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Scientists Perplexed, Issue ‘Impossible Calorie’ Award

The Mark’s Daily Apple scientific panel welcomes you to the monthly Impossible Calorie Award. This month:

The Shake Down

We all know milkshakes are unhealthy, but fortunately, there are plenty of healthy alternatives, right?

Wrong. Apples and seedlings, we present the findings:


No one thinks a Frappucino is healthy (we hope). But plenty of unsuspecting folks would assume – understandably – that an iced coffee does far less damage than a milkshake.

Item: Starbucks Strawberries & Creme Frappucino (16 oz.)
Calories: 570

Sugar: 83 grams (“golden diabetes award” coming soon!)


By comparison, a triple-thick strawberry shake from the golden arches…

Calories: 560

Sugar: 84 grams


In other words, don’t fool yourself – decadent coffee drinks are just milkshakes with culture.

Enter the tie-breaker. What’s cool, sweet, hits the spot, and is really healthy, all at once? Why, fruit smoothies!

Jamba Juice

Chains like Jamba and Robeks have made a fortune selling people on the idea that their jumbo sherbet and juice blends are the epitome of healthy slurping.

Although you can add in healthy “boosts” like protein powder, vitamin blends and wheat grass shots, these drinks are the ultimate scam. Not only are these shakes generally nothing more than an ice cream and fruit juice fructose-fest, they provide enough calories to feed a small country. Fruit juice is fruit with the fiber removed, and what’s left is sugar.

An “original” strawberry smoothie can set you back as many as 500 calories – and if you upgrade to the “Power” size in the name of good health, you’ll suck down a diabetes epidemic of your own with over 600 calories and 140 grams of sugar. Apples, we have a winner!