Thursday, September 23, 2010 | 0 comments »

By Tony Horton

Try this recipe: Take one McDonald's® Big Mac®, carefully remove the wrapper, and place the whole thing in a blender. Add half a cup of ice, milk, and sugar to taste and blend into a smooth consistency. Serve in a tall glass and garnish with whipped cream and drizzled caramel.

Sound crazy? Well, listen to this: a Starbucks® Venti® Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino® Blended Crème coffee drink has more calories than a Big Mac, more fat than a small order of McDonald's French fries, and more sugar than eight Krispy Kreme® glazed doughnuts—and that's before you even spritz the whipped cream on top. Try sticking that in your blender.

Most fancy coffee drinks are essentially high-calorie fast food. But they have other factors that make them even more troublesome. The first factor is caffeine. Blended coffee drinks are loaded with it, making them more addictive. The second factor is their liquid form. When you eat solid food, your brain decreases your appetite and you feel satisfied. But when you consume liquid food, your appetite isn't satisfied in the same way—so you wind up consuming more.

So if you do need that java jolt during the day—keep it simple. Order up a small drip coffee or an espresso. And if you still want something sweet, treat yourself to a blended fruit smoothie. Not only will it taste better, but your body will thank you too.

Tony H.