August 31, 2009

Breakfast at Starbucks

Boyfriend is going to be crazy busy at work this week with a major deck due, so we decided that instead of staying together as usual, we’d take most nights “off” and instead meet up at Starbucks for a quick coffee in the mornings on our way to work.

I’m not sure if you any of you are familiar with Lisa from Hungry Girl, but she puts out a daily newsletter full of diet tips that I really like. Most of her tricks are based on cooking at home and making healthy ingredient swaps, a philosophy that I totally agree with. The only thing I don’t like is that the Hungry Girl recipes aren’t very conscious of chemicals/additives, so I tend to skip the recipes with Splenda/diet soda/really processed foods, but even if I use regular sugar, the recipes are still much healthier than the restaurant or standard versions.

Another nice feature of Hungry Girl are the good choice/bad choice columns for eating away from home. Recently, I read a special on new foods at Starbucks and Jamba Juice, and one of the Starbucks offerings that was profiled was a delicious-looking Dark Cherry Yogurt Parfait. Lisa raved about how much “this parfait ROCKS!”, with her only caveat being that at 320 calories it’s definitely a meal and not a snack. Okay, that’s fine – this was going to be my sole breakfast item, so 320 calories should be fine. Unfortunately, I didn’t look too much at the nutrition profile Lisa had posted…

Grabbing the parfait from Starbucks, I still didn’t look at the nutrition profile before chowing down. The first bite? Delicious! I definitely agreed with Lisa about that. But also? Really super duper sweet. How much sugar was in this thing?! I gasped to read the label and see that one serving had 40 grams of sugar – that’s 13 teaspoons of pure sugar! I’m not a sugar buster or anything, but I’d venture to guess that’s more than I typically eat in a day. Sure enough, a quick Google shows that adults should strive for no more than 32 grams of sugar a day… that’s less than is in just this one parfait!

For 320 calories and 11 grams of protein, I initially thought this was a good healthy choice… but after seeing the sugar content, I’m really dismayed. This should not be considered a “terrific grab and go breakfast item”, but rather, an indulgent dessert. And if I’m going to have a dessert, I’ll have a bowl of ice cream, thankyouverymuch. I’m happy to see Lisa recommending items that don’t have tons of fake sugar, but this just doesn’t cut it. Even the Starbucks Marshmallow Dream Bar does better than this (210 calories, 15 grams sugar)!

Hungry Girl review: fail. I’ll stick with the spinach feta wrap as my go-to Starbucks breakfast option. 280 calories, 8 grams fiber, 9 grams protein… yum!


8 thoughts on “Breakfast at Starbucks”

  1. 40 grams of sugar! wow. I’ve read the hungry girl site on occasion and agree she’s pretty hit and miss on recommendations. I love sweets like fruit, yogurt, etc, but they do not keep me full nearly as long as a non-sweet breakfast item with similar calories will.

  2. Wow, were you in a sugar overload passed out on the subway floor again!?! (sorry, had to go there!)
    I really try hard not to eat any of the food offerings at Starbucks, but I am a sucker for their Maple Oat Nut Scone that I treat myself with after each marathon! Ha! Oh, and the oatmeal is tasty, too.
    Thanks for the Hungry Girl website, I will tread lightly and with caution. Happy Friday! 🙂

  3. Starbucks is sneaky like that–and not just with their foods. I found out a while back that their iced coffee has a ton of added sugar in it. As in, a venti iced coffee has 31 grams of sugar! It’s ridiculous. I very quickly switched to iced americanos after that!

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