How Fattening Is Your Diet?

By Paul John Scott, Details magazine

Recent research proves that it's carbohydrates-not fat-that make food fattening. How do your dietary staples rate?


While food manufacturers like to obscure the amount of carbs (read: sugar) by listing it per serving (Vitaminwater for instance, has 2.5 servings), most people consume these drinks by the container. Here's a look at the actual amount of carbs some of these products contain per bottle:

  • Budweiser (11 g)
  • Vitaminwater (32.5 g)
  • Gatorade (34 g)
  • Coca-Cola (39 g)
  • Odwalla Superfood (57 g)
  • Starbucks venti White Chocolate Mocha (79 g)

The closer you look, the clearer it becomes that most common snack foods are simply fattening carb clusters. Here's how a few of these mainstays stack up (per 100 grams):

  • Burger King French fries (42 g)
  • Pringles Original (54 g)
  • Saltines (73 g)
  • pretzels (79 g)
  • rice cakes (80 g)

Some guys sneak their ice cream a spoonful at a time while others consume it by the pint. This is how some popular sweets compare (per 100-gram serving):

  • Häagen-Dazs fat-free strawberry sorbet (27 g)
  • Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey (27 g)
  • McDonalds Triple Thick 16-ounce shake (29 g)
  • Snickers (60 g)
  • Chips Ahoy Chewy (67 g)

Sugar is not a savory ingredient, yet it's rampant in condiments. Take a look at how everyday sauces and spreads shake out (per two-tablespoon serving):

  • mustard (0 g)
  • mayonnaise (0 g)
  • oil and vinegar (1 g)
  • Hidden Valley Ranch dressing (2 g)
  • Heinz ketchup (8 g)
  • Ken's Fat Free Raspberry Pecan dressing (12 g)
  • KC Masterpiece barbecue sauce (15 g)

Carbs are derived from plants, so naturally fruits and vegetables contain them (per 100-gram serving):

  • avocado (9 g)
  • orange (12 g)
  • apple (14 g)
  • mango (17 g)
  • russet potato (21 g)
  • banana (23 g)

Refined Grains
These starches are what come to mind when we picture the word carbs. The staples of the American diet (per 100-gram serving):

  • cooked white rice (29 g)
  • cooked spaghetti (31 g)
  • wheat bread (48 g)
  • flour tortilla (50 g)
  • bagel (53 g)
  • plain Cheerios (75 g)
  • Frosted Flakes (90 g)

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Photo Credit: Condé Nast Digital Studio