I NEVER thought I’d have a blog post with the word “unicorn” in the title, but there you have it. This week Starbucks released a new drink, the Unicorn Frappuccino. While many of the comments were about the beautiful colours and excitement about trying it, many comments were about the sugar content of the drink. I too was shocked by the amount of sugar in a grande Unicorn Frappuccino. A grande Unicorn Frappuccino is 410 calories and has 59g of sugar in it. The calories in that one drink were 1/5 of the daily recommended value for the average person. Now, I’m not a calorie counter but I do care about where my calories come from. After reading all of the comments, I started to think about the many different frappuccinos Starbucks offers. I see people order them all the time. Why would the sugar content be any different? So I took a look at their nutrition page. Here is what I found when looking at some of their other popular frappuccino drinks:
Mocha Frappuccino -Grande
61g of sugar
Matcha Green Tea Frappuccino -Grande
65g of sugar
Java Chip Frappuccino-Grande
66g of sugar
Did you notice?
Funny enough, the Unicorn Frappuccino has LESS sugar than their other popular frappuccino drinks. I love Starbucks. I am not trying to hate on them. They openly display all nutrition facts on their webpage for everyone to see. Their menu has the calories listed beside the drinks. It is up to you whether you inform yourself or not because the information is provided for everyone to see.
What we know about sugar (I’m not talking fruit)
We know from my previous post about sugar (you can read it here) that the Canadian Food Guide and Dieticians Of Canada do not have much to say about sugar. The organization that does have something to say about this is WHO (World Health Organization). They recommend that sugar should not make up more than 5-10% of our daily calorie intake. This works out to about 20g (5 tsp) for women per day, 36g (9 tsp) for men per day, and 12g (3 tsp) for children. Many health professionals believe it should be even lower than the above values. While further research needs to be done, it is pretty clear that sugar does not have any known health benefits, and may have some serious side effects.
I myself am not a frappuccino drinker. I like sweets, but I also know that too many sweets do not contribute to a healthy body. I’d rather have a little sugar from chocolate than 65g from a drink because I know how my body reacts to large amounts of sugar. That being said, if you like frappuccinos you should still treat yourself, but these are probably not your best option for an every day drink. Consider getting a Tall instead of a Venti, that in itself is a huge difference. I suggest you enjoy your treats, but continue to fuel your body with nutrient dense foods that contribute to a long and healthy life.
Eat your veggies 😉