Starbucks Goes “Healthy”

Everyone (namely Britney Spears) loves a good Starbucks Frapp now and then, but what we don’t love is the added poundage that tasty treat leaves on our thighs. Those guys over at the Bux have been catching a lot of flack for their many drinks that have more sugar and calories than a liter of Coke, not to mention those fatty pastries, so they’ve decided to make some “healthy” changes.

This month Starbucks launched a new line of treats that they claim is healthier. They’ve eliminated all artificial flavors, dyes, high-fructose corn syrup and artificial preservatives from the ingredients list wherever possible. Now the bakers use more wholesome ingredients like whole grains, Oregon blueberries and Michigan cherries to revamp the nutritional value for their muffins and baked goods. Some new food items include a blueberry oat bar filled with two types of organic blueberries, a new banana walnut bread made with real bananas (as opposed to that nasty artificial flavor), and a lower-calorie Marshmallow Dream bar. Mmmm.

They’ve even added a few new salads, one of which, the Farmer’s Market Salad, is made with blue cheese, almonds, cranberries, and apples. There are also two additions to the breakfast menu, including an egg-white sandwich as well as a healthy and well-balanced strawberry-banana Vivanno smoothie.

Sounds delightfully healthy, right?

Well, don’t be totally deceived. While the new ingredients are more natural than their predecessors, upon some investigation into the real nutrition facts, I found that the banana walnut bread only contains 30% of those “real” bananas. The “lower calorie” Marshmallow Dream Bar still has 210 calories, and isn’t all that big in size. And the new Gluten-free Valencia Orange Cake has 290 calories, not to mention the Chocolate Chunk Cookie clocking in at a hefty 380!

Does that sound much healthier to you?

I see that Starbucks is attempting to make a change here, but I still agree with the statement made by the Center for Consumer Freedom declaring that “An apple fritter is an apple fritter, not health food, and no matter what Starbucks’ marketing whiz kids say, it will still have 420 calories and 20 grams of fat.”

Do not be swayed by smart marketing, ladies. This new Starbucks menu may look better on the surface, but underneath all those punchy advertisements is a whole lot of hidden fat and calories.

I think I’ll just stick with my Skinny Latte and call it a day. A truly low-calorie day.

Have you tried any of these new foods? Taste any different, for better or for worse? Tell us all about it!

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