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Coolatta Review

When you buy a slushy, ice-cold, blue, sugary drink, you KNOW you aren't making a healthy choice. The famous "Slurpee" machine at the 7-Eleven spews out colorful sludge for hot people.

At a recent trip to Dunkin Donuts here on the East Coast, I saw a drink called a Coolatta. Because I am Snack Girl, I began to question the poor counter person about the product:

How many calories is in that?I don't know.

What is it made with?Some base and syrup.

Do you have an ingredient list or nutritional fact guide for your products?No. Why don't you check online?

Well, I did. And frankly, I don't think it is very good business in 2010 not to have information about your food readily available for customers. Of course, if you are Dunkin Donuts, you probably don't want to have a calorie guide posted any where near the place.

Here are the ingredients in the Dunkin Donuts Coolatta reprinted from their website:

INGREDIENTS: Frozen Neutral Base [Water, Neutral Base (Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, Monopropylene Glycol, Sodium Benzoate added as a preservative, Malic Acid, Cellulose Gum)], Watermelon Coolatta Concentrate (Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, Artificial Flavor, Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Benzoate added as preservatives, Red 40).

MONOPROPYLENE GLYCOL!!! Wow, you know I haven't taken organic chemistry in a while, but that sounds like anti-freeze. Turns out that antifreeze is Ethylene Glycol - phew!

Actually, monopropylene glycol is not considered toxic to humans (and it is used to de-ice planes because it decomposes easily). So, its inclusion in the Coolatta is totally fine (probably) in terms of health risks.

My problem is that I had nowhere to find such information at Dunkin Donuts. For example, I had no idea that 32 ounces of the stuff included 121 grams of sugar (25 teaspoons).

And, if I, as a parent, wanted to shield my children from drinking safe petroleum derivatives, there was nowhere at the store to find out they were included in the drink.

My suggestion is to NOT order these drinks. Stick with Coca Cola where you can read the ingredients on the label.

As an aside, I checked ICEE and Slurpee and they don't include monopropylene glycol in their products. Their ingredient list includes high fructose corn syrup and flavors (just like soda).

I will be contacting Dunkin Donuts about their lack of nutritional information. So far, Frito-Lay, McD's, the FDA, and Michelle Obama have responded to my e-mails. I have heard NOTHING from Subway or my government representatives. Hey, don't you guys have time for Snack Girl?

What do you think of Dunkin Donuts Coolatta?

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16 Comments:

One of the things I learned from reading the book Twinkie Deconstructed is that a LOT of ingredients for so-called food is derived from petroleum. So creepy. I wrote more about it here: http://thatneilguy.blogspot.com/2010/05/twinkie-deconstructed.html

Let's all lift our glasses of de-icer and make a toast to processed food!

on July 20, 2010

I can't believe what food corporations stuff down our throats! The more I know, the more frightening supermarkets become.

on July 20, 2010

You go Snack-Girl!!! Keep after those food companies!

on July 20, 2010

This is just one more example, of thousands, that demonstrate the dilemma we face. Americans are overweight and sick because of our food environment. No, not Al Gore's environment. The food environment is much worse because it is killing us today. And, we are willing and active participants.

Dr. David Katz states it beautifully: We are like Polar Bears in the Sahara Desert.

We were never intended to be in this environment, however....we are.

Ken Leebow
http://www.feedyourheaddiet.com

P.S. I've seen colorful posters in stores proclaiming ... Donuts: The sixth food group! Here it is: http://www.feedyourheaddiet.com/food-commercials--the-western-diet.html

on July 20, 2010

Wow... My 13-year old son begs me for these and I have given into him occasionally... I'll have to stop doing that! I love DD, but try to limit myself to the coffee. An iced coffe with skim milk would be a MUCH better choice than the coolata - or you could make your own coffee shake at home with skim milk, ice cubes, a little sugar (or sweetener of your choice) & some instant coffee granules. (or 1/2 milk & 1/2 cold coffee.) Thanks for the heads up! I do find that DD has a good website with lots of info on nutrion, but that doesn't help you when you're there!

on July 20, 2010

It is no wonder that the nutritional information for DD and subway are not posted. Believe me they don't want folks to know this stuff. And although I am not a fan of Mickey D's food ( I do love that coffee), they are on track with this type of info.
That being said anything that is neon blue can not be good for you. A blueberry is nature's colored packaging...not this five dollar drink chugged down in two minutes.
When you are in DD only get coffee that is zero calories. And although I still can't drink it black...I add so little milk/cream, that is almost black.
I am heading towards my senior years, be kind to your body, this is the equipment you have into your nineties (that is my plan). Enjoy the good things in life like coffee, not sugary water with empty calories. blessings, dotty aka judy

on July 20, 2010

wow, i'm slightly disturbed that Subway never got back to you on their nutritional information. That's just...scary mainly because everyone i know (including my incredibly health conscious dad because he got high cholesterol) claims that Subway is one of the healthiest places to eat out at. The fact that they wouldn't respond or have nutritional info posted on their sandwiches sounds ultra sketchy. Now i just need to somehow convince the papa-dearest to stop eating there...

on July 20, 2010

The "high fructose corn syrup" is also a HUGE warning sign. Its fairly well known that Fructose is seriously bad for you as well. Its up there with MSG, causing health issues, weight gain, etc. Yet you seem to find it in so much of our foods. From fruit drinks, to candy, to supposedly healthy stuff. *gack*

Pity about these slushies, though. I used to love those growing up. Then again, I suppose if one REALLY wanted one, you could find a healthier homemade one, with a little imagination.

on July 20, 2010

I can deal with corn syrup (though I prefer sugar) but do try to not consume solvents. Yum :-/
I do like DD donuts, but I try to to have them too often. Of course, here in Virginia we have the double thread of DD and Krispy Cream. Oh, so dangerous.

on July 22, 2010

I find myself avoiding things like this more and more, especially when it's so easy to make something like this at home with minimal ingredients.

Incidentally, Mark Bittman has a great recipe for sorbet here: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/10/dining/101mrex.html. If you pour this into a cup instead of freezing it, you have a really healthy slushy with NO anti-freeze. ;-)

on July 24, 2010

I don't drink these kinds of drinks anyhow, but I do enjoy Dunkin Donuts donuts. :) I found their website had the information needed for me. I don't expect a restaurant to have that information in their store. If I am keeping track of anything in particular (calories and fat grams, etc) I will go to their website first. That is just my take.

on July 25, 2010

I recently bought an iced coffee from 711 and had to google the nutritional facts when I got home and was shocked! I will NEVER buy one again. It has 140 calories per 8oz serving, that's 40 more calories then coke, has 3mg of fat, and 190mg of sodium, that's 6x more then a coke.

on July 27, 2010

http://www.subway.com/applications/NutritionInfo/index.aspx

more subway information.
frankly I think they do better than a LOT of companies

on August 3, 2010

Just a little side note re: getting info from DD:

When I was a senior in HS we had to contact a company and ask them to send us their franchise info and do a report on it as if we were starting one (business class). I chose DD. Ha! They wouldn't give me any information unless I gave THEM money to buy into the franchise. ??? So I switched to Bally's Fitness for my project.

They seem to be a bit tight on all their info.

With that said, I do check on the ingredients BEFORE I drink/eat something such as that, usually on their website.

I know you said you were in NY, but FYI: NYC requires nutritional information on the menu board. It's not fair to chastise a company when the city/state/federal government doesn't require them to do anything. Of course, that doesn't make it right that they don't have it readily available. (I wish restaurants such as TGI Fridays and Applebees had it available in print.)

on August 4, 2010

I'm a little late commenting on this, but I was ASTOUNDED to see that this drink has 25 tsps of sugar!!! 25!!!! That's more than 1/2 cup of sugar! IN ONE DRINK!!!!

on December 9, 2010


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Welcome! I’m Lisa. I write about simple snacks, healthy recipes, and products that help me WIN my battle with donuts!

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