Part of my job as a trainer and nutrition coach is to teach people the pitfalls of the choices they make when it comes to eating and drinking.
And, it’s tough sometimes to help people change their lifestyle because there are a LOT of temptation out there.
I know, firsthand how hard it can be to resist certain foods and drinks. Back in the day, it was soda; specifically diet soda. On an average day I drank two, two-liter bottles of soda. Make it three bottles a day on the weekends.
Now, that is bad. Especially when it comes to your health. So much so, as obesity rates skyrocket and health care costs have gotten out of hand (and climbing ever higher), many local governments are trying to limit the consumption of soda by placing a tax on it. Not a small tax. With Philadelphia, for example, a 1.5 cent per ounce tax was added to each and every soda sold. That equates to an extra .25 cents on each 16-ounce bottle of soda and over a dollar on a typical two-liter.
While I’m not a big fan of government regulation, I can see the point of those who support this type of legislation. The problem, however, is it targets only one particular type of food and doesn’t really do much to solve the obesity problem.
While it may be good to cut down the amount of soda people drink, the truth is, they will get their sweet fix elsewhere. Often times that is a WORSE disaster than the soda may have caused.
Enter the new starbucks drink, called of all things, “The Unicorn.”
I’ve seen some bad nutritional foods in my day, but this thing is in a class all its own.
Starbucks touts that its new drink is made with a sweet dusting of pink powder, blended into a crème frappuccino and mango syrup, then topped with even more powder.
Don’t think Starbucks was innocently choosing to name it “The Unicorn.” No, its marketing department must have known this thing was a nutritional disaster and wanted to come up with a cute name to cover up what it really was.
How bad is it you ask?
Well for starters, a 24-ounce “Unicorn” is 450 calories, or the equivalent of three cans of soda. That’s bad enough, but unlike those three cans of soda, it contains a whopping 12 grams of fat, eight of which is saturated.
To be fair, it contains 76 grams of sugar — less than those sodas — but, c’mon now! I think we can all admit that’s a lot of sugar in one, 24-ounce drink.
What does it mean though?
For many people it’s difficult to understand what that all means so let’s make our own version of the unicorn at home.
Grab a 24-ounce glass, your measuring spoons and let’s get started.
First off, you’ll need to grab some sugar. No, you’re sugar bowl probably won’t do, as you need a whopping 19 teaspoons of sugar to put in your glass.
Then grab your Crisco from the pantry and scoop out 2.5 teaspoons of it and dump that into your glass.
Though we haven’t mentioned it, we need some salt. How much? Oh, about a quarter teaspoon ought to cover it.
Now, let’s add a few drops of red food coloring then fill up the remainder of the glass with water and blend away…
What’s that you say… you would never drink a concoction like that?
Well that’s pretty much what Starbucks is pushing on you with this drink. But hey it’s a Unicorn so it must be made from rainbows and stuff and it only costs about 5 bucks.
The sad part is many people will drink these not just once but sometimes twice or even three times in a day. Even one makes up almost a third of the typical 120-pound woman’s daily caloric requirements.
All for something you can consume in less than five minutes.
To be honest, it’s not just Starbucks that sells this garbage but many other places as well. And, the sad fact is, most people eat this crap each and every day.
We wonder why almost three quarters of our population is overweight, and more than a third morbidly obese.
Folks, if you want to be healthy or you are trying to lose weight, you need to avoid these frankenfoods which are designed to do one thing and one thing only — give you a sugar rush to get you to buy more.
If you really must have something like this try my homemade version. You can make it for less than 50 cents and then put the remaining $4.50 in the bank.
You’ll need the money when you have to pay the price in added medical bills and insulin prescriptions.
Dan Romand is co=owner and operator of Full Circle Fitness-NY in both Colonie and Saratoga Springs, where he is also a certified personal trainer. You can read is health and fitness column here each week at TheSpot518.