Seasonal Shake Shenanigans

People love to get into seasonal spirit. Restaurants love to help us out. Please do NOT confuse being seasonally spirited with consuming toxic doses of sugar.


I am not attempting to single out McDonald’s here, but I saw something with the nutritional stats on my news feed and had one of those jaw drop moments.

The glowing description necessarily omits the immense biological impact of consuming this green delight.

Buckle Up

Here is the nutrition (using that word loosely here!) summary:


To restate; 113 (one hundred thirteen) grams of sugar. That computes to 22 (twenty two) TEASPOONS of sugar. Wow!

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT)

One of the ways doctors can assess how a person responds is by giving them a large serving of sugar and seeing how efficiently the body processes – by measuring how quickly glucose gets out of the blood stream.

They use 75 grams typically. This shake has 113 grams. If you barely pass the OGTT at 75 grams, then most certainly the shake test will show you have diabetic levels of blood sugar for prolonged periods after consumption of 113 grams.

To restate; drinking this shake will give your body the wonderful experience of diabetes – at least temporarily.



Ingredients: Milk, Sugar, Cream, Corn Syrup, Natural Flavor, Mono and Diglycerides, Cellulose Gum, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Vitamin A Palmitate.

Contains: MILK.

Ingredients: High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Water, Sugar, Natural Flavor, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Yellow 5, Blue 1. May contain small amounts of other shake flavors served at the restaurant, including egg ingredients when Egg Nog Shakes are available.


Ingredients: Cream, Nonfat Milk, Liquid Sugar, Contains 2% or Less: Mono and Diglycerides, Natural Flavors, Carrageenan. Whipping Propellant (Nitrous Oxide).

Contains: MILK.3

Fructose Does NOT Bring Luck

Glucose is the what we measure as blood sugar, and is what all cells can utilize as fuel. Sucrose, table sugar, is half glucose, half fructose. Fructose is metabolized COMPLETELY differently than glucose. It does not get utilized by cells for fuel, only the liver can break it down for fuel storage or lipid export. High fructose ingestion directly contributes to fatty liver.

Fructose also costs energy to metabolize (quite a “fuel” huh). Cellular energy (ATP) is consumed to initiate the break down process. The end result of this breakdown process is uric acid. This is the culprit in gout. So, in addition to fatty liver, fructose contributes to gout!

High fructose corn syrup is 55% fructose typically. It is cheap to make, but deals more harm by increasing the fructose content while bypassing the normal satiety response – it doesn’t make you feel full!

No Pot Full of Gold at the end of this Rainbow

Well maybe not for you. Consuming this toxic combination of sugar will land you on the medical spend train of diabetes, so people in big medicine may see that as getting your treasure. This was a touch of what can happen when ingesting this product, or those like it, with any regularity. You put your body in a state of diabetes for some amount of time. The more you do it, the more time in physiologic state of high blood sugar. Eventually, you stay there. I recently put together a paper on how to Avoid Insulin in Type 2 Diabetes, but the tactics apply to anyone interested in breaking the cycle of poor blood sugar and insulin response.

113 grams ( 22 teaspoons), just wow.

  1. https://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en-us/product/shamrock-shake-small.html
  2. https://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en-us/product/shamrock-shake-small.html
  3. https://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en-us/product/shamrock-shake-small.html

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