FED UP CHALLENGE: The Starbucks Addiction

As you may or may not know, from Aug 3 through Aug 10th Fletcher Dentistry is taking part in the FED UP Sugar Challenge. Our goal is three fold: FIRST, we want to kick "added sugar" out of our diets and eat clean for 10 days. SECOND, we want to help our patients by raising their awareness of the sugar epidemic in our country. THIRD, we want to remind each other and our patients to look at what we are putting into our bodies. If we happen to lose weight along the way that will be an added bonus!

I was having a discussion with my kids the other night and the discussion of habits and sugar consumption became a topic of interest. We each commented on the American culture's fascination with sweetened beverages like sodas, energy drinks and flavored coffee drinks. The conversation became a bit more specific as we each knew people with a Starbucks addiction! Spend any amount of time on social media and you will see how deeply Starbucks has worked itself into the fabric of our culture. (Like the townspeople in Shrek 2, when their "Farbucks" is destroyed they run across the street to another "Farbucks"). 

This discussion caused me to start thinking. How does a sugar addiction relate to Starbucks?  Consider again that the daily recommended levels of sugar (grams/day) consumption are as follows:

  • Men: 36 g of sugar/day
  • Women: 24 g of sugar/day
  • Teen/PreTeen: 20g of sugar/day

Source: American Heart Association Recommendations

I put together a quick graphic to show you a few of the popular hot and cold drinks from Starbucks. How does your favorite drink compare to the recommendations above:

 Click on the picture to go to the Starbucks Nutritional Guide information provided online.

Click on the picture to go to the Starbucks Nutritional Guide information provided online.

If you look at the chart one thing should stand out. Based on sugar recommendations by the American Heart Association, each of these drinks are out of range for the typical person.

The natural response would be to mimic your favorite drink with sugar-free versions of these drinks right? The problem with that thinking is that the sugar is missing, but the effects on your body from sugar substitutes are still there. 

Artificial sweeteners slow your metabolism, make it difficult for your blood sugar to regulate and make you crave and eat more food.

Artificial sweeteners slow your metabolism, make it difficult for your blood sugar to regulate and make you crave and eat more food. So people who are trying to lose weight by choosing sugar-free products are actually making it more difficult on themselves. The solution is simple: cut the sugar and sugar-free alternatives. Eat and drink clean. 

Convinced? Remember, our goal is awareness! Hope we helped this morning!

Keep smiling,
Dr. Fletcher