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“Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first,” said American author Ernestine Ulmer.

There’s a reason why dessert is so universally loved. In the heat of the summer months, there is nothing more refreshing than a cool, frozen confection.

While it’s certainly acceptable to indulge in a sweet treat every now and then, excess sugar consumption can lead to serious, lasting health problems. Even many seemingly innocent American diets are filled with hidden sugar, a topic explored by Katie Couric in her documentary “Fed Up.”


RELATED: They’re marketed as healthy, but these 10 foods have staggering amounts of deadly sugar

HealthGrove, a health care research and analysis site powered by Graphiq, found the most sugary frozen desserts at 25 popular chain restaurants. To do this, they compared all frozen dessert menu items at each respective chain and selected the one with the most grams of sugar. The data is pulled from menus as of July 20, 2016.

Frozen desserts with a combination of candy, ice cream and baked goods dominate the top of the list. More than half of these desserts double the World Health Organization’s daily sugar intake recommendation of 25 grams. In fact, the most sugary desserts on this list are five to six times more than the recommended allowance. So, next time you reach for the dessert menu, make sure to consider all of your options.

RELATED: Surprise — these so-called “healthy” foods aren’t good for you at all

Note: For desserts with different size options, the medium size was selected for comparison. Ties were broken by calorie count.

25. Chick-fil-A Icedream

Sugar: 38 grams
Calories: 260
Carbohydrates: 45 grams
Fat: 6 grams

24. Burger King Caramel Sundae

Sugar: 39 grams
Calories: 290
Carbohydrates: 53 grams
Fat: 6 grams

23. IHOP Ice Cream Sundae with Chocolate Sauce

Sugar: 46 grams
Calories: 410
Carbohydrates: 56 grams
Fat: 19 grams

22. Pinkberry Salted Caramel Frozen Yogurt

Sugar: 55.2 grams
Calories: 276
Carbohydrates: 59.8 grams
Fat: 0 grams

21. TCBY Mango Sorbet

Sugar: 57.75 grams
Calories: 302.5
Carbohydrates: 71.5 grams
Fat: 0 grams

20. Shake Shack Regular Concreation Foundation, Vanilla

Sugar: 59 grams
Calories: 560
Carbohydrates: 64 grams
Fat: 29 grams

19. Wendy’s Vanilla Frosty

Sugar: 65 grams
Calories: 460
Carbohydrates: 77 grams
Fat: 0.5 grams

18. Carl’s Jr. Strawberry Malt

Sugar: 75 grams
Calories: 770
Carbohydrates: 98 grams
Fat: 36 grams

17. Steak ‘n Shake Walnut Brownie Fudge Sundae

Sugar: 78 grams
Calories: 820
Carbohydrates: 106 grams
Fat: 42 grams

16. Sonic Strawberry Banana Split Molten Cake Sundae

Sugar: 86 grams
Calories: 720
Carbohydrates: 113 grams
Fat: 28 grams

15. McDonald’s McFlurry with M&M’s

Sugar: 89 grams
Calories: 650
Carbohydrates: 96 grams
Fat: 23 grams

14. Jack in the Box Chocolate Shake with Whipped Topping

Sugar: 89 grams
Calories: 780
Carbohydrates: 103 grams
Fat: 38 grams

13. Arby’s Chocolate Shake

Sugar: 90 grams
Calories: 570
Carbohydrates: 99 grams
Fat: 15 grams

12. Joe’s Crab Shack Sea Turtle Sundae

Sugar: 90 grams
Calories: 1,280
Carbohydrates: 140 grams
Fat: 75 grams

11. Culver’s Banana Split

Sugar: 92 grams
Calories: 1,060
Carbohydrates: 122 grams
Fat: 60 grams

10. Red Robin Classic Chocolate Malt

Sugar: 93 grams
Calories: 692
Carbohydrates: 111 grams
Fat: 22 grams

9. A&W M&M’s Polar Swirl

Sugar: 93 grams
Calories: 710
Carbohydrates: 107 grams
Fat: 25 grams

8. Cold Stone Creamery Countrytime Pink Lemonade Sorbet

Sugar: 95 grams
Calories: 380
Carbohydrates: 95 grams
Fat: 0 grams

7. Dairy Queen Brownie Cookie Dough Blizzard

Sugar: 121 grams
Calories: 1,140
Carbohydrates: 166 grams
Fat: 48 grams

6. Friendly’s Jim Dandy Sundae

Sugar: 123 grams
Calories: 1,122
Carbohydrates: 164 grams
Fat: 47 grams

5. Chili’s Skillet Toffee Fudge Brownie

Sugar: 125 grams
Calories: 1,260
Carbohydrates: 171 grams
Fat: 60 grams

4. Buffalo Wild Wings Dessert Nachos

Sugar: 125 grams
Calories: 2,100
Carbohydrates: 230 grams
Fat: 119 grams

3. Baskin Robbins Made with M&M’s 31 Below

Sugar: 126 grams
Calories: 1,000
Carbohydrates: 139 grams
Fat: 40 grams

2. Carvel Peanut Butter Cup Sundae Dasher

Sugar: 128 grams
Calories: 1,060
Carbohydrates: 95 grams
Fat: 31 grams

1. Applebee’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae

Sugar: 143 grams
Calories: 1,490
Carbohydrates: 211 grams
Fat: 64 grams

Alison O'Brien, HealthGrove |
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