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    Archive for the ‘Baskin Robbins’ Category

    Small Sizes, Big Numbers

    Some nutritional horror figures don’t exactly come as a surprise.  No one is particularly shocked when told that an order of Burger King’s large fries packs in 580 calories, or that a large Wendy’s chocolate frosty shake clocks in at 890 calories and contains almost as much added sugar as three cans of Coke.

    It’s not just the large sizes that come with jaw-dropping nutritional values.  In fast food world, “just go with a small” advice goes out the (drive-thru) window. Below, my three picks for “yes, really, those numbers are for the SMALL size!”

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    Liquid Bombs

    photo_nutrition_BV339aLet’s say you decide to treat yourself to a sweet concoction at Baskin Robbins.

    Your goal is to choose something that will satisfy your sweet tooth without overloading on calories and added sugar, so you figure ordering a small size of any treat will do the trick.

    Think again! Check out these mind-blowing nutrition figures.

    Remember, these numbers are for the smallest sizes available.

    Small Vanilla Shake (made with light ice cream)

    • 560 calories
    • 10 grams saturated fat
    • 0.5 grams trans fat
    • 450 milligrams sodium
    • 16 teaspoons added sugar

    To recap: 60 more calories than a large order of McDonald’s fries, as much saturated fat as 4 teaspoons of butter, and 6 more teaspoons of sugar than a can of Coca Cola.

    Small Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Shake

    • 750 calories
    • 20 grams saturated fat
    • 1 grams trans fat
    • 15 teaspoons added sugar

    That’s 210 more calories than a Big Mac, a day’s worth of saturated fat, and as much added sugar as 4 Pop Tarts.

    Small Strawberry Shake

    • 560 calories
    • 15 grams saturated fat
    • 1 gram trans fat
    • 14 teaspoons added sugar

    This offer 40 fewer calories than three soft beef tacos from Taco Bell!  You can get that same amount of saturated fat in 10 tablespoons of sour cream, and just as much added sugar in 12 Oreo cookies.

    Small Reduced-Fat Mint Oreo Shake (made with light ice cream and low-fat Oreos)

    • 620 calories
    • 9 grams saturated fat
    • 350 milligrams sodium
    • 18 teaspoons added sugar

    Small size, light ice cream, and low-fat Oreos — sounds harmless, right?  This contains 80 more calories than half a pint of Haagen Dazs vanilla ice cream, as much saturated fat as a half cup of shredded Cheddar cheese, and as much added sugar as 18 chocolate Dunkin’ Donuts munchkins.

    Small Mango Fruit Blast

    • 440 calories
    • 20 teaspoons added sugar

    Don’t be fooled by the 2 grams of fat and 0 grams of saturated fat.  This smoothie contains 130 more calories than a large soda from McDonald’s.  As for the two grams of fiber?  They are tacked on with food starch, which does not provide the same healthful properties as the fiber found in food.

    Even the more reasonable options at Baskin Robbins have a few problem areas.  Consider a small soft-serve Cappuccino Blast, which clocks in at:

    • 280 calories
    • 6 grams saturated fat
    • 140 milligrams sodium
    • 4 teaspoons added sugar

    While the calorie, sodium, and added sugar values are okay, the saturated fat content is a tad bit high, and the presence of partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredient list isn’t very promising.

    This makes two things very clear:

    1. Calorie labeling needs to happen on a national level, so these figures cease to be surprising
    2. Perhaps we should really consider if a 16 ounce beverage can truly be called “small”!
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    Misnomer

    Pistachio-almond is one of Baskin Robbin’s classic 31 flavors.

    Upon closer inspection, two oddities emerge.

    First, the product’s official description is: “a nutty combination of pistachio-flavored ice cream and roasted almonds.”

    That’s right, the nut pieces you see are almonds, not pistachios.

    Then there’s the ingredient list, from which pistachios are entirely missing:

    “Cream, nonfat milk, almonds, sugar, corn syrup, natural & artificial flavor, blue 1, yellow 5, cellulose gum, mono and diglycerides, guar gum, carrageenan, polysorbate 80.”

    It’s not just ice cream chains pulling this trick.

    I recently stopped by a well-known New York City vegan restaurant and ordered a delicious-sounding spinach-almond-banana-soy milk smoothie to go.

    As I watched the smoothie man concoct my beverage, I was slightly crushed to see it didn’t contain actual almonds, but rather a few drops of almond extract.

    I think I now understand how Milli Vanilli fans felt when the lip-syncing scandal broke…

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    Made With… Clogged Arteries in Mind?

    Baskin Robbins’ latest offerings include “Made With…” sundaes, which add popular candies to your ice cream experience.

    The “made with M&Ms” sundae, for example, consists of”three scoops of made with M&M’s ice cream, layered with hot fudge and M&M’s, topped with more hot fudge, marshmallow, whipped cream and more M&M’s.””

    Alas, this sundae is only available in one size, which adds up to:

    1,090 calories
    30 grams of saturated fat (approximately a day and a half’s worth)
    120 grams of added sugar (that’s 30 teaspoons)

    The “made with Snickers” sundae (“three scoops of made with Snickers ice cream, crushed Snickers pieces and caramel layers, topped with caramel, hot fudge, whipped cream and Snickers pieces”, pictured at right) clocks in at:

    1,000 calories
    25 grams of saturated fat
    93 grams of added sugar (approximately 23 teaspoons)
    710 milligrams of sodium (70 more grams than a McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish!)

    What truly irritates me about these products is that if anyone happens to crave these sundaes, their only options are these nutritional horrors.

    As we are all too aware, buying a sundae and throwing half of it out is not a reasonable expectation. Neither is having half and taking the rest home.

    Why can’t Baskin Robbins make this standard size a “large” and also offer a “small” sundae consisting of one scoop of ice cream and, consequently, a lot less of fudge, whipped cream, and candy pieces?

    Why must an ice cream treat turn into a caloric abomination?

    Food companies and fast food chains love to talk about “moderation”, so how about offering it?

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    The Hard Facts on Baskin-Robbins’ Soft Serve

    Baskin-Robbins is expanding its ice cream experience weeks before the official start of summer.

    Say hello to their very own soft serve!

    Don’t let the name fool you; this swirly vanilla concoction has no interest in helping you indulge your sweet tooth without overloading on calories.

    For starters, a regular (not kiddie-sized, not large) soft serve cone provides 280 calories, 35% of a day’s worth of saturated fat, and 9 teaspoons of sugar.

    Certainly not a harmless treat.

    The real disaster, however, comes if you order Baskin Robbins’ new 31 Below soft serve sundaes (“vanilla Soft Serve blended with your favorite candies, cookies and toppings for a delectable dessert.”)

    Take, for instance, the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup 31 Below treat: a combination of vanilla soft serve, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Sauce.

    At its smallest, it offers 950 calories, 105% of a day’s worth of saturated fat, and 21.5 teaspoons of sugar.

    Choose a large (which, by the way, is advertised for a single person; there is no mention of it being “shareable”) and once you’ve taken your last bite you will have consumed 1800 calories, 195% of a day’s worth of saturated fat, almost half a day’s worth of sodium (!), and 40 teaspoons of sugar!

    And that’s not even as bad as it gets.

    A large fudge brownie 31 Below, for instance, clocks in at 1900 calories and 58 teaspoons of sugar.

    We come back to the eternal question — WHY?

    Is there really a necessity to create a dessert that offers an entire day’s worth of calories and 600% of the maximum added sugar allowance?

    Your best bet is to tap into your inner child and order a kiddie size soft serve vanilla cone (don’t be shy, it is just as big as McDonald’s standard vanilla cone).

    At 140 calories, 18% of a day’s worth of saturated fat, and less than 5 teaspoons of sugar, it’s an occassional summer treat that, despite the presence of “corn syrup solids” and multiple stabilizers, is cool with me.

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    The Hard Facts on Baskin-Robbins’ Soft Serve

    Baskin-Robbins is expanding its ice cream experience weeks before the official start of summer.

    Say hello to their very own soft serve!

    Don’t let the name fool you; this swirly vanilla concoction has no interest in helping you indulge your sweet tooth without overloading on calories.

    For starters, a regular (not kiddie-sized, not large) soft serve cone provides 280 calories, 35% of a day’s worth of saturated fat, and 9 teaspoons of sugar.

    Certainly not a harmless treat.

    The real disaster, however, comes if you order Baskin Robbins’ new 31 Below soft serve sundaes (“vanilla Soft Serve blended with your favorite candies, cookies and toppings for a delectable dessert.”)

    Take, for instance, the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup 31 Below treat: a combination of vanilla soft serve, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Sauce.

    At its smallest, it offers 950 calories, 105% of a day’s worth of saturated fat, and 21.5 teaspoons of sugar.

    Choose a large (which, by the way, is advertised for a single person; there is no mention of it being “shareable”) and once you’ve taken your last bite you will have consumed 1800 calories, 195% of a day’s worth of saturated fat, almost half a day’s worth of sodium (!), and 40 teaspoons of sugar!

    And that’s not even as bad as it gets.

    A large fudge brownie 31 Below, for instance, clocks in at 1900 calories and 58 teaspoons of sugar.

    We come back to the eternal question — WHY?

    Is there really a necessity to create a dessert that offers an entire day’s worth of calories and 600% of the maximum added sugar allowance?

    Your best bet is to tap into your inner child and order a kiddie size soft serve vanilla cone (don’t be shy, it is just as big as McDonald’s standard vanilla cone).

    At 140 calories, 18% of a day’s worth of saturated fat, and less than 5 teaspoons of sugar, it’s an occassional summer treat that, despite the presence of “corn syrup solids” and multiple stabilizers, is cool with me.

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    More Bitter than Sweet

    In my opinion, there isn’t a better treat than ice cream. The creamy texture, the rich flavors, slowly savoring every bite.

    Unfortunately, the era of the single ice cream scoop in a cone or cup appears to be long gone.

    The country’s largest ice cream chains are instead unveiling mammoth-sized sundaes and shakes with mind-blowing amounts of calories, saturated fat, and sugar.

    Case in point: Baskin Robbins.

    Two of its four new limited edition products — a chocolate-covered strawberry sundae (pictured at right) and a chocolate chip truffle shake — are scarily decadent.

    The strawberry sundae clocks in at 790 calories, 23 grams (115% of the daily limit) of saturated fat, 410 milligrams of sodium, and 104 grams (26 teaspoons) of sugar.

    A medium chocolate chip truffle shake contributes 970 calories, 24 grams (120% of the daily limit) of saturated fat , 1 gram of trans fat (the recommended intake is zero) , 450 milligrams of sodium (20% of the daily limit), and 108 grams (27 teaspoons) of sugar.

    These two still don’t compare to the atrocity that is a Baskin Robbin’s Reese’s Peanut Butter shake. The figures below are for a medium!

    1,340 calories
    92 grams fat (141% of the recommended value)

    33 grams of saturated fat (165% of the daily limit)

    830 milligrams of sodium (40% of the daily limit)

    91 grams of sugar (23 teaspoons)

    That’s as many calories as SIX scoops of ice cream!

    So what’s an ice cream fiend to do? At Baskin Robbins, definitely stick to a single scoop.

    With each one weighing in at 4 ounces (half a cup), you’ll definitely satisfy your craving.

    A scoop of standard ice cream contains 260 calories and 40 percent of a day’s saturated fat.

    Keep the latter figure in mind as you go about the rest of your day and choose vegetable-based meals low in saturated fat (remember, this fat is found in meat and full/reduced-fat dairy).

    Since a scoop is also quite high in sugar (6 teaspoons a piece), I’d recommend making this your only sweet treat of the day.

    Their non-fat vanilla frozen yogurt is a tasty alternative. It’s still quite heavy on the sugar (at 31 grams, it’s practically equivalent to a can of Coke), but a scoop contains 150 calories.

    Similarly, sherbets are the highest in sugar (34 grams per scoop), but each scoop only adds 2 grams of fat and 160 calories to your day.

    Getting your scoop in a cup is a another quick way to reduce potential extra calories (a waffle cone alone contains 90).

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