Gathering a group of friends together and going out to brunch has become many people’s go-to weekend plan. After all, it’s the perfect excuse to indulge in a thick piece of syrup-laden French toast and sip on mimosas or Bloody Marys midday. But then comes the question of where to go to find exactly which restaurant serves the best brunch. What do you do? Where do you go?

In order to conquer such a difficult feat as pinpointing the best place for brunch in every state, we relied on the data team at Yelp to assist. Of course, no such list can be 100 percent exhaustive. All businesses considered for this metric had to fall within the “Breakfast & Brunch” category as specified on Yelp. They determined the best one in each state using an algorithm that assesses both the number of reviews as well as the star rating each business accumulated.

Check out this list of the best brunch places in the U.S., and then make sure to hit up your state’s winning place to see just how worthy it is for yourself.

D’ Road Cafe (Montgomery, Alabama)

D'road cafePhoto by Janett M. via Yelp

The go-to brunch spot in Alabama is tucked away in the state capital. D’Road Cafe dishes up a lineup of Spanish delicacies including arepas, empanadas, and even criollo—a plate consisting of fried eggs, black beans, shredded brisket, plantains, one fried arepa, and the restaurant’s own magic sauce.

Girdwood Picnic Club (Girdwood, Alaska)

Girdwood picnic clubPhoto by Andrea C. via Yelp

Who wouldn’t want to go to a place called the picnic club? Girdwood Picnic Club satisfies all of your brunch needs with its diverse menu options. For example, for an earlier breakfast/brunch outing, you could sink your teeth into a sweet Pumpkin Cheesecake Waffle, or opt for a savory plate of sausage, eggs, and roasted potatoes called the Mountain Breakfast from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.  If a later brunch is more your style, the restaurant also offers three brunch items from open to close; the Breakfast Burrito, Good Morning Pita, and Veggie Tacos.

Worth Takeaway (Mesa, Arizona)

Worth takeawayPhoto by B V. via Yelp

Worth Takeaway is known for its impressive array of sandwiches, and we know it’s the real deal because of its over 580 reviews and 5-star rating. For a hearty brunch, opt for the Pastrami Croque Madame. It’s a French-inspired dish with slices of pastrami and cheddar layered between a swath of creamy Béchamel sauce and a drizzle of dijonnaise, all sandwiched between sourdough and topped with an over-easy egg.

Oscar’s Cafe (Eureka Springs, Arkansas)

Oscar's cafePhoto by Cindy S. via Yelp

Tucked away in a patch of greenery in what appears to be a neighborhood in Eureka Springs is Oscar’s Cafe, the best brunch spot in Arkansas. This humble restaurant greets customers with a circular, royal blue sign that features an elephant walking between the “Oscar’s” and “Cafe.” Pop into this inviting place for refreshing peach bellinis, Bahn Mi sandwiches, and—for those with a sweet tooth—the Norwegian Waffle, a crisp waffle drizzled with Nutella and slices of banana.

Sonoma Wine Shop & La Bodega Kitchen (Sebastopol, California)

Sonoma-Wine-ShopPhoto by Mike M. via Yelp

Did anyone else do a double take when they saw the words wine shop? Yep, this is the top-rated brunch spot in the state of California. One Yelp reviewer even calls it a hidden gem. This Sebastopol-based restaurant serves eclectic brunch dishes including Huevos Rancheros, Moroccan Vegetable, and a traditional Israeli breakfast called Shakshouka on Saturdays and Sundays.

The Rolling Pin Bakeshop (Denver, Colorado)

The rolling pin bakeshopPhoto by Grace C. via Yelp

The Rolling Pin Bakeshop rolls out, you guessed it, a pile of pastries, cakes, desserts, and bread. From buttery ham and gruyere-filled croissants to a dessert called the Chocolate Mousse Dome, you’ll be sure to find something that pleases your palate at this famed Colorado brunch spot.

Brooklyn Baking (Waterbury, Connecticut)

Brooklyn bakingPhoto by Ronald S. via Yelp

Brooklyn Baking is the place to go if you have a hankering for something sweet. The company is especially known for its donuts, namely the Bavarian Cream and its selection of jelly donuts. The bakery also offers more satiating menu items such as the COMBO, which includes two eggs, potatoes, toast, and bacon or sausage.

Russell’s Quality Food (Wilmington, Delaware)

Russell's quality foodPhoto by Vaughn F. via Yelp

Russell’s Quality Food is dishing up brunch on wheels. That’s right, the best place to grab brunch in Delaware is a food truck! Russell’s whips up breakfast all day, with a menu comprising of different renditions of egg and cheese sandwiches. Do you prefer turkey bacon over pork bacon? No problem, they’ll be able to meet your needs. Not to mention, they also dish up egg and cheeses sammies with Italian sweet sausage.

RELATED: Easy, healthy, 350-calorie recipe ideas you can make at home.

J28 Sandwich Bar (Hollywood, Florida)

J28 sandwich barPhoto by Guillermo C. via Yelp

J28 Sandwich Bar is the Peruvian-inspired sandwich and specialty restaurant you never knew existed. Well, except for those who have visited or live in or around Hollywood, Florida. Floridians have the luxury of noshing on made-from-scratch empanadas, as well as a variety of Peruvian-style quinoa bowls, including the Quinoa Lomo Saltado/Beef Wok Stir Fry, which includes quinoa cultivated from Peru. There’s even a smoothie that’s made primarily from lucuma, a fruit native to Peru.

Fox & Fig (Savannah, Georgia)

Fox & figPhoto by Foodie A. via Yelp

Patrons who prefer following a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle in Savannah, Georgia, likely appreciate the brunch selections at Fox & Fig—a cafe dedicated to serving plant-based options. With mouthwatering dishes like Eggless Quiche, Soaked Chia Porridge, Cashew Cheese Garlic Bread, and Brambleberry Pancakes, even a meat-eater is apt to fall in love with this quaint cafe.

Menehune Coffee (Captain Cook, Hawaii)

Menehune coffeePhoto by Menehune Coffee via Yelp

Both Captain Cook and Kailua Kona, Hawaii, are home to the state’s best brunch spot. Menehune Coffee is named after the mythological, 3-foot-tall people that were believed to roam the deep forests and hidden valleys of the Hawaiian Islands. Legend has it the Menehune were very industrious and could conquer “mighty feats of engineering and construction overnight.” Learn about an island legend as you munch away on sweets like the Mauka bites, which are synonymous to honey-glazed granola bites made with dried fruits like cranberries, mangos, and nuts such as almonds and macadamia, and full-on meals such as omelets.

Ashton Sunrise Cafe (Ashton, Idaho)

Ashton sunrise cafePhoto by Alwaleed A. via Yelp

The sun always rises when you’re in this cafe. Well, OK, while that may not be true, one thing’s for certain: You’re going to get a tasty meal. Ashton Sunrise Cafe is actually about five miles southwest of Ashton, and, according to one Yelper, the drive to the cafe is very scenic. Make a pit stop here for plates of pancakes and crepes named after Idaho-based landmarks Upper and Lower Mesa Falls, and biscuits and gravy dishes named after Tear Drop Lake.

The Crepe Shop (Chicago, Illinois)

The crepe shopPhoto by Trishla S. via Yelp

The Crepe Shop serves up nine types of crepes, five of which are sweet and the other four are savory. On the sweet side, there are options such as the Butter Me Up Sugar and even a crepe that’s slathered in Biscoff creamy cookie butter. On the savory side, there is a lox variety, as well as a cheesy selection called “Formage A Trois.”

Bread Basket Cafe & Bakery (Danville, Indiana)

Bread basket cafe & bakeryPhoto by Cj U. via Yelp

On Saturday’s at Bread Basket Cafe & Bakery, breakfast is served all day, which means that you can indulge in their custom Cinnamon Roll French Toast or Peppery Pig Omelette up until 3 p.m. Also, is it just us or does it look like this cafe is located inside of an adorable house?

5 Borough Bagels (Clive, Iowa)

5 borough bagelsPhoto by E C. via Yelp

Would you believe that the most well-liked brunch place in Iowa is a spot that sells New York-style bagels? As the name suggests, 5 Borough Bagels dishes up bagel sandwiches that New Yorkers would fancy. On the menu, you’ll find options such as the Lox Deluxe, Sausage, Egg and Cheese on Bialy, and even a sandwich consisting of jalapeño cream cheese, ham, and fried onions called The Queens.

The Depot (Leavenworth, Kansas)

The depotPhoto by Crystal M. via Yelp

The Depot is Kansas’ top spot for brunch, known for serving up American breakfast classics. Such comfort foods include a dish called the Main Railway, which includes two eggs, hash browns, and either a serving of bacon, sausage, or ham. Of course, no such breakfast platter is complete without a slice of buttery toast or a scrumptious muffin on the side. If you’re in the Leavenworth area, make sure to try this meal, or any of its others, for brunch!

Con Huevos (Louisville, Kentucky)

Con huevosPhoto by Abby A. via Yelp

Would you like your Chilaquiles with eggs? No problem because Con Huevos (which is Spanish for “with eggs”) will happily add that onto literally any of its dishes if it’s not already included. Ten meals stack the restaurant’s brunch menu, including Chipotle Poached Huevos and even one called The Drunk Burrito.

Liz’s Where Y’at Diner (Mandeville, Louisiana)

Liz's where y'at dinerPhoto by Cara S. via Yelp

This beachy-looking shack will satisfy those hankerings for fresh seafood in the wee hours of the morning or mid-day. Liz’s Where Y’at Diner serves wicked egg scramblers, including one called The Bayou, which tosses Louisiana crawfish tails, onions, peppers, pepper jack cheese, and other ingredients in with three scrambled eggs.

Coffee ME Up (Portland, Maine)

Coffee me upPhoto by John B. via Yelp

From cappuccinos with teddy bear art to avocado, egg, and cheese sandwiches Coffee ME Up has got all that you need for a quick and casual brunch.

Waffie (Baltimore, Maryland)

WaffiePhoto by Kelly C. via Yelp

Waffie is the place to go if you’re in the mood for something sweet, and only something sweet. As the name would suggest, the restaurant specializes in fluffy dessert waffles. Here’s what one Yelp reviewer had to say about the waffles: “Each bite so addicting, it should be unlawful.”

JJ’s Caffe (Brockton, Massachusetts)

JJ's caffePhoto by Lorna F. via Yelp

Not only is JJ’s Caffe the top place for brunch in Massachusetts, but it’s also one of Yelp’s top 100 places to eat in the nation. Run by a dynamic father and son duo, JJ’s Caffe pumps out high-quality brunch options, including Salmon Benedict and Crème Brûlée French Toast.

Deboer Bakkerij (Holland, Michigan)

Deboer bakkerijPhoto by Leigh G. via Yelp

With funky menu items such as Hippy hash and Dulce Banana Rhumba French Toast, it’s no wonder Deboer Bakkerij is a go-to for those living in or near the Holland area.

Martina (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

MartinaSue S./Yelp

Minnesotans really lucked out with this restaurant. Martina whips up an intricate menu of high-class meals, including smoked salmon with burrata on an everything bagel that’s topped with salsa verde and pepitas. Several Yelp reviewers rave about the almond flour pancakes and the potato churros, too.

The Grind Coffee and Nosh (Biloxi, Mississippi)

The grindPhoto by The Grind via Yelp

Hit up The Grind Coffee and Nosh if you’re in the mood for treating yourself to a Legendary Cinnamon Roll, buttermilk biscuits, and, of course, a soft egg, sausage, and cheese croissant sandwich.

Scott’s Kitchen (Kansas City, Missouri)

Scott's kitchenPhoto by Scott's Kitchen via Yelp

Lovers of BBQ, brisket, and chorizo in and around the Kansas City metro area are no doubt fans of Scott’s Kitchen. Pop in for brunch and order the Housemade Chipotle Ghost Pepperjack Smoked Sausage tacos for a spicy midday meal, or—if you can’t the handle the heat—opt for a milder dish, such as the Turkey Bern Street Burrito.

Main Street Eats (East Helena, Montana)

Main-Street-EatsPhoto by Melina P. via Yelp

According to Yelp, the number one spot for brunch in Montana is Main Street Eats. Reviewers applaud the Biscuits and Gravy, Cinnamon Roll French Toast, and their selection of ginormous omelets. Also, it’s only about a six-mile drive away from downtown Helena, so if you’re around the state capital, you’ll be within close proximity to this little gem.

Green Beans Coffee (Omaha, Nebraska)

Green beans coffeePhoto by Green Beans Coffee via Yelp

If you’re a fan of simple breakfast options such as breakfast burritos, croissant sandwiches, and yogurt parfaits, this humble little cafe is for you. Green Beans Coffee is run by an Air Force veteran and his wife, and they donate a percentage of their sales to organizations that support the families of those who have lost a loved one in combat.

Zenaida’s Cafe (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Photo by Miko S. via Yelp

Gambling, glitz and glam, luxury shopping. These are just a few things that describe Las Vegas. Even the most determined tourists (and locals) need to refuel after hours of absorbing the intoxicating thrill of the city, and Zenaida’s Cafe happens to be the top pick for brunch in Nevada by Yelp reviewers. A favorite dish appears to be the Corn Beef Hash, according to reviews. Remember that as your stomach grumbles before hitting the town (or casino).

Tuckers (Hooksett, New Hampshire)

TuckersPhoto by Peter D. via Yelp

New Hampshire’s own Tuckers has an exhaustive list of breakfast dishes ranging from Belgian waffles, eggs Benedict, frittatas, and skillets. The restaurant also whips up a side dish called Red Quinoa Hash Browns for those who are gluten-free to still be able to indulge in that crispy potato treat.

JJ’s Diner (Pleasantville, New Jersey)

JJ's dinerPhoto by Jamey H. via Yelp

Described as small and cozy by Yelp reviewers, JJ’s Diner has accumulated a perfect five-star rating and 405 reviews for its comfort food-centric breakfast dishes.

2G’s Bistro (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

2G's bistroPhoto by Matimbo S. via Yelp

The quaint town of Albuquerque is home to New Mexico’s top-rated brunch spot: 2G’s Bistro. This old-fashioned restaurant, with its clay-like walls, fits in well with the numerous historic Adobe structures amid the city, and it’s menu embodies the Spanish culture that lives within it. Try the Huevos Rancheros or the Southwest Benedict to get a taste of such Spanish/western flair.

Dottie Audrey’s Bakery Kitchen (Tuxedo Park, New York)

Dottie audrey's bakery kitchenPhoto by Josh T. via Yelp

For one of the most affluent towns in the nation, it’s rather shocking that all of the breakfast items at the local restaurant are priced at under $15. Dottie Audrey’s Bakery Kitchen offers an extensive list of breakfast goods, including tartines and toasts, egg and meat-based dishes, and even a vegan chia pudding parfait.

Savorez (Wilmington, North Carolina)

SavorezPhoto by Jerry F. via Yelp

Is it just us, or does this restaurant almost look like it’s a hip bar? Not only is Savorez an aesthetically pleasing place to look at, but its brunch lineup is also pretty stellar. With options like Shrimp n Grits, Sam’s Green Eggs & Ham, and classic French Toast, the whole family is bound to find something they’re fond of.

Darcy’s Cafe (Grand Forks, North Dakota)

Darcy's cafePhoto by RunAway B. via Yelp

We get it, from the outside, Darcy’s Cafe doesn’t exactly reflect a chic brunch spot that you may see on Instagram. However, don’t judge a book by its cover! Reviewers rave about the corned beef hash, German sausage, and cinnamon roll pancakes.

Scotty’s Cafe (Columbus, Ohio)

Scotty's cafePhoto by Mark M. via Yelp

Dubbed, “The Best Little Cafe in Columbus, Ohio” is Scotty’s Cafe. A person passing through at first may be confused as to why this cafe is ranked as the best brunch spot in all of Ohio because it offers relatively standard lunch and breakfast items like a patty melt and a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich. However, it’s the quality in which these classic dishes are prepared that makes Scotty’s unrivaled. The catch? The cafe is closed on the weekends, so you’ll have to get your brunch and breakfast fix during the week. Long weekend, anyone?

Sid’s Diner (El Reno, Oklahoma)

Sid's dinerPhoto by Dan B. via Yelp

As if the outside of Sid’s Diner wasn’t inviting enough, wait until you hear about the breakfast options. Here’s what one Yelp reviewer recently had to say about Sid’s: “Breakfast was amazingly delicious. Got the ham, egg, and cheese on a biscuit. The ham was an inch thick.”

Ovation Coffee & Tea (Portland, Oregon)

Ovation coffee & teaPhoto by Osh K. via Yelp

Is it really any surprise that the best brunch spot in Oregon, according to Yelp, is located in the state’s trendiest town? While the food at Ovation appears to be amazing (it has garnered a 5-star rating and over 600 reviews), the selection of Moroccan drinks such as spiced coffee, pistachio latte, and mint tea, are what deserve a standing ovation.

Morgantown Coffee House (Elverson, Pennsylvania)

Morgantown coffee housePhoto by Gina T. via Yelp

Don’t let the name of this place confuse you. Morgantown Coffee House is in fact located in Pennsylvania, not West Virginia. This charming little brunch location offers a seasonal menu and rotating coffee list, so for a place that never has the same items to be deemed the top brunch spot in the state says a lot about the quality of meals they churn out.

Eddie’s Diner (Cranston, Rhode Island)

Eddies-DinerPhoto by Jay K. via Yelp

Known for serving generous portions at affordable prices, Eddie’s Diner is the number one place to go to in Rhode Island for a delicious brunch. With five different flavors of buttermilk pancakes and Texas French toast and a whopping 23 omelet variations, even the pickiest eater will have a hard time not finding something they will enjoy.

Maple Street Biscuit Company (Greenville, South Carolina)

Maple street biscuit company - greenvillePhoto by Grace H. via Yelp

On Maple Street Biscuit’s website, it says, “We’re all about fresh, natural, and homemade.” And they’re not kidding. With biscuits made fresh in house every day, dishes cooked with only all-natural chicken, and homemade jams and jellies, this restaurant lives up to its word.

El Columpio (Mitchell, South Dakota)

El columpioPhoto by Rebekah O. via Yelp

Located right next to a Holiday Inn Express, El Columpio is the perfect place to grab brunch while visiting Mitchell, South Dakota. Yelp reviewers appreciate the great service, variety of menu options, giant portions, and reasonable prices. What more could you want?

Crockett’s 1875 Breakfast Camp (Gatlinburg, Tennessee)

Crockett's 1875 breakfast campPhoto by Todd O. via Yelp

Crockett’s 1875 Breakfast Camp has more reviews on Yelp than any other brunch spot on this list at just over 1,000. This Yelp review may help explain why: “There are places that are so good that keep you awake at night trying to figure out when you can go again. Crockett’s is one of those places. So much so, that I truly believe it is the best breakfast I have ever had.” With many reviews similar to this one, it’s no wonder it’s the top brunch spot in the state. One of the more popular dishes is the meat lover’s Black Bear Camp Skillet, which consists of strips of pecan-smoked bacon, country or sugar-cured ham, sausage, and two eggs any style.

Granny’s Tacos (Austin, Texas)

Granny's tacosPhoto by Michael M. via Yelp

Tacos for brunch? Yes, please! An adorable taco truck called Granny’s Tacos takes the title as the best place for brunch in Texas. Surprised? So were we. Apparently, their breakfast tacos are pretty tasty, and each one only costs between $2.50-$3.00. Granny’s Tacos also serves homemade salsas and made-from-scratch corn tortillas.

Cupla Coffee (Salt Lake City, Utah)

Cupla coffeePhoto by Justin B. via Yelp

Here’s how Cupla Coffee’s website describes its coffee selection: “Small single batch roastery serving different organic beans from around the world.”  What’s more is that the cafe’s in-house bakery makes bread and pastries that those who follow a vegan, paleo, keto, and gluten-free diet can savor.

Butler’s Pantry Breakfast (Stowe, Vermont)

Butler's pantry breakfastPhoto by Suzanne T. via Yelp

Butler’s Pantry Breakfast is the restaurant that sits within one of New England’s most scenic mountain villages, available for a passerby to come in and spend the night. With dishes consisting of maple sausage, homemade biscuits, and even an açaí bowl, this little restaurant will satisfy all of your brunch needs.

Simply Social Coffee (Fairfax, Virginia)

Simply social coffeePhoto by Esther S. via Yelp

As the name of this place indicates, the menu at Simply Social Coffee is quite simple, with dishes labeled as straightforward as “Eggs and Breakfast Meat on Toast.” It’s described by reviewers as a cozy coffee shop with delicious pastries and small plates. Sounds simply amazing to us!

Tibbitts @ Fern Hill (Tacoma, Washington)

Tibbitts @ fern illPhoto by Mike K. via Yelp

Tibbitts @ Fern Hill may not look all that alluring on the outside, but the menu is stacked with good stuff. The breakfast looks especially delectable. One such menu item includes a dish called the Meat and Gravy Bomb, which is a savory plate that includes a hearty mix of herbed sausage gravy, scrambled eggs, potatoes, greens, pepper jack cheese, and candied bacon.

The Grind (Morgantown, West Virginia)

The grindPhoto by The Grind via Yelp

The Grind is the place to go for maple lattes and kaiser roll sammies stacked with egg, cheese, and turkey.

5th and Jefferson Coffee House (Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin)

5th and jefferson coffee housePhoto by Connie W. via Yelp

Burritos, old fashioned oats, scones, and Belgian waffles. That basically sums up the mouthwatering breakfast menu offered at this quaint coffee house in Wisconsin. At this place, you truly feel like you’re at home. Why? 5th and Jefferson was formerly a residential home that was converted into the popular coffee house it is today.

Persephone Bakery (Jackson, Wyoming)

Persephone bakeryPhoto by Sarah C. via Yelp

Pop into Persephone’s Boulangerie & Cafe for avocado bowls, porridge, and even a plate called Rose Water Sweet Waffles. Of course, no brunch in the winter time is complete without a piping hot beverage. Select from a variety of warm drinks, including an anti-inflammatory turmeric latte or a tea and lavender-flavored latte called the London Fog.

Now, it’s time to get brunching!

The post The Best Brunch Spot in Every State appeared first on Eat This Not That.

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It’s a sweetly known fact that every year McDonald’s rolls out its cult classic mint green Shamrock Shake just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Plenty of devoted McDonald’s loyal customers anticipate the minty shake’s arrival, which hits menus nationwide in mid-February and only sticks around for a limited time. This year, the festive drink will be sold all the way up until Sunday, March 24, but how much do you really know about the shake—and what exactly is in it?

The timeless frozen treat has actually been around for a few decades; it was originally called the St. Patrick’s Day Shake back when it debuted in 1970, and in 2014, more than 60 million Shamrock Shakes were estimated to have been sold since its inception. You can only imagine what that number has climbed to now. People clearly love the drink and earnestly look forward to it. Take this tweet as evidence:

As a food and nutrition site, we felt like it was our duty though to break down exactly what a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake is made of and let you in on what’s in it. To do this properly, we consulted Maryann Walsh, MFN, RD, CDE Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, for more insight.

What exactly is in a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake?

“The Shamrock Shake is a sugar bomb at 63 grams of sugar and 74 grams of carbs for a small,” says Walsh. That’s as much sugar as 16 sugar packets, she says. “While a majority of its 460 calories come from the carbs and sugar, it also has 13 grams of fat and 8 grams of saturated fat.”

You’re also probably wondering what makes the drink green, right? It’s a combination of artificial colors, specifically Yellow 5 and Blue 1. That green hue doesn’t happen with natural mint—it comes from something simply called Shamrock Shake syrup! The other two ingredients: vanilla reduced fat ice cream and whipped light cream.

“One of these as a super indulgent treat shouldn’t do much harm, but regular consumption could surely start to pack on the pounds,” says Walsh. It’s best to enjoy the festive drink in moderation, folks.

RELATED: The science-backed way to curb your sweet tooth in 14 days.

What would be a healthier dessert option to get at McDonald’s and why?

“As a dietitian that is not anti-Mickey D’s, I am a big fan of their vanilla soft serve cone. While it’s not particularly low in sugar or carbs [with] 24 grams of sugar and 32 grams of total carbs, it has 5 grams of fat and 5 grams of protein, and comes in at 200 calories,” says Walsh. “It’s not a horrible option when you are craving a sweet frozen treat.”

Walsh says an even better way to satisfy your cold, creamy craving would be to order the ice cream in a cup, or, if the McDonald’s near you allows this, get the kiddie size. “The kiddie cone comes in at 45 calories, 6 grams of sugar, 8 grams carbs and 1 gram of fat.” That’s about a quarter of the calories, and notably less sugar, carbs, and fat!

How can you make a healthier Shamrock Shake at home?

“You can make your own lighter Shamrock Shake at home! You can use light ice cream or your favorite vanilla protein powder with mint extract—extracts add zero calories and sugar,” says Walsh. There you have it—the nutritional breakdown of the festive drink, as well as a recipe for a DIY Shamrock Shake so you can get festive this year without doing any damage to your waistline.

The post Here’s What’s Really Inside the McDonald’s Shamrock Shake appeared first on Eat This Not That.

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When you tell your health-conscious friends or colleagues that you’re heading to a place like McDonald’s or even Taco Bell for lunch, you may get an eye roll—and maybe for good reason, especially now with new information that has been revealed. A study found that fast food has gotten more unhealthy over the years and what you’re eating today is nothing like what was served up in a drive-thru in the 1980s.

Fast food has earned a bad reputation over the years, largely because of its large portion sizes, high fat and sodium contents, and processed ingredients. This is of great concern for Americans with the adult obesity rate currently sitting at an all-time high. According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, about 40 percent of U.S. adults are obese. Eating fast food regularly is a large contributor to this ever-growing obesity rate, and it’s interesting to note that there was a time when quick service food didn’t pose as much as a threat to Americans’ health as it does today.

How is fast food unhealthier today than it was in years past?

study recently published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that entrées served at the top 10 fast-food giants (based off of sales) have increased in portion size by 39 grams, which is equivalent to about 90 calories, since 1986. While 90 calories may not seem like a huge number, think about how that number multiplies based off of how often you consume fast food. Let’s say an individual eats one fast-food meal, without any sides, once a week. That person consumes about 4,680 calories more per year from that one fast food meal alone than they would have in 1986. In addition, fast-food entrées contain roughly 13.8 percent more sodium than they did three decades ago.

RELATED: Easy, healthy, 350-calorie recipe ideas you can make at home.

How was this study conducted?

In order to deduce this hike in calories and sodium over the past 30 year years, researchers analyzed menu items at fast-food restaurants Arby’s, Burger King, Carl’s Jr., Dairy Queen, Hardee’s, Jack in the Box, KFC, Long John Silver’s, McDonald’s, and Wendy’s, from the years 1986, 1991, and 2016. The lead author of the study, Dr. Megan A. McCrory of the Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at Boston University, reports, “It’s the longest-spanning and most in-depth look at fast food’s caloric energy and nutrient makeup, decade over decade, that has ever been conducted.”

What else did researchers find?

McCrory and her band of researchers found that the number of menu items offered at these respective chains combined increased by 226 percent. They also found that entrées, on average, increased by 13 grams, or 30 calories each decade—and that’s not even the category that witnessed the biggest caloric hike. Desserts have increased by 186 calories, or 72 grams, since 1986. Even sides like French fries saw an increase of 42 calories and 11.7 percent more sodium.

The addition of salads to fast-food menus over the years doesn’t cut it, either. When you factor in the amount of dressing, unhealthy add-ins, oversized portions of meat, and cheese, fast food salads might not end up being much better than that burger. There’s a lot more change that needs to be made, and hopefully soon, as a lot of Americans eat at these fast-food places often. In a presentation about the study’s findings, McCrory said that in the U.S. about 37 percent of adults at least 20 years old eat fast food on any given day, and 45 percent of adults between the ages of 20 and 39 do the same.

So what can be done to prevent the obesity rate from escalating any further? Researchers proposed that fast-food restaurants offer smaller portion sizes, or, even more extreme, introduce a calorie taxation. Imagine what would happen if you had to pay a tax on higher calorie meals. You likely wouldn’t be as tempted to order that Big Mac with fries and a large soda…

The post Fast Food Is Actually Unhealthier Today Than It Was in the 80s appeared first on Eat This Not That.

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football helmet on football field

Players in the Tiny Mite (5 to 7), Mitey Mite (7 to 9) and Junior Pee Wee (8 to 10) divisions will no longer place their hands on the ground when they line up for the ball snap.
Players in those divisions will no longer place their hands on the ground when they line up for the ball snap

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Whether you’re a die-hard fan of deep dish or zealous for thin-crust, everyone has a go-to best pizza place. And most often, these premium pizza spots serve up more than just your average cheese pie—it’s the specialty slices that keep us coming back.

To find out which pizza shops were tops across America, we tapped our friends at Yelp who gladly supplied the data on the best pizza shop in every state. To come to these findings, Yelp sorted through its “Pizza” category and strategically chose the best spot using an algorithm that takes into account both the number of reviews and star rating for each business. Find out which pizzeria reigns king in every state, and then don’t miss The Best Brunch in Every State for your weekend fun, too.

The Forge Pizzeria (Foley, Alabama)

The forge pizzeriaThe Forge Pizzeria/Yelp

The Heart of the Dixie loves its comforting fare—but fried green tomatoes and country fried steak aren’t the only eats on their list. The Forge Pizzeria in Foley is notorious for loading its pies with thick sauce, piling on the fresh toppings, and then infusing it all with a subtle smokiness via a steamy brick oven.

Little Mermaid (Homer, Alaska)

Little mermaid pizzaQuyen R./Yelp

Homer is home to the quaint little blue shop stretching out deep into Kachemak Bay. Little Mermaid keeps Alaskans coming back with its innovative spins on pizza pies including the Thai Chicken with peanut satay and the Merman, which loads the dough with two types of barbecue sauce.

Home Slice Pizza Company (Prescott Valley, Arizona)

Home slice pizza company barbecue chicken pizzaHome Slice Pizza Company/Yelp

Yelper George C. deems this Prescott Valley shop’s pies the best pizza in town. “I’ve had pizza all over and starting from the first view, they care and know flavor. The crust is thin and perfectly baked (most thin crust pizzas get too dry and crunchy) and you enjoy every bite.”

MELD Kitchen + Sandwich Bar (Bentonville, Arkansas)

Meld kitchen pizzaGary B./Yelp

The minimalist shop’s namesake may be sandwiches, but consider the freshly baked pizza at MELD Kitchen + Sandwich Bar a hidden gem. When stopping at the Bentonville shop, choose between wholesome options such as the Grilled Vegetable pie with sauteed purple onions or splurge on the ultra-indulgent Grilled Steak 12-inch with an alfredo base and velvety goat cheese on top.

Oaktown Cafe (Oakland, California)

Oaktown cafe pizzaOaktown Cafe/Yelp

Oakland’s visitors and locals alike return to Oaktown Cafe for its fresh pies that never disappoint. “I took home a personal pizza that was very good,” Yelp user Mr. Fox E. recalls. “It tasted honest. What I mean is the ingredients and toppings didn’t taste canned or processed. This makes me feel better about what I am buying to eat.” And don’t we all need a little reassurance?

Pickup’s Pizza Company (Eagle, Colorado)

The uptruck pickups pizza companyKevin L./Yelp

Just a quick drive off the I-70, folks flock to Pickup’s pizza joint en route to adventures on the state’s scenic mountains and hiking trails. And what better way to fuel up on the fly than with a lasagna-themed pie?

Big Green Truck (New Haven, Connecticut)

Big green truck mashed potato bacon pizza with caramelized onionsEmily D./Yelp

Much like the food trucks that litter the streets of many northeastern metropolises, New Haven is home to an antique mobile pizzeria called Big Green Truck that’s uniquely clad with a brick oven for fresh pizzas on the spot. Talk about a tasty rest stop!

Pomodoro Pizzeria (Bethany Beach, Delaware)

Pomodoro pizzeria half cheese half margarita pizzaMelissa L./Yelp

Pomodoro is nestled on the Bethany Beach boardwalk, tempting both runners and strollers to stop in for cheesy fare. Reviewers often compare this beachside gem to its competitor, Grotto’s, but it’s pretty clear that the Pomodoro’s affordable, fresh-out-the-oven New York-style pies take the cake.

Magdalena’s Pizzeria (Tampa, Florida)

Magdalenas pizza florida olive pepper sausageDoug R./Yelp

Leave it to the Sunshine State’s favorite pizzeria to brighten up your day. From classic cheese to a chicken Florentine pie, Magdalena’s offers up both traditional red-and-white rounds to pies as colorful as the Wynwood Walls.

Pi-bytes (Stone Mountain, Georgia)

Pi-bytes georgiaMara E./Yelp

Georgians are peachy keen for Pi-bytes‘ homemade pizza dough and farm-fresh toppings. The dessert-loving state’s Stone Mountain location seals the meal with bite-sized turtle cheesecake and Bailey’s bourbon pies.

Live Fire Pizza (Kapaa, Hawaii)

Live fire pizza hawaii goat cheese pestoBronson Y./Yelp

The Aloha State wholeheartedly welcomes meaty Smokehouse and coal-fired White pizza pies at Live Fire. Whether you stop in for a post-surf bite or pregame a hike on Ho’opi’i Falls, the Kapaa-based shop wins the hearts of Hawaiians.

Embers By The Lake (Hauser, Idaho)

Embers by the lake kids pizza cheese idahoS G./Yelp

Hauser houses what sounds like Cinderella’s go-to restaurant in Embers By the Lake—and the charming, woodsy exterior and coal-baked slices are nothing short of a fairytale.

Stix n Brix Wood Fired Pizza (Chicago, Illinois)

Stix n brix wood fired pizza illinois veggie pizzaStix n Brix Wood Fired Pizza/Yelp

Chicago’s Stix n Brix offers mouthwatering fare to both traditionalists and experimentalists. When visiting the brick and mortar, don’t step out without ordering the homemade tiramisu. And if you’re watching your waistline, you’ll be happy to know that the Chi-town shop doesn’t offer the notoriously uber-indulgent deep dish!

Iechyd Da Brewing Company (Elkhart, Indiana)

Iechyd da brewing company indianaJustin K./Yelp

Elkhart’s go-to Iechyd Da Brewing Company receives As across the food and ambiance boards. “Worth the trip every time. Probably my favorite pizza in the area, amazing beers, awesome salads and apps. This place is a loud, fun, exciting atmosphere. Great place to hang out and play a game (they have a bunch). Patio is great. Can’t say enough good things,” Meg L.  exclaims.

RELATED: Easy, healthy, 350-calorie recipe ideas you can make at home.

Simon’s (Des Moines, Iowa)

Simon's pizzeria iowaAshley B./Yelp

Praised for its intimate ambience and piping hot pizza, Simon’s reigns as the most popular pizza spot in the state.

MOD Pizza (Olathe, Kansas)

Mod pizzeria kansasMOD Pizzeria/Yelp

While the fast-casual was founded in Washington state, Olathe residents and newcomers frequent the MOD Pizza shop for its customizable pies, gluten-free crusts and arguably the best toppings, which you can enjoy unlimited.

Old School NY Pizza (Louisville, Kentucky)

Old school ny pizza kentucky pepperoniJonathon B./Yelp

As the birthplace of one of the most popular poultry chains in America, we’re quite surprised that fried chicken isn’t an available topping at Old School. Despite the discrepancy, you can still find delicious add-ons such as chunky artichokes, roasted red peppers and even potatoes on the menu.

Bistro Italia (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)

Bistro italia louisianaConley B./Yelp

Marked by French Creole landmarks and the Mississippi River, you can find Bistro Italia at the heart of Baton Rouge. Pair your pie with a chunk of focaccia or classic beignets.

Coletti’s Pizza Factory (Biddeford, Maine)

Colletti's pizza factory maine cheese pizzaColletti's Pizza Factory/Yelp

This five-star rated restaurant adorns its pies with top-notch ingredients such as wild broccoli, organic onions, and homemade sausage. “Coletti’s is the real deal and the closest thing you will find in Maine to real Italian pizza,” Paul M. asserts.

Joe Benny’s (Baltimore, Maryland)

Joe benny's sharini pizza marylandLaura P./Yelp

A visit to Baltimore’s Little Italy is sure to invigorate all your senses from the picturesque hand-painted storefronts to freshly-baked focaccia aromas wafting through winding roads. Put the camera down to enjoy a slice at Joe Benny’s.

Ciao! Pizza & Pasta (Chelsea, Massachusetts)

Ciao pizza and pasta roasted chicken massachusetts pizzaDonald S./Yelp

Whether you’re grabbing a bite before a Red Sox game or walking the Freedom Trail, paying a visit to Ciao! Pizza & Pasta should be at the top of your to-do list. Yelpers go crazy for the Neapolitan-style pizza, fig jam, and cappuccino.

Detroit Frankie’s Wood Fired Brick Oven (Lansing, Michigan)

Detroit frankies wood fired brick oven michiganDetroit Frankie's Wood Fired Brick Oven/Yelp

Because Michigan is shaped like an oven mitt, we can only expect the state to house some of the best pizza around. Lansing locals can’t get enough of the pizza at Detroit Frankie’s Wood Fired Brick Oven, and keep coming back for the specialty Jammer bread with red pepper jelly, cream cheese and mozzarella.

Zuppa Cucina (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

Zuppa cucina pizza flatbreadZuppa Cucina/Yelp

Hidden southwest of downtown Minneapolis, an epicenter for baked goods like bread, Zuppa Cucina is no exception to the city’s specialty.

TriBecca Allie Cafe (Sardis, Mississippi)

Tribecca alley cafe white pizza blanca MississippiJeff D./Yelp

The Magnolia State’s TriBecca Allie Cafe‘s owners moved from New York to the south to serve up some of the best hand-tossed pies in the 50 states. You can’t go wrong with the Magnolia Rosa Insalata, which won second place in the American Pizza Championship.

Melo’s Pizzeria (St. Louis, Missouri)

Melo's pizzeria missouri provel sausage pepperoniAndrew M./Yelp

“All Melo’s does is pizza, so it is focused on quality. Its beautiful, small blue-tiled pizza oven comes from Italy and provides a perfect wood-fired crust in just five minutes. My pizza’s white sauce had a great rich and garlicky flavor. The crust is hand stretched when you order, and it was nice and bubbly on the edges with a good chew,” Doug M. of the St. Louis spot.

Monte Carlo Pizza (Glendive, Montana)

Monte carlo pizza montana mediterranean veggieJulie C./Yelp

Monte Carlo‘s chopped salads and the international-inspired appetizers are ranked highly, but it’s the mouthwatering selection of crisp and generously-topped pizzas that’s the crown jewel in the Treasure State.

Tasty Pizza (Omaha, Nebraska)

Tasty pizza nebraskaBlayne Y./Yelp

Omaha may be known for its juicy steaks, but the town’s Tasty Pizza can’t be beat. The hospitable staff allows diners to grate their own Parm straight from the wheel and even accommodated to one keto Yelper’s low-carb needs.

Smiling With Hope Pizza (Reno, Nevada)

Smiling with hope pizza nevada ny ricottaVeeVee N./Yelp

“This place has really great pizza and I was happy to fork out some dough for some really good dough. Tasty pepperoni, sausage, and mushroom NY-style pizza is my new “go-to” pizza. Seriously, why would you go anywhere else?” says Paul P. of Smiling With Hope Pizza.

Tilton House of Pizza (Tilton, New Hampshire)

Tilton house of pizza new hampshire white balsamic chicken pizzaTracy D./Yelp

Take a lunch break while strolling historic downtown Tilton at this charming little gem, Tilton House. The slices sail beyond regular ol’ Margherita, featuring pies topped with charred steak, broccoli Alfredo, and briny feta.

Double Zero Pizza (Fairfield, New Jersey)

Double zero margarita pizza new jerseyJoe B./Yelp

Expect the most popular pizza shop in the Garden State, Double Zero Pizza, to pack its veggie pie with earthy porcinis, chewy artichokes, and roasted red peppers. Are you salivating yet?

Straight Up Pizza (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

Straight up pizza new mexico olivesMonica S./Yelp

The little shop in New Mexico’s largest city is busting with spot-on slices and calzones fit to feed a tiny village. Diners go nuts for the pull-apart dough and toppings so abundant they overflow past the crust’s thick edge at Straight Up Pizza.

Paladar Brazilian BBQ & Pizzeria (New York, New York)

Paladar brazilian bbq and pizzeria new yorkJuliana C./Yelp

Right off the FDR in East Harlem, the Brazilian pizzeria has become a staple for hungry festival goers trekking home from Randall’s Island to the locals who spend their lunch breaks here with the friendly staff.

Maggie Valley Sandwich Shop (Maggie Valley, North Carolina)

Maggie valley sandwich shop north carolinaBrindley F./Yelp

Spot doesn’t have to sit this one in: This Maggie Valley trattoria is praised for its dog-friendly outdoor seating as well as the baked flatbread pizza crafted with favorites such as crispy pepperoni and oodles of cheese.

Fireflour Pizza + Coffee Bar (Bismarck, North Dakota)

Fireflour pizza and coffee bar north dakota daisy bianca americano pizzasFireflour Pizza+Coffee Bar/Yelp

Whether you stop in for a bite or a sip, leave it to Fireflour to spruce up your lunch and coffee breaks. The owners specially imported the one-stop shop’s dome-shaped oven from Naples, hand-stretches its own mozzarella in-house, and serves up simple Americanos as well as lattes via its handcrafted espresso machines.

Cozzeria Pizzeria (Elyria, Ohio)

Cozzeria pizzeria ohioCozzeria Pizzeria/Yelp

“One of the best pizza places around, and run by great people! Always friendly service! One of the rare treasures of Elyria!” Jeremy S. promises, adding that the pierogi pizza is a must at Cozzeria.

Giorgio’s Pizzeria (Shawnee, Oklahoma)

Giorgios pizzeria oklahomaMatt P./Yelp

This pizza joint in Shawnee, OK, is always packed, but Yelp customers swear their hand-thrown crust is worth the wait. Their signature Greek slice is a fan favorite, piled high with mozzarella, spinach, chicken, artichoke, bell peppers, onions, tomato, kalamata olives, bacon, and feta cheese—now that’s a mouthful!

Oregon Wood Fired Pizza (Eugene, Oregon)

Oregon wood fired pizzaJulie G./Yelp

Check out this spot in Eugene for thin crust served up with a smile! Yelp customers rave about owner Gary, and highly recommend using Oregon Wood Fired Pizza to cater your next special occasion—from family reunions to weddings.

Luna Rossa (Milford, Pennsylvania)

Luna rosa pizzeria pennsylvaniaChris K./Yelp

Luna Rossa in Milford, PA, is known for their great prices and five-dollar lunch special steals. Try the Luna Rossa specialty pie for a flavor blast of ham, salami, pepperoni, provolone, and roasted peppers.

Lanna Thai & Speederia Pie (Pawtucket, Rhode Island)

Lanna thai and speederia pizza rhoda island green pepper pepperoni onionLanna Thai & Speederia Pizza/Yelp

Mixing pizza and Thai in one restaurant is a hard concept to grasp for some skeptical foodies, but Yelp reviewers have confirmed that this Pawtucket restaurant pulls off the duo. Their NY-style pizza comes in huge slices and features specialities like the big apple pizza, which is topped with mozzarella, bacon, and pineapple.

Tato’s Pizzeria (Mauldin, South Carolina)

Tato's pizzeria south carolinaRichard F./Yelp

Check out Tato’s in Mauldin for a Columbia-style pizza topped with chorizo, sweet corn, chicharron, sweet plantain, mozzarella, and condensed milk. A pro-tip from Yelp fans: Treat yourself midweek and order in on Wednesdays for 30 percent off your pizza.

Independent Ale House (Rapid City, South Dakota)

Independent ale house pizza south dakota three pigs pizzaChad F./Yelp

If you ever find yourself in Rapid City, stopping by the Independent Ale House for its Three Little Pigs pie is an absolute must. The indie favorite comes with tomato sauce, blended cheeses, pepperoni, sausage, and of course, a generous serving of bacon.

Skyking Pizza (Kingston Springs, Tennessee)

Skyking pizza tennesseeRachel M./Yelp

This Kingston Springs spot boasts the best fresh Margherita pie around, and it’s modern decor makes for the perfect Instagram opportunity. Save room in your stomach and camera roll, though, because Yelp users say the restaurant’s signature dessert—a decadent chocolate chip cookie skillet oozing with hot fudge and topped with two heaping scoops of vanilla ice cream—is an absolute must-try.

Ashay’s Pizza (Houston, Texas)

Ashay's pizza texasAshay's Pizza/Yelp

Texas embodies BBQ’ed meats while this Houston pizza joint is, unsurprisingly, most famous for its chicken barbecue slice. Piled high with a cheese blend, chicken, bacon, and onions and slathered in housemade smokey BBQ sauce, it’s no wonder this pizza is a house favorite.

Dixie Pizza Wagon (Hurricane, Utah)

Dixie pizza wagon pizza utah hawaiian pineapple mushroomSharla N./Yelp

These pizza pies are served up in Hurricane, Utah, and are cooked in a stone oven on wheels! Try the Italian Cowboy for a barbecue flavor blast of mozzarella, red onion, and barbecue bacon that will have you salivating and your tummy happy the whole trip home from the Dixie Pizza Wagon.

Brothers Pizza & Grill (Lynchburg, Virginia)

Brothers pizza and grill virginia hand tossed pizzaBrothers Pizza & Grill/Yelp

The meat lovers pie at this Lynchburg Italian and Greek grill piles on ham, sausage, pepperoni, bacon, and beef. These may not be on our list for best cuts of meat for weight loss, but they are perfect for a protein-packed treat!

Williamsville Eatery (Williamsville, Vermont)

Williamsville eatery vermont cheese pizzaJeff K./Yelp

Located in an old general store in Williamsville, this eatery has a history as rich as it’s farm fresh cuisine. Yelp customers recommend the Fe-Fi-Fo Fig pizza (a mouthful, we know), a white pie with wine-poached organic figs, Jasper Hill Bayley Hazen Blue, wood-fire caramelized onions, Vermont nitrate-free bacon, fresh spinach, and Parmesan.

The Strait Slice Pizza (Port Angeles, Washington)

The strait slice pizza washington pepporini baconLavanya N./Yelp

Another bargain pizza, this Port Angeles restaurant gives pizza lovers more bang for their buck with colossal slices and generous topping portions. With traditional red sauce, mozzarella, spinach, kalamata olives, house-roasted garlic, and a dollop of ricotta, the club med is a fan favorite.

Dolce Vita (Kenosha, Wisconsin)

Dolce vita wisconsin mac n cheese pizzaCarol D./Yelp

Self proclaimed “pizza snobs” boast about this Kenosha pizza parlor‘s thin crust slice. If you go in to grab some, the proud staff will convince you to try your slice on the spot because “hot fresh pizza is the best!,” says Russ R.

Pies & Pints Pizzeria (Fayetteville, West Virginia)

Pies and pints pizzeraScott C./Yelp

If you are looking for a craft beer and great piece of pizza, look no further. Pies & Pints—the best pizza shop in Fayetteville, West Virginia—offers the best of both with specialties like Grape and Gorgonzola, Chicken Gouda, Thai, and Mediterranean Shrimp.

Pizza Carrello (Gillette, Wyoming)

Pizza carrello the dazzle berry zorba the greekAlana T./Yelp

Forget about a greasy pizza slice! This pizza parlor in Gillette, Wyoming, offers only the freshest slices with ingredients hailing straight from the farm. Menu favorites include the Dazzle Berry, which is topped with house-made ricotta, smoked ham, and a spicy raspberry compote as well as the Late Breakfast pie complete with a cage-free egg. Next, find out what’s The Most Popular Pizza Topping in Every State.

The post The Most Popular Pizza Shop in Every State appeared first on Eat This Not That.

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Curer of colds, warmer of hearts, soother of souls: Chicken noodle soup does everything a comfort food is supposed to do, and does so without a hefty caloric price tag. But steer clear of canned chicken soup: Not only is it sparse on chicken and vegetables, but a single cup can also carry up to half a day’s worth of sodium. Our version is light on the salt, but it’s so loaded with chunky vegetables and shredded chicken that it could be dinner on its own. While you’re at it, double the recipe and make some to freeze for later. That way, when you’re sick in bed, all you need is a microwave to have yourself some nourishing soup.

Nutrition:
225 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated), 720 mg sodium

Serves 6

You’ll Need

1⁄2 Tbsp olive oil
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled
12 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 bay leaf
2 cups shredded leftover chicken
2 oz dried egg noodles
Salt and black pepper to taste
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

How to Make It

  1. Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, until the vegetables just begin to soften.
  3. Add the stock and bay leaf and cook over low heat for about 15 minutes, until the carrots are just tender.
  4. Add the chicken and noodles and continue cooking for about 5 minutes, just until the noodles are soft.
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper if necessary.
  6. Discard the bay leaf and garlic clove. Garnish with parsley before serving, if using.

Eat This Tip

How to Make Homemade Chicken Stock

Store-bought stock works just fine for every recipe in the book, but nothing compares to the flavor of a home-cooked batch. Combine scraps of chicken (back, wings, even bones from a roast chicken) with a mirepoix (onions, carrots, and celery) and herbs (bay leaf and parsley), cover with plenty of water, and simmer for an hour. Add depth by mixing in garlic, mushrooms, or even a bit of tomato paste before simmering.

RELATED: The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.

The post Best-Ever Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe appeared first on Eat This Not That.

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Many of us grew up in homes where soda was the go-to beverage of choice for family dinners and school celebrations. Nowadays, parents across the nation are shamed if they’re seen sipping the stuff—or worse—serving it to their little ones.

And it’s not your imagination. Sugary and diet drinks have indeed become taboo, which has resulted in fewer people drinking soda. Sales of carbonated soft drinks in America have dropped for 11 consecutive years, with consumption of the bubbly stuff hitting a 30-year low earlier this year, according to a 2017 report from Beverage Digest as reported by Forbes.

So why aren’t we all losing weight and shedding belly fat? Soda has been named public enemy number one, so it’s only logical to assume if we all stay away from Coca-Cola, Sprite, and Dr. Pepper, the pounds will melt away—and in theory, that’s 100 percent true. However, there’s one big problem: Very few of us are swapping soda for plain ol’ H2O. Instead, we’re looking to other beverages like juices and flavored waters to fill the void. While many of these soda alternatives market themselves as the “healthier choice,” that’s not always the case.

That’s why the Eat This, Not That! team ventured to beverage aisles, restaurants, and coffee shops near and far, with the goal of uncovering the unhealthiest drinks on the planet. Some obvious things like orange soda made the list, but we’d bet there are a number of other sips you’ve never been suspicious of that are filled with sludge you’d never knowingly want inside your body. Read on to get in the know, and then toss out any junky drinks that are lingering in your kitchen. And while you’re at it, you may as well get rid of these unhealthiest foods on the planet, too!

1

Cranberry Juice Cocktail

Cranberry juice cocktailShutterstock

Did you know that cranberries are the fruit that is lowest in sugar? It’s true! So how can something so good for you turn bad? Easy. Let the juice industry get a hold of it. Because cranberries are so tart, Ocean Spray (the cranberry juice company) even wrote in an official letter to the FDA that, “cranberries … are naturally low in sugar, giving them a distinctly tart, astringent, and even unpalatable taste.” Because of their “unpalatable taste,” companies load up their cranberry juice with sugar—and lots of it. One cup of Ocean Spray cranberry juice cocktail contains 25 grams of sugar.

Drink This! Instead: The 100% Cranberry Juice from Ocean Spray isn’t much better (it has 28 grams of sugar per serving), the only difference is that cocktail is sweetened with cane sugar and the other is sweetened with fruit juices. To really cut back on the sweet stuff, we recommend diluting your serving with an equal amount of water.

2

Chocolate Milk

Chocolate milkShutterstock

Unless you’re downing a glass of chocolate milk as a post-workout drink after a heart-thumping, sweat-inducing workout, be aware that chocolate milk isn’t the innocuous lunchbox treat we came to love as kids. One 8-ounce bottle of Nesquik has 21 grams of sugar (plus artificial flavors).

3

Orange Drinks

Sunny d tangy originalCourtesy of SunnyD

Just how Velveeta isn’t real cheese, Sunny D isn’t actual juice; it’s just a mix of water, high fructose corn syrup, and a few token dribbles of juice concentrates, canola oil, and chemicals. Their tagline may be “When life gives you oranges, make Sunny D,” but don’t be fooled, there’s hardly any oranges in the bottle—which is why it has zero nutritional benefits.

4

Tomato Juice

Tomato juiceShutterstock

Tomatoes may be an antioxidant-rich fruit, but any benefits they may provide to you are lost once they’re juiced and bottled. Regular tomato juices aren’t really flavorful on their own, so brands have to load them up with sodium—680 milligrams worth in every Campbell’s cup. That’s 30 percent of your daily value of sodium in just one glass.

5

Shelf-Stable Cold-Pressed Juices

Juice cleanse plastic bottlesShutterstock

Why are cold-pressed juices so cherished? It’s because the cold-press process preserves the delicate, good-for-you antioxidants and micronutrients found the fruits and vegetables you’re pulverizing. Juices are already on our naughty list, as they tend to be high in sugar and low in digestion-slowing, blood-sugar-balancing fiber; however, juices get even worse when they’re shelf-stable. To make juices shelf-stable, companies pasteurize the product, which kills off any remaining semblance of a healthy drink.

6

Chocolate Drinks

Yoo hoo chocolate drink

You might think, “hey, isn’t that the same as chocolate milk?” But the answer, dear reader, is no. Brands like Yoo-Hoo are not chocolate milk by the FDA’s definition of the term because it’s not really milk. The first ingredient listed is water, followed by high fructose corn syrup and then isolated whey protein (from milk). The rest of the shelf-stable drink is some cocoa powder, dry milk powder, artificial flavors, corn syrup solids, and palm oil. If you’re not turned off by the ingredients, maybe the 19 grams of corn syrup (in a smaller-than-average 6.5-ounce serving) will deter you from sipping one of these drinks again.

7

Shelf-Stable Kombucha

KombuchaShutterstock

Kombucha is a probiotic drink that’s teeming with live probiotic cultures that are beneficial for gut health. But if you buy your kombucha off a shelf—and not from the refrigerator—that’s a sign that what you’re about to drink isn’t the real stuff. These pasteurized drinks, like those from búcha, kill off all those naturally-occurring beneficial bacteria, and then further dilute the fermented drink by adding carbonated water.

Drink This! Instead: For the best brews, don’t miss our list of the best kombuchas.

8

Sweet Tea

Arnold palmerShutterstock

Word to the wise: if a drink has the word “sweet” in its name, it’s probably not going to be great for you. Some bottled sweet teas, like Gold Peak’s Sweet Tea, contain 48 grams of sugar (or 96 percent of your daily value of added sugars) in one bottle. Meanwhile, grab a Large Sweet Tea at Sonic, and expect to slurp down 78 grams of the sweet stuff. Your blood sugar will be through the roof after downing that.

9

Supersized Coffees

Sugar free coffeeUnsplash

While a cup or two of coffee can do your body good, you may want to think twice before sizing up to a large or indulging in a fourth cup of Joe. The reason: Doing so may make your bone brittle. “I try to avoid excessive caffeine,” says Dr. Mamta M. Mamik, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “An adult can safely consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day (which is equivalent to four 8-ounce cups of coffee), but drinking any more than that can cause calcium excretion, which, over time, may lead to osteoporosis. Avoiding excess caffeine also helps to ward off uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms like lethargy, insomnia, headaches, and irritability,” she adds.

10

Diet Soda

Diet coke on iceShutterstock

What do cancer-causing artificial colors, flame retardants, and fat-causing fake sugars all have in common? They’re all in your favorite diet fizzy drinks. Shove all that into a bottle laced with BPA, a chemical that’s been linked to obesity, and you’ve pretty much got one of the worst drinks ever. Nearly all popular diet sodas contain aspartame, an artificial sweetener that was initially developed to aid weight loss, but that has recently been found to have the opposite effect.

“Sugar substitutes like aspartame are designed to promote weight loss and decrease the incidence of metabolic syndrome, but a number of clinical and epidemiologic studies have suggested that these products don’t work very well and may actually make things worse,” says Richard Hodin, MD, lead author of a recent study on the matter. So what should you be sipping instead?

Drink This! Instead: Water is always a safe choice, as are these healthy soda alternatives.

11

Ginger Beer

low cal cocktails moscow mule

Sorry, Dark ‘n Stormy fans, but ginger beer isn’t good news for your waistline. In fact, it’s one of the most calorie-dense carbonated drinks on the market. An average 7-ounce serving has 171 calories, which brakes down to about 24 calories per ounce. For comparison, a typical vending machine soda has 14 calories per ounce. To learn more about how all your favorite colas stack up, don’t miss our report, most popular sodas ranked.

Drink This! Instead: Looking for ginger? Try ginger tea! Boil a cup of water with an inch of sliced ginger. You’ll reap the digestion-boosting benefits of ginger without the sugar.

12

Bottled Smoothies

Bottled orange smoothieShutterstock

Busy mornings and grab-and-go breakfasts are practically synonymous—so it’s easy to see the appeal of store-bought smoothies. They seem like the best way to get what you crave in a pinch. But the timesaving drinks have a downside: Compared to fresh-made drinks, most of them fall short on nutrition and are so calorie- and sugar-filled that you’d have to spend hours on the treadmill to burn them off.

Drink This! Instead: Play it safe by blending up one of these best smoothie recipes for weight loss instead—all of them can be made in 5 minutes or less, compliments of Zero Belly Smoothies. Test panelists lost up to 16 pounds in 14 days!

13

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Starbucks pumpkin spice latteShutterstock

That’s right—you’re not only basic, but you’re also sipping on an unhealthy drink. Starbucks may have pioneered the pumpkin spice latte, but they’re not the only culprit of these sugar bombs. Their grande size has a staggering 50 grams of sugar when you order it with whipped cream, and copycats from other brands aren’t much better.

14

Piña Colada

Pina coladaShutterstock

If you like Piña Coladas, you must like sugar-heavy frozen cocktails that aren’t doing your waistline any favors. Piña Colada mixes, like those from Mr. and Mrs. T, have a gut-busting 42 grams of sugar in just 4 ounces. That’s the sugar equivalent of eating 9 Oreo cookies.

15

ICEES

Icee drinks in snowCourtesy of ICEE

You know a beverage is bad if the first ingredient is high fructose corn syrup, followed by water. If you’re unfamiliar, ICEES are frozen, carbonated beverages in fruit and soda flavors. The infamous Blue Raspberry flavor has 24 grams of sugar in 6 fluid ounces (or 32 grams of sugar in the more standard 8-ounce serving).

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Root Beer Float

Root beer floatShutterstock

Soda is one thing, but then you go ahead and add a scoop of sugary ice cream on top? Thank you, next. This drink is best left for a unique treat. Let’s just say we’re not too upset that old-school Stewart’s drive-thrus aren’t around much anymore.

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Caffeinated Alcohol

Red bull vodka cocktailShutterstock

If you’re feeling too tired to drink, take a hint from your body and maybe take the night off. What you don’t want to do is try to rally by combining caffeinated energy drinks with booze. According to the CDC, “when alcohol is mixed with caffeine, the caffeine can mask the depressant effects of alcohol, making drinkers feel more alert than they would otherwise. As a result, they may drink more alcohol and become more impaired than they realize, increasing the risk of alcohol-attributable harms.” That Red Bull and vodka doesn’t sound so good now, does it?

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Bubble Tea

Bubble tea caramelShutterstock

Bubble tea is a popular drink that’s popping up in stores across the country. It’s typically a sweetened tea with popping tapioca balls, called “boba,” that rest on the bottom. While the good news is that each tea can be personalized to your taste, the default order is often high in sugar, which you should be cautious of if you’re already following a high-sugar diet. Too much sugar in your diet can lead to metabolic disorders and weight gain.

RELATED: The easy guide to cutting back on sugar is finally here.

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Bloody Marys

Bloody maryJohann Trasch/Unsplash

They might be a brunch staple, but beware of making your hair of the dog a Bloody Mary. Like tomato juice, bloodies are often soaked in sodium, climbing upwards of 1,000 milligrams per large glass. Because hangover symptoms are often amplified when you’re dehydrated, consuming a sodium-heavy drink isn’t going to do your body many favors.

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Probiotic-Infused Drinks

Pouring orange juiceShutterstock

High-sugar diets are consistently associated with a high ratio of bad bacteria to good bacteria, as shown in a Neuroscience study. That means that if you want to improve your gut health, you’ll have to cut back on sugar first, as well as add probiotics to your diet. Unfortunately, many probiotic drinks are actually loaded with sugars, which defeats the benefits of probiotics. For example, a single serving of Tropicana’s Strawberry Banana juice has a staggering 28 grams of sugar. And while that sugar isn’t from any added sources, fruit sugar will act the same way as cane sugar in your body.

Drink This! Instead: If you want probiotics, your best bet is to get them from natural sources such as kombucha, yogurt, sauerkraut, or kimchi.

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Long Island Iced Tea

Long island iced teaShutterstock

If you ever try to read a recipe for a Long Island Iced Tea, you’ll soon realize it’s just a list of every alcohol you find on your bar cart: vodka, tequila, light rum, triple sec, and gin. It’s all topped off with a splash of soda (not tea). And while we’re typically concerned with the amount of sugar in soda, in this case, it’s really just a splash. Long Island Iced Teas are on our list of unhealthiest drinks because the glass gives the appearance that you’re drinking tea when you’re really just drinking a tall pint of alcohol, making it easier to overdo it.

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Apple Cider

Apple cider jugs in a tubShutterstock

Nothing says fall like a doughnut and apple cider, right? The only problem is that this ritual involves sipping on at least 28 grams of sugar—and that doesn’t include the sugar-dipped doughnut. Like our usual advice, limit your serving size of cider to half a cup or dilute it. Better yet, grab an apple and munch on that instead. The water and fiber from the whole fruit will help keep your blood sugar levels stable, keeping you fuller longer.

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Bottled or Canned Coffee

Bottled iced coffee drinkShutterstock

Allow us to state the obvious: you should always read the label of any bottled drink before you buy it. In the case of cold-brew coffees, many companies will load up their bottles with milk and sugar to cut the bitterness of the antioxidant-rich brew. What you’re left with is a bottle of 20 grams of added sugars, mostly milk, and a little bit of coffee.

Drink This! Instead: To find our favorite bottled cold brew, check out our guide to the best and worst bottled coffees.

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Sangria

Red wine fruit sangriaShutterstock

While drinking red wine as part of a Mediterranean diet has been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers, according to an Advances in Nutrition study, don’t expect to get the same benefits if you’re sipping on sangria. This fruity beverage is a classic summer hit, but the added sugar isn’t going to do your next-day hangover any favors.

Drink This! Instead: Forget the extra sugar and opt for one of these wines for weight loss.

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Thai Iced Tea

Thai iced teaShutterstock

We’re big fans of tea, but this drink isn’t what we had in mind when we touted the benefits of an antioxidant-rich beverage. Thai iced teas are typically sweetened with condensed milk, which may taste great, but just a quarter cup of it contains a whopping 44 grams of sugar.

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Beverage Concentrates

Liquid water enhancer

Considering most of these beverage-flavoring agents are made with sketchy artificial sweeteners like acesulfame and sucralose, we advise you to stay away. While acesulfame is believed to have carcinogenic properties, sucralose is a sweetener that’s been found to mess with your body’s satiety signals. What’s more, they’re filled with potentially harmful dyes like red 40 and yellow 6, which are contaminated with known carcinogens—no wonder they’re considered to be some of the 23 Worst Food Additives in America!

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Vitamin-Enhanced Waters

Crushed vitaminWaterEat This, Not That!

While they may have “water” in their name, these bottled beverages are 120 calories each, and every single one of those calories comes from sugar. And it’s not just a little bit of sugar, either. There are 31 grams in a 20-ounce bottle of Vitaminwater, which is 7 and ¾ teaspoons of the sweet stuff.

Drink This! Instead: If you want to infuse some flavor and nutrients into your water, ditch the bottled stuff and make one of these 50 Best Detox Waters for Fat Burning and Weight Loss instead.

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Fast Food Iced Tea

Iced teaShutterstock

Spiked with propylene glycol alginate, fast food iced tea is a definite no-go in our book! Propylene glycol alginate is a food thickener, stabilizer, and emulsifier that can cause cardiovascular or neurotoxic issues. (It’s also not too far off from propylene glycol—also known as automobile antifreeze.) But that doesn’t stop Dunkin’ Donuts and other fast food joints from adding it into their iced tea.

Drink This! Instead: Our suggestion: Whip up a pitcher of the stuff at home, using one of these best teas for weight loss.

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Liquid Coffee Creamer

Coffee creamerShutterstock

Coffee creamer and sunblock have more in common that you might think. They both contain titanium dioxide, an ultraviolet radiation blocker that doubles as a whitening agent. The additive has been proven to cause liver and tissue damage in mice, and may also have health implications in humans, according to a recent review of the chemical. Coffee creamer is also typically sprinkled with trans fats, often hiding under its lesser-known name: mono and diglycerides. Aside from its connection to compromised heart health, the ingredient that has been shown to diminish memory in adults under 45 years old. Many brands also use TBHQ in their recipes, which is a form of butane. Yuck!

Drink This! Instead: So what should you put into your morning cup instead? Plain ol’ cow’s milk, or if you’re looking for a hint of flavor, stick with a tablespoon of one of Coffee Mate’s Natural Bliss creamers. Unlike conventional brands, they’re all made from nonfat milk, heavy cream, sugar and natural flavors.

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Margarita

frozen margaritaShutterstock

While whipping up a frozen marg at home isn’t quite as bad as getting it from a bar (400 calories vs. 700), it’s still the worst cocktail for your waistline. Made with a sugar-spiked neon mix and tequila, the summer staple will overload your system with more sugar than you’d find in nine Dunkin’ Donuts Apple n’ Spice Donuts! Other frozen beverages aren’t much better, either. The average strawberry daiquiri, for example, has about 280 calories and 44 grams of sugar per serving. Not to mention, it’s also 99 percent high fructose corn syrup.

Drink This! Instead: Switch to a glass of bubbly with muddled strawberries and lemon slices to get your fruity fix for a fraction of the waist-widening calories.

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Orange Juice

orange juice

Sure, it’s natural and overflowing with vitamin C, but it’s loaded with sugar—and totally void of any nutrients like fiber or protein to help slow the sugar spike. An average glass packs 36 grams of sugar —or about what you’d get from popping 4 Krispy Kreme glazed donuts into a blender and hitting frappe. What’s more, most of the sweetness in orange juice comes from fructose, a type of sugar associated with the development of belly fat.

Drink This! Instead: A better drink for citrus lovers? Water flavored with fresh slices of oranges, lemon, and grapefruit. For added benefits, keep the peels on. Citrus peels contain the antioxidant d-limonene, a powerful compound that helps flush out stored visceral fat.

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Conventional Skim Milk

milkShutterstock

While skim milk may be lowest in calories, many of its vitamins are fat-soluble, which means you won’t get all the benefits of the alphabetical nutrients listed on your cereal box unless you opt for at least 1%. Why’s it important to opt for grass-fed, organic cartons over the conventional stuff? Not only does it taste better and stay fresh longer, when the herds graze on grass instead of feed, but their milk also has higher levels of omega-3s and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), a nutrient that boosts immunity, improves bone mass, and even reduce body fat—gotta love that!

Drink This! Instead: To learn more about the best cereal and coffee additions for your health, don’t miss our report, best and worst milk and milk alternatives.

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Canned Energy Drinks

Red bull energy drinkShutterstock

These overpriced chemical cocktails may give you a surge of energy, but they’re riddled with harmful sweeteners (many of which made our list of these Best and Worst Popular Sweeteners) and are even more corrosive to your teeth than regular soda. Just say no to these icky drinks!

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Energy Shots

5 hour energy

The majority of these little shooters are made up of chemicals, one of which is sodium benzoate. In one study of the effects of sodium benzoate on living yeast cells, researchers found benzoate to be damaging to mitochondria, an important area of DNA. Eek! What’s more, these bad boys rely on waist-widening artificial sweeteners to achieve their sweet flavor.

Drink This! Instead: To amp up your energy the healthy way, stock your kitchen with these healthy energy drinks.

35

Fancy Coffee Drinks

starbucks frappsCourtesy of Starbucks

In terms of sugar, a 12-ounce can of Coke = 16 Hershey Kisses. Think that’s bad? The majority of your favorite coffee drinks are far sweeter. Take Dunkin’s frozen french vanilla swirl coffee Coolatta, for example. Even if you request it with skim milk, it still packs 300 calories and 70 grams of sugar—in a small! Warm drinks are just as bad. McDonald’s McCafe mocha has 340 calories and 42 grams of the sweet stuff while Starbucks’ eggnog latte has 450 calories and 52 grams of sugar. And in case you were curious, that’s the equivalent of 16 mini candy canes! To see how even more specialty drinks stack up in terms of nutrition (so you know which ones to stay away from!), don’t miss our report coffee drinks with more sugar than a soda.

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Slushies

slushiesShutterstock

You probably already know that slushies were sugar mines, but we bet you had no clue they’re often filled with mold! Totally gross, we know, yet totally true! According to numerous fast food and convenience shop workers, the machines that store and blend slushies are rarely—if ever—cleaned. “The amount of mold in those machines would crush your childhood into a pulp,” a former gas station worker admitted on Reddit. If the calorie and sky-high sugar counts weren’t enough to turn you off of the sips, maybe those bits of information will.

Drink This! Instead: To whip up a homemade version at home, freeze, then blend watermelon chunks into a sweet and satisfying slushy.

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Sports Drinks

sports drinksShutterstock

Whoever invented the Gatorade Dunk—the tradition in which winning sports teams dump coolers of the stuff on their coaches—was really on to something. One scan of the nutrition label and it’s clear: The sports drink is better off seeping into the sidelines than your stomach. (Yes, even their reformulated ones.) Sure, it provides critical post-workout electrolytes, like sodium and potassium, but it also serves up a hearty helping of calories and sugar. In fact, there are 56 grams of the sweet stuff (which is more than a day’s worth) in a 32-ounce bottle. What’s more, the beverage is teeming with stomach-churning additives like wood rosin and artificial dyes.

Drink This! Instead: A better—and safer—way to replenish the electrolytes and water lost after a tough workout: coconut water or any of these healthy sports drinks.

38

Milkshakes

milkshakeShutterstock

A long time ago, milkshakes had two ingredients: milk and ice cream. But as time went on, restaurants starting filling their shakes with everything from candy to chemicals, transforming them into potentially dangerous 1,000+ calorie concoctions! In fact, some of the lowest-cal restaurant milkshakes still have over 800 calories—in a small!

Drink This! Instead: If you want something cold and sweet, you’re better off indulging in a scoop or two of actual ice cream or making a chocolate- or peanut butter-filled smoothie.

39

Conventional Bottled Nutrition Shakes

Premier ProteinShutterstock

The bulk of bottled protein shakes are bad news for your body—despite the fact that are they are advertised as being the exact opposite. If they’re not sugar mines, they’re doused with artificial sugar and likely colored with carcinogen-containing chemicals, too.

Drink This! Instead: Are there grab-and-go protein shakes that contain no artificial sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup, or hydrogenated oils? Sure! (And you can find them in our report on the best and worst protein shakes.)

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Bottled Water

bottle waterShutterstock

The water isn’t the problem here; it’s the BPA in the bottle. BPA is a hormone-mimicking chemical found in nearly all food packaging plastics, and it’s potentially bad news. According to some pools of research, the chemical may promote cancer and render people infertile. To stay hydrated on the go, buy a BPA-free refillable bottle.

Drink This! Instead: We’re big fans of S’well bottles, which come in a wide array of fashionable patterns and colors.

41

Cola

coca cola soda iceShutterstock

Eat This, Not That! has been after Coca-Cola’s chemical- and sugar-filled colas since our inception. Not only do they contribute to weight gain and obesity-related diseases like diabetes, but their acidity is also bad news for your digestive system and tooth enamel. The bad news keeps on coming: The caramel color in soda contains an artificially-created phosphorus that can be bad for long-term bone health, cautions Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN, of Isabel Smith Nutrition. Plus, caramel color has been found to contain carcinogens, according to Johns Hopkins researchers.

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Fruity Sodas

citrus sodaShutterstock

It may have images of brightly colored fruit on the can, but that doesn’t mean it carries any health benefits or actual fruit. What they do contain, however, is as much sugar as three Snickers Ice Cream bars and stomach-churning chemicals like red 40, sodium benzoate, and BVO, a chemical used in rocket fuel and flame retardants that can negatively affect thyroid hormones. Curious what other strange things may be messing with your body’s ability to trim down? Don’t miss our special report, ways you messed up your metabolism today.

43

Sweetened Milk Alternatives

Almond milkShutterstock

Sweetened milk alternatives aren’t just spiked with additives like stomach-irritating carrageenan, they’re typically low in protein and a concentrated source of sugar. (A combination that will leave your stomach rumbling!) An 8-ounce serving can easily carry as much of the sweet stuff as a half a can of soda, none of which is naturally occurring. Cow’s milk, on the other hand, gets all of its sweetness from naturally occurring lactose, a sugar present in milk.

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Bottled Alcoholic Mixers

sugary mixersShutterstock

Most people mix up a cocktail to boost their mood and cut loose. But if you typically combine the stiff stuff with a bottled mixer you may be doing more hard them good—and not only when it comes to your waistline. “[Cocktail mixers are] a lot like soda drinks when it comes to their sugar content,” celebrity nutritionist and health consultant Mikaela Reuben tells us. “The effect of their high sugar content is the same; the sugars will be released into the bloodstream, allowing an energy boost to take place but ultimately ends in a low point, leaving one to feel fatigued, irritable, and depressed.”

Drink This! Instead: To mix a better-for-you cocktail, stick with things like flavored seltzer and freshly squeezed lime juice. Prefer something store-bought? These healthy low-calorie mixers are about to become your new favorites.

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Eggnog

holiday eggnog

With or without added liquor, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that traditional eggnog is on the “naughty” list: the primary ingredients are milk, cream, and eggs. To save 200 calories make yours with organic unsweetened almond milk instead of milk and cream. For even more ways to nix unnecessary cals from your diet, don’t miss these ways to cut calories.

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Commercial Hot Cocoa

hot chocolate

While it’s true that packets of hot cocoa are all “meh” in terms of nutrition, the kind you get from restaurants and coffee joints are far worse. A 16-ounce Starbucks hot chocolate with 2% milk, for example, has half a day’s saturated fat, 400 calories, and 43 grams of sugar which is two and half times as much as you’ll find in the brand’s make-at-home packets.

Drink This! Instead: Because no matter what we say you’ll likely still indulge in the drink on occasion, at least use our trusty report, best and worst hot cocoa mixes so you can make an educated choice about your indulgent drink.

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Mudslides

Mudslide cocktailShutterstock

Vodka, Kahlua, Baileys Irish Cream, milk, and chocolate syrup, combine together to create this fatty concoction that’s bound to not only leave you “chocolate wasted,” but severely bloated, too. An average cocktail has a staggering 750 calories!

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Lemonade

Glasses of lemonadeShutterstock

For many of us, lemonade evokes memories of cute kids sitting at a stand the end of their driveway. And while the littles pushing the drink may be innocent enough, the beverage itself is not. Teaming with 120 calories and nearly 30 grams of sugar per cup, the only thing we like about this drink is it’s fairly harmless list of ingredients. While water, sugar, and lemon juice won’t make you sick, drinking it in excess could bring on a metabolic condition that will.

Drink This! Instead: Throw a couple of lemon slides in some water for a refreshing sip.

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Certain Bottled Teas

Bottled iced teaShutterstock

In its purest form tea is one of the best weight loss allies you’ll find. It contains antioxidants which have been found to help rev your metabolism, block the formation of new fat cells, fight off diseases, and lower risk of stroke. But not all teas are created equal—especially those sold in bottles. In fact, a recent study found that you’d have to drink 20 bottles of store-bought tea to get the same amount of antioxidants present in just one home-brewed cup. Plus, the bulk of the bottles brews get their brown hue from caramel color (instead of actual tea) and are packed with more sugar than you’d find in a handful of Chips Ahoy cookies.

Drink This! Instead: To learn which ones are safe to sip and which are better to skip, skim our report, worst bottled tea products.

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Powdered Fruit Drinks

Powdered fruit drink mix grape kool aidShutterstock

Tang, Kool-Aid, and other drink powders are little more than a mix of sugar and artificial coloring. If you wouldn’t pour food dye and cups of sugar straight into your mouth, you’re better off saying “no” to these waist-widening drinks.

The post 50 Unhealthiest Drinks on the Planet appeared first on Eat This Not That.

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