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Salt on a wound.

"Sweet and salty, a twist on hot chocolate." That's how the Starbucks Web site describes its new Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate, which is "topped with whipped cream, a swirl of caramel and a sprinkle of our sea salt topping...."

That Starbucks. Always looking out for our interests. Another company might stick with just one hot 500-plus-calorie beverage that delivers A day's saturated: fat and sugar (its grande Signature Hot Chocolate).

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Not the coffee giant. Why stop with a Big Mac's worth of bad stuff when you can add some salt to stir up our blood pressure?

Okay, that's an exaggeration. A grande (16 oz.) Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate has "only" 300 milligrams of sodium--a fraction of the Big Mac's 1,040 mg. But its 620 calories beat the Big Mac's 540, and its sat fat (19 grams) makes the Big Mac (10 grams) look like a veggie burger.

What's more, a Big Mac comes in just one size, while you can balloon the hot chocolate to 760 calories and 22 grams of sat fat merely by uttering the word "venti" (20 oz.) when you order.

Best of all, the calories in a hot chocolate (or any beverage) won't curb your appetite like the calories in a Big Mac would. So an hour later, you can dig into a snack or sandwich--or an entire meal--as if the hot chocolate had never happened.

Of course, some parts of you will remember ... say, the fat-infused walls of your arteries and the place where your waist used to be.

Starbucks: (800) 782-7282

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Title Annotation:RIGHT STUFF: FOOD PORN; Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate
Publication:Nutrition Action Healthletter
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Dec 1, 2008
Words:260
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