe that’s why DQ decided to give it a 
name that alludes to the animal it promises to turn you into. If you 
can bring yourself to skip DQ and head to a coffee shop instead, 
order a large iced latte with a couple shots of flavored syrup and 
save some 600 calories. But if you’re stuck where you are, you’re 
better off pairing a small treat with a regular cup of joe. 

7. Worst Margarita 
Traditional Red Lobster Lobsterita (24 fl oz) 
890 calories 
0 g fat 
183 g carbohydrates 
Carbohydrate Equivalent: 7 Almond Joy candy bars 
Of all the egregious beverages we’ve analyzed, the Lobsterita 
surprised us the most. The nation’s biggest fish purveyor is one 
of the few big players in the restaurant biz to provide its 
customers with a wide selection of truly healthy food options. We 
would hope they’d do the same with the beverages, but obviously 
not. Drink one of these every Friday night and you’ll put on more 
than a pound of flab each month. Downgrade to a regular 
margarita on the rocks and pocket the remaining 640 calories. 

6. Worst Float 
Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream Soda (vanilla ice cream and cola) 
(large, 28.6 fl oz) 
960 calories 
40 g fat (25 g saturated, 1.5 g trans) 
136 g sugars 
Sugar Equivalent: 9.7 Fudgsicle fudge bars 
Done right, an ice cream float can be a decent route to indulgence. 
Go to A&W and you’ll land a medium for fewer than 400 calories. 
Order it with diet soda and you’ve dropped below 200 calories. So 
why can’t Baskin-Robbins make even a small float with fewer than 
470 calories? Because apparently the chain approaches the art of 
beverage-crafting as a challenge to squeeze in as much fat and sugar 
as possible. Whatever you order, plan on splitting it with a friend. 

5. Worst Frozen Fruit Drink 
Krispy Kreme Lemon Sherbet Chiller (20 fl oz) 
980 calories 
40 g fat (36 g saturated) 
115 g sugars 
Sugar Equivalent: 16 medium-size chocolate eclairs 
Imagine taking a regular can of soda, pouring in 18 extra 
teaspoons of sugar, and then swirling in half a cup of heavy 
cream. Nutritionally speaking, that’s exactly what this is, which is 
how it manages to marry nearly 2 days’ worth of saturated fat 
with enough sugar to leave you with a serious sucrose hangover. 
Do your heart a favor and avoid any of Krispy Kreme’s “Kremey” 
beverages. The basic Chillers aren’t the safest of sippables 
either, but they’ll save you up to 880 calories. 

4. Worst Frozen Mocha 
Così Double Oh! Arctic Mocha (gigante, 23 fl oz) 
1,210 calories 
19 g fat (10 g saturated) 
240 g sugars 
Sugar Equivalent: 41 Oreo Cookies 
A frozen mocha will never be a stellar option, but we’ve still never 
come across anything that competes with this cookie-coffee- 
milkshake hybrid from Così. Essentially it’s a mocha Blizzard 
made with Oreo cookies and topped with whipped cream and an 
oversize Oreo. The result is a beverage with more calories than 
two Big Macs and more sugar than any other drink in America. 

3. Worst Drive-Thru Shake 
McDonald’s Triple Thick Chocolate Shake (large, 32 fl oz) 
1,160 calories 
27 g fat (16 g saturated, 2 g trans) 
168 g sugars 
Sugar Equivalent: 13 McDonald’s Baked Hot Apple Pies 
There are very few milk shakes in America worthy of your 
hard-earned calories, but few will punish you as thoroughly as 
this Mickey D’s drive-thru disaster. Not only does it have more 
than half your day’s caloric and saturated fat allotment and 
more sugar than you’d find in Willy Wonka’s candy lab, but 
Ronald even finds a way to sneak in a full day of cholesterol- 
spiking trans fat. The scariest part about this drink is that it’s 
most likely America’s most popular milk shake. 

2. Worst Smoothie 
Smoothie King Peanut Power Plus Grape (large, 40 fl oz) 
1,498 calories 
44 g fat (8 g saturated) 
214 g sugars 
Sugar Equivalent: 20 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups 
If Smoothie King wants someone to blame for landing this high on our 
worst beverages roundup (and truth be told, its entire menu is riddled 
with contenders), the chain should point the smoothie straw at 
whichever executive came up with the cup-sizing structure. Sending 
someone out the door with a 40-ounce cup should be a criminal offense. 
Who really needs a third of a gallon of sweetened peanut butter blended 
with grape juice, milk, and bananas? Sugar-and-fat-loaded smoothies 
like this should be served from 12-ounce cups, not mini kegs. 

1. Worst Beverage in America 
Cold Stone PB&C (Gotta Have It size, 24 fl oz) 
2,010 calories 
131 g fat (68 g saturated) 
153 g sugars 
Sugar Equivalent: 30 Chewy Chips Ahoy Cookies 
In terms of saturated fat, drinking this Cold Stone catastrophe is like 
slurping up 68 strips of bacon. Health experts recommend capping 
your saturated fat intake at about 20 grams per day, yet this 
beverage packs more than three times that into a cup the size of a 
Chipotle burrito. But here’s what’s worse: No regular shake at Cold 
Stone, no matter what the size, has fewer than 1,000 calories. If 
you must drink your ice cream, make it one of the creamery’s 
“Sinless” options. Otherwise you’d better plan on buying some 
bigger pants on the way home. 

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