Skip the treat section next time.
Starbucks’ flavoured coffees and Frappucinos get a lot of bad press for their high sugar content, but the really bad news starts when you pick up a treat to go with that morning coffee.
A new report by UK consumer watchdog Action On Sugar profiled the sugar and calorie content of a number of “fruit-based” desserts in coffee chains and cafés. Among the biggest culprit for sugar levels was Starbucks, whose Christmas Carrot Cake contains over 60g of sugar, which equates to 15 teaspoons and 616 calories – which is more than the amount of sugar in five Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Ouch.
While carrot cake might seem a healthier choice at first glance than a fudge brownie or a wedge of cheesecake, it’s usually packed with butter and sugar, with a calorie-dense cream cheese icing on top. Not exactly diet-friendly, so.
Graham MacGregor of Queen Mary University of London, where the research was analysed, told Mashable that the “extraordinary” levels of sugar were in part due to the large serving size, but added that the calorific make-up of the treats was high regardless of serving size. “These cakes contain a lot of calories and a hell of a lot of sugar,” he said.
Action On Sugar’s campaign manager Jenny Rosborough is frustrated by the high number of mainstream food and drink outlets still pushing high-sugar products. “Everyone should be able to enjoy cake, but there is no need for just one slice to exceed an adult’s maximum daily recommendation of sugar by almost three times,” she told The Guardian.
For their part, a Starbucks research and development spokesperson told The Guardian that the company were working to lower sugar levels in food products, and that a reduced calorie and lower-sugar carrot cake was in the works for 2017.
Starbucks’ Christmas drinks menu isn’t exactly guilt-free, either. A Grande Toffee Nut Latte with whole milk packs in 38.7g of sugar, and a Grande Gingerbread Latte has the same, which is just under 10 teaspoons.
In short, don’t go swapping out your daily black coffee and scone for a Christmasified version too quickly…
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