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Consumer Reports: Surviving the Mall's Food Court

By Consumer Reports
|  Tuesday, Dec 3, 2013  |  Updated 5:17 PM CDT
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As the holidays approach, you'll likely be heading to the mall. Watch out! The Food Court is a danger zone. Consumer Reports identifies some of the worst diet busters and help you treat yourself without doing so much damage.

Deanna Dewberry, Consumer Reports

As the holidays approach, you'll likely be heading to the mall. Watch out! The Food Court is a danger zone. Consumer Reports identifies some of the worst diet busters and help you treat yourself without doing so much damage.

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As you head to the malls to do your holiday shopping, be careful! There’s a lot of damage to be done, and not just to 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—that’s roughly half of what we should be eating for an entire day.

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!

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

With all those not-so-great choices, there are some ways to steer clear. Consumer Reports’ advice—If you’re having a snack, you should just have about 150 calories. I

nstead of that muffin, how about some caramel corn? Doc Popcorn’s version has just 130 calories per cup. A better beverage choice is the Light Banana Berry Smoothie at Jamba Juice. It has 170 calories and no fat at all.

And your cup of lowfat frozen yogurt can become a calorie bomb when you pick toppings such as peanut butter cups, peanuts, and M&M’s. Instead opt for strawberries, blueberries, or bananas. They are low in calories and fat-free!

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

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

Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website.

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