As regular readers know John is the fast food guru on the blog. Being in the workforce he often has to try to ferret out a good meal at fast food eateries. So, he has significantly more experience and expertise than I do.
In fact his write-up of McD’s Frozen Strawberry Lemonade is the basis of my argument. In it he reported that a 16 ounce container accounts for 270 calories and a stunning 67 grams of sugar. My emphasis.
Let’s talk about that sugar. There are 4.2 grams of sugar in a teaspoonful. So, the 67 grams of sugar amounts to 15.95 teaspoonfuls. Are you ready for that? In terms of a cup, that amounts to 1/3 of an 8 ounce cup. Please visualize that. Do you really want to put that much sugar into your system at one sitting?
On June 8 I wrote How to Beat the Heat. In it, The New York City Office of Emergency Management suggested, “Drink fluids – particularly water – even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid beverages containing alcohol, caffeine, or high amounts of sugar.”
So, drinking this amount of sugar is not recommended if you want to cool yourself off.
What exactly is wrong with sugar-sweetened soft drinks?
The Michael and Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living says, “The real problem is that almost all sugar-sweetened soft drinks contain no beneficial nutrients, only calories, and with the adult and child obesity epidemic, encouraging reduced consumption of empty calories is the right thing to do. Not only do sugar-sweetened soft drinks have calories, the way your body perceives calories you can drink more than you can eat before becoming satiated.
“Sugar-sweetened soft drinks have been associated with the development of obesity and chronic diseases such as diabetes.”
McD’s Frozen Strawberry Lemonade also contains 30 mg of sodium, 30 IU of vitamin A, 183 mg of vitamin C and 20 mg of calcium so there is some small food value in it. But, I don’t think it compensates for the 270 calories and 67 grams of sugar. It’s not quite empty calories, but close.
The Livestrong.com blog says that too much refined sugar “may raise your blood pressure and contribute to elevated triglycerides, a type of fat in your blood. Both conditions raise your risk of developing heart disease. High consumption of refined sugars may also increase body inflammation, aggravating arthritis or autoimmune conditions.
“Bacteria in the mouth feed on refined sugars, creating tooth decay. Sugar causes glycoproteins to adhere to the teeth, resulting in the formation of plaque. The bacteria adhere to the plaque, and begin the process of decay. Avoiding sugary snacks is a recommended method of protecting your teeth.”
If you’re at McDonald’s and want to cool off have a cup of water with your meal. You will save money and, more importantly, save your digestive system from the shock of all that sugar hitting it at one time.
If you are concerned about consuming dangerous amounts of sugar in your drinks, check out Why McDonald’s Shamrock Shake is a Sugar Monster and How Many Calories in McDonald’s Chocolate Chip Frappe and How Much Sugar?