I doubt there’s a soul reading this that hasn’t had a Wendy’s Frosty… or at least can picture it after reading the name. McDonalds has milkshakes too but for some reason they never gained the notoriety of a Frosty. When I hear someone mention Wendy’s the first thing I think about it a Frosty. But that thought was irrelevant for a couple years until… I decided it was time that I had a Frosty again. But not your typical Frosty with god-knows-what ingredients. No momentary food happiness is worth the years of harm all those processed ingredients are doing to your body. So I set out to make a Frosty, which my boyfriend and dubbed the Fauxsty. Pretty clever, I know. The ironic thing is there is nothing faux about it. All of these ingredients are real; no artificial flavors or chemicals that you can’t pronounce.
Here are the ingredients in a typical Frosty (straight from Wendy’s website): Milk, Sugar, Corn Syrup, Cream, Whey, Nonfat Milk, Cocoa (processed with alkali), Guar Gum, Mono and Diglycerides, Cellulose Gum, Carrageenan, Calcium Sulfate, Disodium Phosphate, Artificial Flavor, Vitamin A Palmitate. CONTAINS: MILK.
There are a few words in there that I can pronounce so let’s look at those first.
Milk: Ah, the staple in every American household. Milk is fed to us starting in infancy and esteemed for making our bones strong as we grow. Then, once we’re full grown, we continue to drink it, because we assume it must still be healthy. Unfortunately, dairy products are among the most acid-forming and mucus-forming items that we can put into our body. I could go on a huge rant on dairy right now, but I’ll save that for its very own blog post.
Sugar: This is not fruit sugar. It’s not even organic pure cane sugar or coconut sugar, which some can argue has some health benefits (but it’s still sugar). This is refined table sugar, which has been processed many times over to give you that addicting sweetness we all love and crave. Literally. The more you eat it, the more your body craves it. And it’s in EVERYTHING now. A medium-sized Frosty at Wendy’s has 64 grams of sugar. The American Health Association (AHA) suggests that women should get no more than 25 grams daily, while men should get no more than 37 grams. So even a grown man is getting twice the daily suggested allotment, and that was a maximum. They aren’t suggesting you eat 25 grams every day. They are saying, “please don’t surpass 25 grams, if you must consume the stuff”. Did you every realize that our nutrition labels in the U.S. don’t have recommended percentages listed for dairy? On the right side of the label is a percentage of the daily value that you are consuming of fat, sodium, carbohydrates, ect. They don’t however offer this information for sugar. Have you ever wondered why? It’s because the percentage would be so ridiculously high on so many packaged foods that people would easily be able to attack the specific companies and the government for allowing the product on shelf. Would you still buy that juice is it said it was 150% of your recommended daily value?
Photo from fda.gov
Corn Syrup: A product made from corn starch that is 100% glucose. It is exactly as sweet as the above table sugar. It is extremely processed.
Cream: (See Milk, above). Add the fact that its extremely fatty, and we’re not talking good fats. We’re talking the saturated fats.
Whey: (Also see Milk, above).Whey has long been touted as the champion of protein powder. It is the only product whose protein amount exceeds the potency of egg whites. Whey is the waste product that occurs during the production of cheese, which means that it is packed full of lactose. For those of you who are constantly looking for ways to pack your day with protein, you may be surprised to know that you can get enough protein simply from eating enough vegetables and legumes. Worry more about eating a well-balanced array of fruits and vegetables and less about the processed substances that can give you excess protein. Chances are, you’re consuming too much protein anyways, as the average American consumes 50% more protein daily than they should.
Nonfat Milk: (Also see Milk, above). When fat is removed from a product, how will they get you to continue buying it? They add sugar. They have to get you to keep eating it somehow.
Cocoa (processed with alkali): This type of cocoa is processed in order to reduce the bitterness and acidity of natural cocoa. Therefore the antioxidants that natural chocolate has are absent. I mean, it tells you it’s processed in the name…
Now for the items that are not in our normal vocabulary. Hint… if you look at an ingredient list and can’t pronounce most of the names, it isn’t very good for you.
Guar Gum: An additive used to thicken or emulsify. It comes from the Guar Bean, which is actually a natural source. The problem with gums is that they cause gas and digestive issues. While the studies on the effects of guar gum are limited, ideally you should avoid additives as much as possible.
Mono and Diglycerides: More food additives. They are used to combine fat and water based foods (like keeping oil from separating out of products) which don’t combine well together normally. These come from animal fat (and they often don’t highlight that fact for vegetarians). Thus they contain a high amount of trans fats which are associated with heart disease.
Cellulose Gum: Here we have another thickening and emulsifying agent. This is common in “frosty” treats such as ice cream because because it gives products a smoother texture. It is extracted from wood pulp and cotton cellulose – now really, where did people come up with these ideas?! It also helps keep things frozen (again, helpful for ice cream products) and also makes things sweeter (since obviously this milkshake isn’t sweet enough yet). Like guar gum, our bodies are not able to digest cellulose gum. The FDA has also said that large amounts of cellulose gum can have the same effect as laxatives. I’m sure it is not the laxatives you are looking for when you buy a Frosty…
Carrageenan: This one is very similar to the cellulose gum above. It thickens and keeps products from separating. While this products comes from a natural source (red seaweed), it is known to cause inflammation and digestive issues.
Calcium Sulfate: This is literally the sulfate salt of calcium. Another food additive that extends product shelf life and acts as a firming agent. Unlike all the others, this one comes from natural mined sources and is a good source of calcium.
Disodium Phosphate: A collection of sodium salts and phosphoric acids that is used to enhance the flavor in processed foods. It is simply an alternative to natural salts. Also used to emulsify and thicken.
Artificial Flavor: Artificial flavors come from any source that is originally inedible that is then processed to create flavors. Here’s something of interest: while artificial flavor sounds completely processed and unhealthy (it is), natural flavors seems to sound more favorable. Am I right? The truth is that neither of these are much better than the other. The difference between these 2 come from the origin of the flavor chemicals. While natural flavors must come from a plant or animal source (vegans and vegetarians, beware!), artificial flavors are synthesized in a lab.Yet artificial flavors usually contain less chemicals than their natural counterparts, which often can be a mixture of hundreds of chemicals. My point here is both should be avoided. Don’t let the terminology fool you.
Vitamin A Palmitate: This is a synthetic version of Vitamin A. It is also known by the names Retinyl Palmitate and Retinol Palmitate. It is an isolate which causes digestion problems. It is commonly added to milk products as a thickener, which is what you see here. It is linked to problems with developmental and reproductive toxicity.
Well. I am honestly a bit speechless after researching and writing all that. How these chemicals and additives even come together to create something that tastes good is beyond me. What I do know is that you can make your own version that tastes amazing too. Since it is made with only whole foods, you will start to feel actually feel full while eating it (compared to processed foods where you can finish a meal and still feel ravenous).
1 cup almond milk
1/8 cup cocao powder
1/4 cup almond butter
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 Tbsp hemp seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
1 frozen banana, cut into chunks
1 cup ice
- Place milk, cacao powder, almond butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, hemp seeds and cinnamon into a high-speed blender. Start blending on low and slowly work your way up to high. Blend until the hemp seeds are completely liquified.
- Add the frozen banana (it will blend easier with smaller chunks) and blend until smooth. Do not other blend as you will start to lose the thick consistency the frozen banana gives the smoothie.
- Add ice and blend again until smooth.
– Consistency: The less ice you use, more flavorful the smoothie will be. It also will be thinner. More ice will yield a thicker smoothie, but it will be less flavorful. Another option to make a thick and flavorful smoothie would be to add another frozen banana. Personally, that’s too much banana for me (it is heavier) but I know people who would be fine with it.
– Bananas: Frozen bananas make this smoother, creamier and thicker but they are not a requirement. Just know you will have to add more ice to make it thicker (see above note).
This is one of my favorite things to make when I am craving something sweet. It takes only a minute or so to make and the ingredients are common to have around in the kitchen. This recipe yield a smaller portion than you would normally probably order at a Wendy’s but with a full banana in it it is pretty filling. I know going through the drive through seems like the easier choice to curb that sweet tooth but I promise this is one of the easiest recipes you can find and it will most definitely make you feel better afterwards. No food regret here.
BeLeaf that there are ways around our processed favorites.