Which Apple Treat is a Rotten Choice for Your Waistline?

12SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/20/2012 10:00 AM   :  51 comments   :  38,024 Views

This time of year, everyone has apples on the brain. These crisp and juicy gems taste especially sweet right now, whether raw, baked, slathered in peanut butter… or even drenched in caramel. Caramel apples are as ubiquitous to fall as the changing leaves, and companies have capitalized on their popularity by injecting that sweet-tart flavor into everything from candy to hot drinks. Take Starbucks' Caramel Apple Spice drink, which is made with fresh apple juice, cinnamon syrup, and a caramel drizzle. It certainly sounds as delicious as a real caramel apple, but how do these two treats compare nutritionally? Which is the slimmer autumn pick: A grande Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice drink (with no whipped cream), or a classic caramel apple with nuts?
 
The Winner: Caramel Apple with Nuts!
One gooey caramel apple with nuts will set you back 280 calories, 13 grams of fat (mostly from the nuts), and 24 grams of sugar. A grande Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice also contains 280 calories. Though the drink contains 0 grams of fat without the whipped cream, it packs a whopping 65 grams of sugar. That's over 16 teaspoons of sugar! The caramel apple with nuts also contains fiber from the apple (4 grams) and protein from the nuts (6 grams), while the drink has 0 grams of both protein and fiber. If you must satisfy your sweet tooth with a caramel apple, pick a small one with minimal toppings. You could also cut it in half to save part of it for later, or just have one or two slices and share the rest of it with friends. When indulging in a caramel apple drink, choose the smallest size, and ask if there are sugar-free syrups available.
 
What's your favorite way to enjoy apples?

 


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Comments

  • 51
    I always amazed at the people who are so indignant about something in an article. THEY never eat caramel apples; THEY never visit Starbucks, so how does Spark People have the NERVE to write an article along these lines. Give it a break, gripers. - 7/8/2014   10:47:33 AM
  • 50
    Apple favorites are either just a sliced apple with natural peanut butter or roasted apples. I discovered the roasted apples when I had dental work and couldn't chew but had apples going bad. Slice or chop, sprinkle with a touch of cinnamin, make a foil pouch with a little water and bake. - 11/9/2013   5:37:31 PM
  • GMAGEE
    49
    Seriously. Who eats this stuff? I'm with DOKEYOKEY: the headline was somewhat misleading. The caramel apple would be considered an 'apple treat' but a Starbucks drink? - 10/28/2012   10:00:33 AM
  • K_RENEE
    48
    The caramel apple wins, really?! WOW!! Surprising, and good to know. I knew Starbucks had a lot of hidden calories, but this is just a shocker. - 10/27/2012   9:30:10 PM
  • KASEYSUNDANCER
    47
    Apples are my favorite healthy snack. Love 'em! - 10/24/2012   3:00:33 PM
  • 46
    My favorite treat with apples is to slice them small and add them to non fat plain greek yogurt, and then I add some sugar free carmel syrup that you might have for your hot drinks. A smidge of pumpkin spice mix added makes it taste so good. - 10/24/2012   11:09:12 AM
  • 45
    I love my apples just plain or with cinnamon. Also like to slice thinly and put on a peanut butter toast. I prefer hard, crisp apples. Not a fan of the softer varieties like Macs. As I grow older I am also finding that I like the flavor of cooked apples and the spices usually associated with them as found in apple pie(without the crust) and apple crumble. I never used to like these types of deserts before. - 10/23/2012   10:27:05 PM
  • COLLARN
    44
    Apples are great! They help curb my sweet tooth. This time of year get a crunchy apple with a little caramel and nuts. You feel like you're being guilty, but can still stay in your calorie range.
    - 10/23/2012   5:43:25 PM
  • 43
    Apples have always been my favorite fruit, and I usually eat one every day. Plain. But when fall hits, caramel apples with nuts rule! Each fall, I treat myself to one or two from a local candy store. - 10/23/2012   2:21:42 PM
  • CHERI245608
    42
    I like to cut an apple into slices and drizzle with just a little carmel topping. I too thought this article may say which apples have higher sugar or which are better for you. Either way I eat alot of apples and love them. I would never eat one coated in caramel and nuts. I was shocked to see how much sugar was in one of those drinks! Thanks for the great info on that!
    - 10/23/2012   11:31:45 AM
  • 41
    I just like plain apples as is with an ounce of good extra sharp cheddar cheese. My favorite variety of apple is Cortland. - 10/23/2012   11:08:04 AM
  • HYGIRL01
    40
    I found this article very helpful. I love that drink--NO MORE!!! - 10/23/2012   10:08:23 AM
  • 39
    I like fresh apples the best. If I'm having a caramel apple, I want it WITHOUT the nuts! - 10/23/2012   9:54:03 AM
  • JWOOLMAN
    38
    The dietary hit for caramel apples depends entirely on the brand and how big the apples are (that determines the area of the coating), how thick the coating is and the recipe used to make it. This article must refer to huge ones. Tastee caramel apples with peanuts are only 160 calories plus 16 grams sugar (that includes the apple), 4 grams fiber, 5 grams fat, 3 grams protein (total carbohydrate is 26grams = fiber plus sugars plus other types if carbs). I don't see that as a big problem, except for my pesky dairy allergy... which I have been known to overlook! The amount of caramel isn't huge, so I tell myself.

    It also helps that the caramel apples are available in the local store only briefly, so I only get at most one three-pack per year. Usually I eat apples with peanut butter or sunflower seed butter, or almond butter. Sometimes I add some sunflower seeds. Sliced apples are also good with lots of cinnamon, with or without any peanut, nut, or seed butter. - 10/22/2012   8:04:12 PM
  • LEMJFOSTER
    37
    I also thought this article would tell me which apples to choose for lower sugar count. The title was a bit misleading. Since I don't drink coffee. . . and I prefer chocolate. . . but I do love nuts. . ., article not very helpful. - 10/22/2012   10:47:57 AM
  • 36
    wow just give an apple and cinnamon...I do not need the fat or sugar with that extra crap. - 10/22/2012   10:26:40 AM
  • 35
    wow just give an apple and cinnamon...I do not need the fat or sugar with that extra crap. - 10/22/2012   10:26:37 AM
  • 34
    I am all for a little sample. Usually it is just enough satisfy the desire. If I think I won't be able to stop then I just dont take that first bite. Also drinking a large glass of ice water first helps in not wanting much. I like apples just plain most times, and only tart ones. Sometimes a dip or two of peanut butter changes is up a bit :) - 10/21/2012   8:55:54 PM
  • 33
    One thing I was reading in Jorge Cruise's book, The Belly Fat Cure....from Dr. Weil, that sugar is responsible for so many diseases in our society. 65 grams....why not kill yourself NOW? Why wait to develope hi cholesterol, hi blood pressure, diabetes, etc.!!!! - 10/21/2012   8:43:25 PM
  • 32
    Same with me on the switch title. I don't eat either the caramel apples or visit Starbucks for anything. I was hoping to compare heirloom apples with the newer hybrids and seeing what the difference is. - 10/21/2012   5:32:44 PM
  • 31
    Um, okay. I was expecting an article comparing actual apple varieties, one to another. Not an article comparing (ahem) apples to oranges, so to speak.

    I love the idea of hollowing out an apple, sprinkling cinnamon inside, and then recapping it and baking it. Yum! - 10/21/2012   5:23:01 PM
  • 30
    Thanks for the reminder Dunkerson! Good idea when one wants a warm healthy treat. - 10/21/2012   4:25:04 PM
  • 29
    If you don't eat or drink these things anyway, good for you. (I don't, either.) But the reality is that many people do like foods like this, especially those who are new to eating healthfully, and others who simply want to treat themselves to junky little things they enjoy. However silly or pointless these comparison blogs may seem to you, they are not -harming- you, while on the other hand, assimilating new and practical food advice is very -helpful- to others. There are plenty of other entries that address more complex, nuanced, and "advanced" topics, so read those instead if you dislike this series. - 10/21/2012   2:42:34 PM
  • 28
    I too was looking forward to telling you my favourire, this was a gift of spark points and a disappointing read.

    Tell us something we do not know next time please. Pat in Maine. - 10/21/2012   12:45:51 PM
  • NKOUAMI26
    27
    I have never really had apple with caramel nor am I a consistent "Starbucks" visitor; I guess I should try these, although, I do not want to waste my calories and stuff like this except for a treat - 10/21/2012   12:00:41 PM
  • DUNKERSON
    26
    A simple favorite and quick to make is Baked Apples. I just hollow out the center of an apple, sprinkle some cinnamon in the center, put the "cap" on, add a little water in a pyrex dish and bake until done. You're still getting a full apple with no added calories and still gleaning the fibre.
    - 10/21/2012   11:53:13 AM
  • 25
    I was all ready to read an article about which apple tastes better or is better for you. The article was not what I was expecting. Comparing two less than healthy treats is not what I expect from SP. As far as apples go I like mine plain. Just a plain apple for dessert suits me fine. No caramel or sugary coffees. Nothing beats a sweet juicy apple. A nice crunch satisifies me. I am a Type 1 diabetic and I do not get any high blood sugar levels after eating apples. The only fruit that effects my sugar negatively is grapes. - 10/21/2012   11:24:23 AM
  • 24
    Once again, the article doesn't seem to compare things well. With the apple you are getting a nutritious apple (a whole one at that) and some nuts which are good for you as well. We are told here on spark it is far better to eat the fruit than drink the juice. In fact, you are told that lots of places, so right away, that should be your answer. Also, Starbuck should not be a place to get something decent for your body anyway. Maybe write an article comparing Starbucks to Starbucks (if you really have to!) I get a 36 c apple covered in caramel, nuts and chocolate chips from Aldi and split it with my two kids as a wonderful treat a couple times this time of year. It's amazing and it satisfies my craving!! Plain apples are sweet enough, maybe PB occasionally or with cheese.

    rumbamel - 10/21/2012   10:06:14 AM
  • 23
    The chocolate caramel apple with nuts is so good. I eat regular apples all the time. - 10/21/2012   9:08:59 AM
  • 22
    In the fall I like sliced apples with sugar free butterscotch instant pudding sprinkled on top. It helps when I want a caramel apple. - 10/21/2012   8:58:14 AM
  • 21
    I thought the answer was going to be apple cider. I also wonder about candy apples (I prefer caramel apples).

    I had a Hot Apple Cinnamon at Tim Hortons and I thought it was one of the worst things I ever drank. I didn't even finish it. - 10/21/2012   8:37:02 AM
  • 20
    I am looking for an apple crisp recipe that uses only oatmeal and no flour, if that is possible. Love the spices and grainy texture of apple crisp. - 10/21/2012   8:22:37 AM
  • JMB369
    19
    I thought, too, that this was going to compare apples or at least different apple dishes.

    But to answer the question;
    Most frequent apple treat would be apple slices with peanut butter as an afternoon snack.

    Most loved would be deep dish homemade apple pie. I probably have this once every two or three years!

    Most commonly eaten apple indulgence would be apple crisp with an oat nut topping.

    I have never liked caramel apples, and don't like Starbuck's flavored drinks) prefer a plain skinny cappuccino) so no temptations there. - 10/21/2012   7:40:23 AM
  • 18
    Ugh. All I can think about, when I see those gooey caramel apples is my fillings being pulled out of my teeth.

    No thanks on both. If I'm going to bust the calorie bank - I think it will be with something else. - 10/21/2012   6:55:18 AM
  • 17
    I probably won't have either, but they both sound good. - 10/21/2012   2:39:11 AM
  • PERKINSSISTERS
    16
    I like apples plain or sometimes with peanut butter. I also like applesauce. - 10/21/2012   2:14:54 AM
  • 15
    Apples with peanut butter is my go to afternoon snack... year round!!! - 10/21/2012   2:05:43 AM
  • 14
    Hmmm..I had no problem getting the gist of the article..I was actually looking to see a few more 'treats' listed than just 2! I love caramel apples, although very seldom have them..and (head hanging) I would still love to try the Starbucks drink! I love apples with PB and baked apples..and my main man loves when I make apple crisp! (btw-I really expected to see these listed as treats!) - 10/20/2012   11:43:26 PM
  • RTARNOR
    13
    I love sliced apples with Nutella. - 10/20/2012   10:50:55 PM
  • 12
    Raw by themselves, although I have been known to put salt on them occasionally. - 10/20/2012   8:35:16 PM
  • NORAHPRID1
    11
    I love sliced apples with a spoonful of Nutella. Yummmmm - 10/20/2012   7:49:35 PM
  • 10
    I love an apple with peanut butter! - 10/20/2012   6:04:16 PM
  • 9
    Luv apple crisp with an oats-based topping! - 10/20/2012   5:55:11 PM
  • 8
    I don't like apple. I can eat one in long time. - 10/20/2012   4:47:52 PM
  • 7
    I LOVE candy apples !!! Of course, it figures that one of my favorites would be the worst offender ! LOL !!! I prefer the ones with caramel because the ones with the red candy coating taste too artificial too me even with the shredded coconut.

    Fortunately, I don't eat them every day. I have one every now and then come the fall. I'll admit that I've been craving one. I keep telling myself it's better than the donut. eh-hem. ;)

    - 10/20/2012   2:46:36 PM
  • 6
    Have never really cared for apples - my favorite fruit is oranges. I do love a good apple crisp occasionally! - 10/20/2012   1:32:11 PM
  • 5
    I also agree with DOKEYOKEY; I just ate a Honeycrisp apple and I wondered if the sugar level was higher in it than other apples. - 10/20/2012   12:26:57 PM
  • 4
    I'm with dokeyokey - I thought this was going to be a blog on the sugar levels/nutrition information on various kinds of apples; although the word "treat" should have given that away. Since none of these sweet treats are in my menus, it didn't really apply to me. My favorite way to enjoy apples is just fresh - sometimes with 1 T of peanut butter or an ounce of cheese. An apple sweet treat weakness for me would be a from scratch apple pie, dumpling or crumble. - 10/20/2012   11:07:46 AM
  • JENORA234
    3
    I never had a candy apple till this fall, my fav is the caramel apple with nuts - 10/20/2012   10:52:14 AM
  • 2
    This is sort of misleading. I thought the article would be about the sugar levels in various varieties of apples. Instead, it is about Starbucks drinks and caramel...neither of which is an apple. Maybe the headline writers could be a little clearer about what the article will be about? - 10/20/2012   10:12:10 AM

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