• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Gaining extra pounds? Ditch the drinks

November 9, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
It's an addiction many Americans face daily. But unlike many others, there's no legal limit or anonymous support group."I think that a lot of people have a drinking problem. Not necessarily with alcohol, but with unknown calories," said Christine Avanti.

Nutritionist Christine Avanti says we're hooked on liquids. Candy-coated coffees, smoothies and sodas -- ridiculously popular and ripe for the sipping.

To prove it, a nutrition-fact bible called "Eat This Not That!", by Men's Health magazine, offers prime examples of our liquid habit. First up, the 32-ounce Peanut Butter Moo'd from Jamba Juice.

"Wow, you might as well just go get a Cinnabon," said Avanti. "Actually, less calories in a Cinnabon than in a Peanut Butter Moo'd, to be honest."

She's right. Nutrition facts show this chocolate-peanut-butter smoothie has 1,170 calories, 500 more than a Cinnabon, with as much sugar as a bag of chocolate chips.

Want to save 1,000 calories? Jamba Juice's 16-ounce "Jamba Light" fruity smoothie is a much better choice at 160 calories.

"I always tell my clients: Your drink should be water, your food should be your calories," said Avanti.

Starbucks' venti 2-percent peppermint White Chocolate Mocha is a mega holiday treat. But it will cost you 660 calories, 60 calories more than two Egg McMuffins.

But exercise self control with a tall, 2-percent whip-free mocha, and you will save 440 calories and two-thirds the fat, while enjoying a chocolate coffee combo.

And what has been coined "the most unhealthy drink in America" is the Baskin Robbins Heath Bar shake. Get ready to loosen that belt to the last notch, because there's more calories in this drink than you should have in one day.

Never mind the 66 teaspoons of sugar -- it has 2,310 calories. You could eat 11 Heath bars for the same amount. And as much fat as 16 Lean Cuisines.

And while the calories pale in comparison, Avanti questions Glaceau's Vitamin Water as a health beverage.

"One Vitamin Water is about 130 calories," said Avanti. "You get 8 teaspoons of sugar in a Vitamin Water."

That's more than a 12-ounce Coke. If you want vitamins, pop a supplement. It's a lot cheaper and it's sugar-free. Like the water you might want to wash it down with.


- Get more L.A. breaking news, weather, traffic and sports
- Have a news tip? Send your tips, video, or pictures


Load Comments