A few months back I was drawn in by the slick smoothie and sandwich-wrap marketing madness, and ditched my daily burger with fries and a Coke for a supposedly healthier alternative.
I started frequenting places like Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Planet Smoothie and other chains with fresh and healthy sounding names. Psychologically I felt healthier, but noticed no physical changes. I didn't have more energy and certainly didn't feel like the Fat Burner Booster I was adding to my smoothies was doing much about my gut.
Then, a friend of mine pointed me to dietfacts.com, a site with an extensive list of nutritional information about chain restaurants across the country. The site includes such popular Miami chains as Miami Sub and Pollo Tropical along with hundreds of other restaurants.
I decided to compare a cheeseburger from my favorite fast food joint, Wendy's, with a chicken caesar wrap from Tropical Smoothie Cafe. Guess what?
Wendy's cheeseburger wins!
The wrap has 557 total calories and 237 calories from fat. The cheeseburger clocks 480 calories, 216 from fat. The wrap also had more sodium (68 percent of the recommended daily value); differences in saturated fat and cholesterol were small.
Smoothie versus cola isn't really a fair comparison because smoothies have a lot more nutritional value and vitamins, but for all you calorie counters out there: The Paradise Point Low Fat smoothie from Tropical Smoothie Cafe has 463 calories compared to 140 calories in a medium cola at Wendy's.
Check out dietfacts.com at your own risk: you may just ruin your new favorite "health" food forever. --Tovin Lapan
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.