As summer kicks into full gear and patio and beach season are in full bloom, do you know how your summer treats will affect your beach bod and health? We all like to indulge in hot weather treats, but we decided to ask a local dietician for her take on which is worse for you.
Milkshake vs. Blizzard:
“If it’s the real deal, then it’s the milkshake you want,” says registered dietitian Meher Shergill. A milkshake made from low- or no-fat milk and blended with real fruit, will provide less sugar, fat and other preservatives than a blizzard made with ice cream and bits of candy, chocolate or other highly processed add-ons. So, bottom line: if it comes from a mom and pop shop, chances are the milkshake will pack on fewer fat and sugar calories. That said, if it’s a once-in-a-while treat, Shergill says there’s no shame in treating yourself to the blizzard.
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Daiquiri vs. Margarita:
While both have the same amount of alcohol - the daquiri using rum while the margarita gets boozy with tequila - the daiquiri packs the sweetest sugar rush. “Usually daiquiri mixes are more like slushies and have way more sugar,” says Shergill. The Mexican-inspired margarita, on the other hand, is traditionally made with just lemon and crushed ice, avoiding all those sweet calories. But while you might think you’re helping your waistline my choosing the margarita, watch out for that nasty tequila hangover.
Soft Serve vs. Hard Scoop:
While the debate over taste has been the subject of many beach-side discussions, the health effects are unarguable: hard scoop ice cream reigns in calories and fat, while it’s softer cousin takes the cake when it comes to sugar content. “Usually they use more water than cream in soft serve, which is what makes it lighter,” says Shergill. So while the rocky road bonanza might call to you louder than the twist cone, the scoop ice cream won’t be as forgiving. But, Shergill also also advise that “when people choose lower fat options that are often replaced with sugar, they can be less satisfying. So it’s not always bad to go for the real stuff and get your craving satisfied.”
Slushies vs. Freezies:
Portion, portion, portion is the name of the game for this debate. While both are made mostly of artificial flavours, sugar and ice, the slushie’s size generally towers over its frozen friend. The king of all slushies, the Big Gulp, is 32 oz (close to 950 ml) of the icy treat, while a Jumbo Mr. Freeze seems like child’s play in comparison with its 150 ml frozen counterpart. “It’s a simple equation with this one, the slushie just has way more sweet calories because of its size,” said Shergill.
Nachos vs. Chicken Wings:
While these two dieter’s disasters don’t fall into the ‘refreshing’ summer treat category, patio-goers sure get their fair share over the summer months of dinning al fresco. “Nachos might seem lighter, but when you add the sour cream, cheese and meat, the extras really add a lot of calories,” Shergill said. Although both are laden with sodium and fat, there are ways of reducing your calories: ask if they can bake your wings, go light on the sauce and steer clear of the blue cheese dip. If you're still keen on nachos, go light on the toppings (and the beer that inevitably accompanies them).
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