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The New Starbucks Petites Menu: Any Healthy Options?

Starbucks has recently introduced their Petites Menu selections, including Birthday Cake Pops, Carrot Cake Mini Cupcakes, Lemon Sweet Squares, Peanut Butter Mini Cupcakes, Red Velvet Whoopie Pies, Rocky Road Cake Pops, Salted Carmel Sweet Squares and Tiramisu Cake Pops.

From a nutritional standpoint these are still a hazard - full of bleached white flour, white sugar, unstable oils, preservatives, additives and colorings. They are all high in refined carbohydrates (anywhere from 16 grams in the lemon square to 24 grams per serving). None of them have any fiber and most are less than 1 gram of protein (there are a couple with 3 grams of protein).

The serving size ranges from 38 grams to 44 grams - so these little sweeties are small. That in itself is a good thing and I compliment the company on trying to offer a smaller sized treat to their customers. But don't let the petite size fool you; they are loaded with calories and fat.
The calories range from 120 to 190 calories per serving. All except the lemon square (at 120 calories) are all over 170 calories. And each one of these little bites can include anywhere from 6 grams to 11 grams of fat.

If we take a closer look at a few of these "Petites" you will get a better understanding of what I am talking about.

The Birthday Cake Pops are vanilla cake and icing, dipped in a pink chocolatey coating and sprinkled with white candied sprinkles. In the 43 gram serving there are 170 calories, 80 of which are fat calories. Each contains 9 grams of fat, 6 grams of that fat is saturated. Also included is 18 grams of sugars, 0 grams of fiber and less than 1 gram of protein.

The Carrot Cake Mini Cupcake is a spiced carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. In this 44 gram serving you get 190 calories (100 of those calories from fat), 11 grams of fat, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 16 grams of sugars, with 0 fiber and less than 1 gram of protein.

My choice (if I had to offer one) is the Lemon Sweet Square. This 38 gram serving is a bright citrusy lemon curd, on top of a butter shortbread base, drizzled with white icing. It contains the lowest of Starbucks' offerings at 120 calories (with 50 of those calories coming from fat) and a total of 6 grams of fat per square, with only 3.5 of those fat grams coming from saturated fats. There are 16 grams of carbohydrates, 12 grams of sugar, 0 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein.

I understand that sometimes you just need a little sweet treat. On an occasional basis, and if you are not trying to overcome any particular health challenge, these Starbucks Petite selections can respond. Just be aware of what you are eating and keep it to an occasional treat - not an every day, need to have my sugar, fix!

Barbara Bates is a Registered Nutritional Consulting Practitioner, Registered Orthomolecular Health Practitioner, Certified Personal Trainer, Reiki Practitioner and CancerGuide. She holds a Masters Degree of Applied Science in Holistic Nutrition and runs a wellness practice in Canada. Barbara is specifically trained in diagnosing and correcting the underlying root cause of health concerns rather than treating the symptoms and her nutrition services are offered over the internet to assist those in all areas of the world. To contact Barbara, please visit innerbalancewellness.com. You can email her at innerbalance@sympatico.ca. She can be reached via email at innerbalance@sympatico.ca.

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