Want a Turbo Shot of Diabetes with that Coolatta? Weighing in on Dunkin Donuts beverages.

Although I am a nutritionist, I don’t always get a chance to read the label of everything I consume, most of us don’t.  I spend much time reading labels at the grocery store, or at a convenience store, but in restaurants or similar venues you don’t always know what you are getting.

Over the hot days of summer, my children would often ask for a fruit Coolatta from Dunkin’ Donuts.  Of course, I knew these drinks were not the healthiest so I asked the cashier what was in them.  She replied “a fruit juice concentrate and ice”.  I figured for a once in a while treat, I could live with that. So every now and then when stopping for an iced tea or coffee for myself, I would get the kids a small coolatta.  They would usually pick either blue raspberry or vanilla bean.

This past week has been quite an unusual week regarding weather and we have had many hot days, as hot as 85 degrees!  That’s warm for October in New England.  So this afternoon my kids asked if we could stop and get a Coolatta.  They hadn’t had one in a while.  Before agreeing, I decided to look up the nutritional information on the Coolattas, since I hadn’t yet done so and was curious.  I almost keeled over when I read the contents….a small Vanilla Bean Coolatta has……now wait for it….87 grams of sugar!!!  Holy *&%#!  Was the first thing that came to mind.  You may be sitting there wondering what that means if you can’t visualize a gram of sugar, but here’s what it equates to…

4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon

So 87 grams of sugar is equal to 21.75 or approximately 22 teaspoons of sugar, IN A SMALL!  WOW!  I am still blown away by that.  If you are looking to develop Metabolic Syndrome, Insulin Resistance or Diabetes, I’ve found your answer.

Needless to say this discovery was followed by me breaking the news to my children that they will never again drink a Dunkin’ Donuts Coolatta.  Instead we took out the blender, added some ice and 100% acai berry V8 fruit and vegetable juice and made our own slushies.  Much healthier, much less sugar, and we all agreed, tasted better.

Take home message of the day: make it at home, make it fresh, make it real.  And try to avoid added sugars as much as possible…especially beverages that contain more sugar that you can carry.

About Kimberly Dawson, M.S.

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