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12 Shockingly Unhealthy Coffee Drinks

By Melissa Breyer for Care2.com

Oh, for the day when the worst thing you could do to your coffee was add a hundred calories in cream and sugar. These days, most of the health atrocities being committed in the name of coffee come to us courtesy of the ubiquitous coffee-house and fast food chains that are colonizing our neighborhoods from sea to sea. Why do they see the need to turn a cup of coffee into a concoction capable of ringing up four-figure calorie counts? (Aside from the fact that consumers are scarfing them up…)

A plain cup of brewed coffee has only two calories and no fat. Even adding 49 calories from a tablespoon of sugar, 20 calories from a tablespoon of half and half, or 52 calories from whipping cream–a regular coffee can’t come close to competing with the desserts-in-coffee-cups listed here.

For a little perspective, keep this in mind: the range of recommended calories is from 1,600 to 2,400 calories per day for adult women and 2,000 to 3,000 calories per day for adult men, depending on age and physical activity level.


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RECALL: Starbucks and Pilgrim’s Pride Chicken and Other Meats Contaminated with Listeria

Starbucks and Pilgram's Pride LogosTwo large distributors of packaged chicken products have recalled massive quantities of meat due to listeria contamination. Pilgrim’s Pride recalled 18,312 pounds of chicken nuggets and chicken fillets and Flying Foods has recalled nearly 7,000 pounds of ready-to-eat turkey, chicken, pork and beef products. No cases of sickness have been reported.

The Pilgrim’s Pride product being recalled is the “Pilgrim’s Pride Fully Cooked Chicken Breast Breaded Nugget Shaped Patties with Rib meat,” sold in Dollar General stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Each two-pound bag is marked with the code “P-7091A.” The problem was found during routine testing. Consumers with questions about this recall are encouraged to call a company’s representative at (800) 321-1470, according to the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).


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Starbucks’ Ready-To-Eat Chicken Products Recalled

UPDATE [7/27/11]: This recall has been expanded to include Starbucks salami and cheese Bistro Box and the chipotle chicken wrap. There has also been a separate recall of Pilgrim’s Pride chicken nuggets.

Those that frequent Starbucks coffee shops in Georgia and Alabama will want to be on the lookout for chicken products that have been recalled recently. Flying Food Group is the company that produces the Starbucks Chipotle Chicken Wrap Bistro Box and the Starbucks Chicken and Hummus Bistro Box. They have recently recalled both of these products due to Listeria monocytogene contamination.

Roughly 204 pounds of ready-to-eat chicken wraps and plates are being recalled in total. The products that are recalled have “Enjoy by 071511” on the bottom left corner of the package. They also have an establishment number of P-34373 within the USDA mark of inspection.

This problem was discovered through microbiological testing conducted by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service or FSIS. There were no reports of illness with these products, but the FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks, which is how the contamination was found.


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Fast Food Chains Adding Alcohol to Their Menus

“I’d like a double cheeseburger, the jumbo fries, and a DIET soda.” Does this fast food order sound familiar? The patron stressing the diet soda to lighten some part of the gut busting meal is a pretty common occurrence. Now, we might start hearing something like, “…and a LIGHT beer” tacked on to a fast food order. Alcohol is now being served at fast food chains around the U.S.

Very popular chains like Burger King, Sonic, and even Starbucks have begun introducing alcoholic menu concepts at select locations. The controversial change could be a result of the economy, as many say alcohol will allow them to compete with the casual dinning restaurants in the evening. While that fact may be true as adults may want to eat somewhere that has an alcohol option on the menu, that addition to fast food menus could cause more harm than reward.

Thankfully none of these restaurants allow for alcohol to be ordered from a drive-thru or car stall, but there are still some possible hazards. The risk of getting a quick meal and a quick beer and then driving off pose obvious dangers. However, assuming that adults are responsible enough to gauge what’s appropriate consumption, what about the health factor?


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Healthiest Menu Choices at Starbucks

We’ve already showcased some of the worst drinks at Starbucks, so today we thought that we’d take a look at the rest of the Starbucks’ menu — the food. About a year and a half ago, this popular coffee-shop chain added more waist-friendly and nutritious options than just scones and muffins to go along with those lattes.

While the food item offerings are healthier in that they don’t include high fructose corn syrup and artificial ingredients, we wondered how they would stack up to the recommendations of our registered dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield who says that meals should have less than 500 calories and less than 500 milligrams of sodium, according to the the new daily sodium recommendations. So, we took a look!


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