The Shamrock Shake: Festive Snack or Meal in a Glass?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
St. Patrick's Day is upon us, and restaurants everywhere have officially "gone green" (and I don't mean in the environmental sense). Late last month, dining establishments across the nation began transforming foods and drinks into festive shades of emerald in honor of the March 17th Irish holiday. Every year, McDonald's jumps on this bandwagon (or perhaps leads the bandwagon), with their infamous Shamrock Shake, a minty green treat that's only available through March. The drink looks innocent enough in a small size, but how many calories are packed into that 12-ounce cup: 220, 530, 640, or 810

Answer: 530 calories!
You read that right—one small 12-ounce Shamrock Shake has a whopping 530 calories, 15 grams of fat and 73 grams of sugar. That's more calories than a McDonald's Quarter Pounder with Cheese (which weighs in at 520 calories), more fat than a cheeseburger (12 grams), and more sugar than a large sweet tea (69 grams).

Can't live without a little green goodness this St. Patrick's Day? Skip the McDonald's Shake and try one of these healthier versions at home:

Mean Green Juice
Skinny(er) Shamrock Shake
Homemade Shamrock Shake
Shamrock Protein Shake

Have you ever tried the Shamrock Shake? Do you avoid this seasonal treat, or do you occasionally indulge?