Consumer Report: Surviving the Mall's Food Court

By: Lauren Evans Email
By: Lauren Evans Email
There’s lots of damage to be done.

Woman stepping on scale, canon 1Ds mark III

As you head to the malls to do your holiday shopping, be careful. There’s lots of damage to be done, and we’re not talking about your wallet. Consumer Reports tells us about the dangerous temptations lurking in the food court.

Take a Cinnabon Classic. It’s loaded with 880 calories -- roughly half of what we should be eating for an entire day.

Consumer Reports counted calories and followed the fat at the top 20 malls in America and found that the food court is a minefield.

At Starbucks, watch out for the Java Chip Frappuccino with whole milk and whipped cream. A Grande has 460 calories and 18 grams of fat.

At Dunkin’ Donuts, a muffin might seem harmless, even healthy, but the Blueberry muffin will set you back 460 calories.

With all these not so great choices, there are some ways to steer clear.

Consumer Reports says a snack should be around 150 calories.

Instead of that muffin, how about some caramel corn? Doc Popcorn’s version has just 130 calories per cup.

A better beverage choice -- the Light Banana Berry Smoothie at Jamba Juice has 170 calories and no fat at all.

And your cup of low-fat frozen yogurt can become a calorie bomb when you pick toppings like peanut butter cups, peanuts, and M&M’s. Opt instead for strawberries, blueberries, or bananas. They’re low in calories and fat-free.

So next time you visit the food court, navigate carefully so you don’t blow up your diet.

More and more snack stops are offering lower-calorie versions of some popular items. Remember that Starbucks Frappuccino? The light version, with nonfat milk, has 260 fewer calories.

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