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August 2010

Eating Out Healthy McDonald's Smoothies

Update: There's now Mango Pineapple to choose from as well. I thought a citrus based flavor was missing.  My new fave!

A new healthy smoothie recently appeared on the scene, and it's actually from none other than McDonald's--home of The Big Mac and famous fries. 

McDonald's smoothies are now available as part of its McCafe beverage line in two flavors--there's a  Mcdonalds smoothie   Strawberry Banana McDonald's smoothie and a Wild Berry McDonald's smoothie to choose from.  Both contain low fat yogurt and real fruit.

My tester and I gave them a go one 100 degree plus day in Vegas recently and overall our verdict was that the McDonald's smoothies are refreshing, fairly sweet and despite the fact that they are supposed to be different flavors, it is really hard to distinguish between the two.

The consistency and flavor most closely resembles the Berry Smoothie that Costco sells for about $.75 less a pop (not including the $50 per year membership).

Both McDonald's McCafe smoothies in the small 12 oz. size are 210 calories, half a gram of fat, 2 grams of protein and the Strawberry Banana flavors have 2 grams of fiber, while the Berry Smoothie has 3 grams.

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Food Packaging Labels Hide Portion Sizes Even In Healthy Food Products

You've really got to read the fine print when it comes to food packaging labels!  Question mannequin   

Food manufacturers are getting sneakier and sneakier about hiding the portion sizes to which their nutrition information applies!  Even healthy food labels are not innocent.  

Now I'm usually quite vigilent when it comes to reading food labels. I scan those ingredients for any trace of partially hydrogenated oil (trans fat), high fructose corn syrup, acesulfame potassium, too much saturated fat, and too little fiber and protein.  But what I missed recently was what I felt was a deceptive food package label for a new Clif Bar product.

I decided to give the new Clif Crunch Granola Bar (peanut butter flavor), a try after seeing them on display at a Whole Foods Market during my visit to Chicagoland.  I thought they tasted great, but the way the bar had a separation line in the middle with peanut butter in-between made it more challenging to eat.  I figured, I was used to traditional Clif Bars that are soft and chewy, so I guess I just wasn't used to the hard Clif Crunch Granola Bar.

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