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What's Really Inside a Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino?

Generally you should look both ways — or rather at the ingredients, calories, fat, and carb contents — before moving full-speed ahead. But what the label doesn't spell out for you as simple as S-T-O-P is that there's more to it than meets the eye, and sometimes even the simplest-sounding ingredients can be super complicated.

That's why we asked top experts to break down the good, the bad, and the just plain scary stuff we’re feeding our bodies, plus how it may impact our health. This week in the hot seat we have…

THE SUSPECT: Starbucks Blended Caramel Frappuccino

THE DETECTIVES: Mira and Jayson Calton, Ph.D., a husband-and-wife team whose latest book “Rich Food, Poor Food,” is the sequel to their bestselling book “Naked Calories.”

NUTRITION LABEL: (20-ounce cup, or Venti) 510 calories, 17g fat, 84g carbs, 81g sugar, 6g protein

LISTED INGREDIENTS: Frappuccino base, caramel sauce, caramel syrup, ice, whipped cream.

Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino Ingredients Under the Spotlight

The key item to be wary of here, besides high-fructose corn syrup (one of the leading causes of America's obesity epidemic), is the food additives called mono- and di-glycerides, which are labeled emulsifiers but are really trans-fatty acids (usually labeled under lipids, aka, fats) in disguise.cause:

  • The key item to be wary of here
  • besides high-fructose corn syrup (one of the leading causes of America's obesity epidemic)
  • is the food additives called mono-
  • di-glycerides
  • which are labeled emulsifiers but are really trans-fatty acids (usually labeled under lipids
  • aka
  • fats) in disguise

This semantics loophole allows food that contains these acids — associated with heart disease, stroke, obesity, and diabetes — to be marketed as having “0% trans fat.” Super sneaky!

The Wrap Up

Reading the nutrition label, by now, should be as natural for you as hitting the brakes at a “STOP” sign. Generally you should look both ways — or rather at the ingredients, calories, fat, and carb contents — before moving full-speed ahead.

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