Here I am after my first and only sip of the Unicorn Frappuccino. I call this “RFF” or Resting Frappuccino Face.
Just how unhealthy is the Unicorn Frappuccino? This trend is taking our community by storm, with kids and adults pounding down the doors of their local Starbucks to get their hands on this highly coveted (and highly overrated in my opinion), multi-colored pony beverage. But it’s not all glitter and rainbows people. As you probably guessed, it’s loaded with sugar, fat and questionable ingredients. Instead of transforming you into a magical unicorn and allowing you to fly off into the sunset with your glittery tail wagging in the wind, you’re more likely to feel like a tranquilized donkey around 3:00 p.m.
Here is my full detailed review of the nutritional content and ingredients of the unicorn frappuccino, as well as an unexpected kudos to Starbucks.
The nutritional facts for a Grande Unicorn Frapp:
Calories 410 Calories from Fat 140
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 25%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 45mg 15%
Sodium 230mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 62g 21%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Vitamin A15%Vitamin C0%Calcium20%Iron0%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
**Each caffeine value is an approximate value.
No surprise here, but it is loaded with fat and sugar (59 grams!) and has absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever. But, what most people don’t know, or frankly don’t want to know is that every single Starbucks frappuccino contains at least 60 grams or more of sugar. So basically, the Unicorn Frappuccino is like the red-headed step child of the frapp family, being singled out as the most unhealthy and fattening drink that Starbucks has ever created when it reality it’s just one of the many sugar-laden and unhealthy drinks that they serve in their stores.
Okay, so I’ve established that the uni frapp has a crap ton of sugar and fat. But what is actually in the drink that makes it so fattening and full of sugar? Have no fear little pony drinker, I provided a full list of ingredients below, even highlighting those that are the most questionable.
Ice, Milk, Crème Frappuccino Syrup [Water, Sugar, Salt, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid], Whipped Cream [Cream (Cream, Mono And Diglycerides, Carageenan), Vanilla Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid)], Mango Syrup [Sugar, Water, Mango Juice Concentrate, Natural Flavor, Passion Fruit Juice Concentrate, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Turmeric, Gum Arabic], Blue Drizzle [White Chocolate Mocha Sauce (Sugar, Condensed Skim Milk, Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter, Natural Flavor, Salt, Potassium Sorbate, Monoglycerides), Classic Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid), Sour Blue Powder (Citric Acid, Color [Spirulina, Water, Sugar, Maltodextrin, Citric Acid])], Pink Powder [Dextrose, Fruit And Vegetable Color (Apple, Cherry, Radish, Sweet Potato)], Sour Blue Powder [Citric Acid, Color (Spirulina, Water, Sugar, Maltodextrin, Citric Acid)].
The term “natural and artificial flavor” is deeply concerning because within this vague category could lie a whole host of harmful ingredients including MSG, synthetic chemicals and even parabens! Food companies are able to hide some of their most harmful ingredients by labeling them “trade secrets.” By law, trade secrets may be labeled in general terms (i.e artificial flavor), instead of being full disclosed to the consumer. How convenient! And sneaky. And not cool.
Another concern is carrageenan, which is a preservative found in everything from deli meat to almond milk. Animal studies have repeatedly shown that carrageenan causes a number of gastrointestinal issues, including intestinal lesions, ulcerations and even malignant tumors.
Mono and Diglycerides are a type of trans fat that have zero nutritional value and are linked to heart disease.
So while I’ve listed all the crap things in this drink, there is one redeeming quality that is worth mentioning. Instead of using artificial coloring (see my article on the dangers of artificial food coloring: http://essentiallivingmadesimple.com/dye-free-easter-eggs/) ) to make those super cool pink, purple and blue colors, they use natural additives like tumeric, spiraling, apple, cherry, radish and even sweet potato. And although it seems like a pretty weak attempt to save this drink from the angry wrath of health conscious bloggers like FoodBabe (oh does she rip this kid a new one!), I’m proud of SB for taking a least one tiny step in the right direction.
So my final weigh in? I’m going to be the wet diaper on this one and say from a nutritional standpoint, it sucks. But lucky for you, here at Essential Living, we are for sure “live and let live” kind of folks, so if you feel the desire to indulge, by all means suck that baby down and don’t look back. At least now you can feel good about the fact that you now know what is in this drink and can make a more informed decision for you and your family.
Oh and by the way, it tastes like complete a##. Like sour patch kids and expired warm yogurt.
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