Coffee beats Big Mac in the fat stakes

Coffee beats Big Mac in the fat stakes

By Nicola Boyes

Wake up and smell the coffee - that frappuccino you just drank contained more fat than a Big Mac and a medium Coke combined.

A survey of national coffee chains Starbucks and Gloria Jean’s Coffees, published in this month’s Consumer magazine, reveals your coffee break could see you breaking the scales.

Those who opt for the standard stuff are not doing too much damage - a 400ml trim-milk cafe latte at Gloria Jean’s comes to 486 kilojoules (kJ).

But Consumer found both chains’ super-sized chilled coffee drinks - generally loaded with sugary syrup and cream - contained more fat than a McDonald’s Big Mac hamburger (2196kJ and 28g of fat) and medium Coke (614kJ and less than a gram of fat) combined.

The 600ml version of Gloria Jean’s Creme Brulee Chiller was a heavyweight with 3170kJ.

A Starbucks White Hot Chocolate with Whip reached 3006kj.

Each gives you at least 31 grams of fat - and no less than 20 teaspoons of sugar.

For the average woman that’s about 40 per cent of the usual daily fat intake, says Consumer.

In contrast, a grilled chicken breast with a potato and sour cream, a Greek salad and a glass of white wine adds up to 1667kJ (9g of fat and half a teaspoon of sugar).

In response to demand, Starbucks introduced a new line of ‘light’ frappuccino in February. The lighter option is claimed to have 30 to 40 per cent fewer calories than the full-fat equivalent, according to its website.

A large-size, low-fat Coffee Frappuccino Blended Coffee totals 498kJ, against the full-flavoured version’s 795kJ.

The Consumer survey follows McDonald’s announcement this month that it would begin labelling its food wrappers with fat, carbohydrate, protein, sodium and energy content.

Consumer magazine, however, could find no nutritional information for McDonald’s McCafe offerings. McDonald’s spokesperson Liam Jeory says that nutritional analysis has not been done on the chain’s coffees, as the company has not perceived that there is consumer demand for that information.

The Herald’s own quick survey of Gloria Jean’s and Starbucks in Queen St made some jaw-dropping revelations among customers.

“Blimey,” said Claire Rodger sitting in Gloria Jean’s.

“I thought it would be high but I’m surprised it’s that much.”

Counting the kilojoules

EnergyFatGloria Jean’s Creme Brulee Chiller Energy: 3170kJ Fat: 31g
Starbucks White Hot Chocolate Energy: 3006kJ Fat: 31g
Big Mac Energy: 2196kJ Fat: 28g
Recommended daily intake (medium)* Energy: 8600kJ Fat: 62-65g

*Actual amount varies widely, depending on size, exercise levels.

No surprise - attack of the hidden calories!!!

Dairy fat is a hell of alot better than hydrogenated oils from the Big Mac. I’ll take the coffee any day.

Flaxseed oil has alot of fat in it too… does that mean it’s bad for you?