Update! I initially wrote this post a few years ago. It looks like 7-11 has made some changes to their labeling and most Slurpee’s are now listed as Gluten Free. Some still have no specific label. Head on over to http://www.slurpee.com and check the labels yourself.
We are a gluten free family, at least we try real hard. I’ve discussed my experience with Celiac disease in the past. Overall I do pretty good, but some days I have to admit that Celiac Disease sucks!
Here’s a classic example. My wife and daughter recently spent the weekend away, so my son and I got to hang out and have fun! One of those fun things is stopping at 7-11 for Slurpees after baseball practice. Slurpees are definitely not a health food and have no nutritional value, but they are a fun occasional treat. This is where having celiac disease sucks. Some Slurpee flavors are not entirely gluten free! Take a look at this photo of the nutritional information.
If you do a few searches you’ll find that it is generally assumed that Slurpees from 7-11 are gluten free, but lets look at the fine print on the nutritional information for the Peach Raspberry Slurpee.
In one statement it mentions that “This product contains no detectable levels of milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, and soybeans.”
The next statement says: “Gluten Information: This product meets the CODEX definition of Gluten-Free, I.E. less that 200 parts per million (ppm) gluten. Codex Examined the data and determined that less than 200 ppm gluten is below the level at which people with celiac disease would experience adverse reactions. The US FDA currently has no regulatory definition of gluten-free.”
When I read this last statement I realized that many Slurpees are not gluten-free. The Gluten-Free Dietician has a good write up regarding the Codex definition of gluten-free foods. Basically the 200ppm gluten standard comes from a report in 1998! The Codex has revised their guidance down to 100ppm in 2007 and it is still under review. The FDA in August 2013, just created a standard for Gluten-free labeling of 20ppm. I guess the good news if all of this is that I discovered why I felt lousy over the weekend.
So here’s the Slurpee dilemma, there are some Slurpee flavors that don’t contain these statements in their labeling, but each store uses the same dispensers for both, so the potential for cross contamination is high, even for the flavors that are labeled gluten-free.
Which leads to why some days it sucks to have Celiac Disease. I’m hopeful that the FDA labeling rules announced in August 2013 will help weed out the products that use gluten-free as a marketing tool. I don’t trust labels. I don’t trust restaurants. It’s still hard to meet friends for dinner. It’s still hard to goto a friends house when food is involved. And now cross off having a Slurpee. For some of us 20ppm is enough gluten to rip our insides to pieces. Those few ppm of gluten don’t cause an allergic reaction so most of us don’t have to race the ER for treatment. I don’t know what my threshold of gluten causes problems, I don’t get noticeably sick, but I’ll get a low grade stomach ache, I’m also starting to believe that my episodes of bradycardia are related to gluten exposure(definitely need to do some more research on this as I haven’t found much more than some theories). And of course I can still see the photo of my smooth, damaged villi on my biopsy report from 4 years ago and think what have I done to those poor villi!
So back to fierce label reading and back to gut healing….
Who’s had a reaction to a Slurpee? Have any other foods supposedly labeled gluten-free have caused a reaction?
- Are 7-11 Slurpees Gluten Free?
- Should You Have a Free Slurpee on 7-Eleven Day?
- Free Slurpee at 7-Eleven: Actually not that unhealthy, just innutritious
- Here’s what that Slurpee will have inside
- OK but where can I get one?
- San Diego Reader
- The Sugar And Chemicals In Your Free Slurpee
- Slurpee and slushie differences that will refresh you from the heat
- Brand names
Are 7-11 Slurpees Gluten Free?
I did a little research on what is contained in the syrup for the soda, and it looks to me like they are in fact gluten free. Feel free to take a look for yourself and then go enjoy a delicious 7/11 slurpee!!!
Flavour Syrup Ingredients:
Coca-Cola Slurpee: Carbonated Water, Sugar/Glucose-Fructose, Caramel Colour, Phosphoric Acid, Natural Flavour, Caffeine. AMP Freeze Frozen Beverage: Glucose-Fructose, Water, Citric Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavours, Guaran Seed extract, Sodium Benzoate, Maltodextrin, Caffeine, Gum Arabic, Colour, Calcium Disodium EDTA, Brominated Vegetable Oil, Panax Ginseng Root Extract. Schweppes Ginger Ale: Sugar/Glucose-Fructose, Water, Citric Acid, Natural Flavour, Sodium Benzoate, Colour Crush Orange: Sugar/Glucose-Fructose, Water, Citric Acid, Acacia Gum, Sodium Benzoate, Natural Flavours, Ester Gum, Colour, Salt, Brominated Vegetable Oil Crush Grape: Sugar/Glucose-Fructose, Water, Citric Acid, Concentrated Grape Juice, Sodium Benzoate, Artificial Flavour, Colour Crush Lime: Sugar/Glucose-Fructose, Water, Citric Acid, Natural Flavour, Modified Corn Starch, Sodium Benzoate, Acacia Gum, Sucrose Acetate Isobutyrate, Glycerol Ester of Wood Rosin, Brominated Vegetable Oil, Colour, Guar Gum Golden Fruit Smash: Sugar/Glucose-Fructorse, Water, Citric Acid, Colour, Sodium Benzoate, Natural and Artificial Flavour Pink Grapefruit: Sugar/Glucose-Fructorse, Water, Citric Acid, Acacia Gum, Natural Flavours, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Citrate, Sucrose Acetate Isobutryrate, Brominated Vegetable Oil, Ascorbic acid, Colour Cream Soda: Sugar/Glucose-Fructorse, Water, Citric Acid, Soium Benzoate, Artificial Flavour, Colour, Quillaia Extract Lipton Brisk Lemon Iced Tea: GLUCOSE-FRUCTOSE AND/OR SUGAR, WATER, CITRIC ACID, BLACK TEA, CARAMEL COLOUR, SODIUM BENZOATE, POTASSIUM SORBATE, GUM ARABIC, NATURAL FLAVOUR, COLOUR. Lipton Brisk Iced Tea: GLUCOSE-FRUCTOSE, WATER, CITRIC ACID, SODIUM CITRATE, NATURAL FLAVOUR, LEMON JUICE CONCENTRATE, GUM ARABIC, SODIUM BENZOATE, ESTER GUM, POTASSIUM SORBATE, CALCIUM DISODIUM EDTA, ALPHA-TOCOPHEROL, COLOUR. 7-Up: GLUCOSE-FRUCTOSE AND/OR SUGAR, WATER, CITRIC ACID, NATURAL FLAVOURS, MALIC ACID, SODIUM CITRATE, SODIUM BENZOATE Mug Root Beer: GLUCOSE-FRUCTOSE AND/OR SUGAR, WATER, CARAMEL COLOUR, SODIUM BENZOATE, CITRIC ACID, NATURAL & ARTIFICIAL FLAVOURS, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, CALCIUM DISODIUM EDTA, QUILLAIA EXTRACT. Pepsi Cola: GLUCOSE-FRUCTOSE AND/OR SUGAR, TREATED WATER, CARAMEL COLOUR, PHOSPHORIC ACID, CAFFEINE, SODIUM BENZOATE, CITRIC ACID, FLAVOUR.
Should You Have a Free Slurpee on 7-Eleven Day?
Today and every July 11, 7-Eleven stores give out free small Slurpees. Guess it isn’t surprising that a company with that name would want to do something for its customers on the date of 7/11, right?
If you’re interested in an icy treat, you may think a Slurpee Lite, which debuted in May of 2012 and has half the calories of the classic Slurpee, is a healthy option. Let’s take a closer look at an eight-ounce Slurpee Lite Fanta Sugar Free Mango Lemonade Flavor, a drink that claims to be “naturally flavored” and “0% juice,” and its 13 ingredients. (Confession: I had to look many of these up since I had no idea what they were.)
1. Water. This is an easy one, and it’s not surprising that it is the first ingredient, since I would expect that from a Slurpee. Unfortunately, it goes down hill from here.
2. Dextrin. A starch usually made from corn, potato, arrowroot, rice, or tapioca, this is typically used as an additive to hold ingredients together or as a thickening agent. Right off the bat, this makes you wonder what needs holding together.
3. Erythritol. While this sugar alcohol/sweetener does not provide as many calories as sugar because it is not completely absorbed into the body, a high intake of sugar alcohol in general has been found to cause gastrointestinal distress in many people.
RELATED: 7 Foods a Nutritionist Would Never Eat
4. Glycerin. You may be familiar with this ingredient in soap, but it’s actually used as a fat emulsifier, preservative, sweetener, or thickener in many manufactured foods. I am clueless to its exact purpose in this Slurpee.
5. Citric acid. Since this is a “natural” preservative that’s used to add an acidic or sour taste to foods and soft drinks, I wonder if this where the taste comes from?
6. Potassium benzoate. I’m curious as to why they needed yet another preservative, this time one that inhibits the growth of mold, yeast, and some bacteria.
7. Gum acacia. This is used as a stabilizer. (Interesting that we still haven’t gotten to any “real” foods on this ingredients list so far.)
8. Quillaia extract. An absorbent substance/food additive used in baked goods, frozen dairy products, and puddings, and as a foaming agent in soft drinks. I never realized that a Slurpee “foamed.”
9. Natural flavors. Listed this way, I’m not even sure at all where they are from.
10. Sucralose. Also know as Splenda, obviously this is one of the many ways of which they were able to decrease the calories from the original version.
RELATED: 9 Common Foods That Contain Toxic Ingredients
11. Sugar extract. I have no idea what this is besides being a form of sugar.
12. Glycerol ester of wood rosin. Yet another food additive used as an emulsifier and stabilizer, simply, I don’t even like the sound of this one
13. Yellow 6. This commonly used food coloring is very controversial as to its relationship with increasing the risk of cancer.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes a free food or drink just isn’t worth it. Today (and every day), I am going to stick my straw in a cold glass of water with lemon instead.
What do you think, readers? Will you partake in 7-Eleven Day or skip it? Tell us in the comments below or tweet SHAPE @Shape_Magazine and Keri @kerigans.
- By Keri Gans
7-Eleven 7-Eleven convenience stores are famous for their Slurpees — sugary, blended ice drinks that refresh and give you a brain freeze (if you suck it down too quickly.) Drinking a Slurpee, however, means you will ingest a lot of corn syrup and calories, especially if you choose the 64-ounce Big Gulp, which serves up roughly 560 calories. But there’s good news for those watching their waistlines: 7-Eleven just announced plans to sell the new Slurpee Lite.
More From Delish: 30 Smoothie and Frozen Drink Recipes
The new drink is the first national sugar-free Slurpee made with Splenda. The first flavor, Mango Glory, has just 20 calories per serving versus 66 for the most popular flavor, Fanta Wild Cherry. Laura Gordon, vice president of brand motivation, told USA Today, “We talked to a group who said they would drink Slurpees more often if we take out the sugar and reduce the calories.”
If you’re curious about the new sugar-free flavors — or if you have a hankering for your tongue to turn bright blue — head to 7-Eleven on Wednesday, May 23 for your free Slurpee sample.
More From Delish: 14 Cool Drinks for Hot Summer Days
From 11 a.m. until 7 p.m., participating 7-Eleven stores will give away 7.11 ounces of the cool, frozen beverage in your choice of flavors. You can RSVP on Facebook and join the growing number of fans who plan to get their freebies. Plus, watch out for this summer’s additional sugar-free flavors: Fanta Sugar-Free Strawberry Banana and Cherry Limeade
Will you go to 7-Eleven to get a free Slurpee? Have you tried the new Slurpee Lite?
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Free Slurpee at 7-Eleven: Actually not that unhealthy, just innutritious
It is the 7-Eleven day celebration, and the Slurpee’s are coming on fast and heavy. Today Slurpee drinks are free, and you’re going to want to bury your face into a cup at your local 7-Eleven as soon as possible, most likely. Unless you don’t want to grab your brains and squeeze in utter agony because of the ever-present threat of brain freeze, or the various artificial ingredients which we’ll be going over presently. Let’s take a look!
Here’s what that Slurpee will have inside
The ingredients of this year’s free Slurpee are very similar to what they were last year. You can also attain a Coca-Cola Slurpee, Pina Colada, or Blue Raspberry, which each have slightly different nutritional facts, but largely the same ingredients.
2019 Free Slurpee Contents:
• Flavor: Fanta Wild Cherry
• Amount total: 12 fl oz (one serving)
• Amount of Calories: 100
• Carbohydrates: 26g (6% of your recommended daily intake)
• Sugars: 26g
• Sodium: 10mg
• Vitamins: 0
• Iron: 0
• Calcium: 0
• Dietary Fiber: 0
• Caffeine: 0 (so what’s the point, right?)
2019 Free Slurpee Ingredients:
• High Fructose Corn Syrup: AKA Glucose-Fructose*
• Citric Acid: Acidic compound found naturally in citric fruits
• Quillaia Extract: From the Quillaja saponaria, the soap bark tree, this extract helps soft drinks to foam
• Sodium Benzoate: A food and flavor preservative
• Yucca Extract: From the Mojave yucca plant, this extract is used for foaming and flavoring
• Red 40: AKA Allura Red AC
• Water: Good ol’ dihydrogen monoxide. Harmful if you drink too much, death possible if you drown!
*HFCS was a neat invention, but it’s probably not going to go down in history as humankind’s greatest contribution toward the furthering of the species.
If you did not already see the movie “The Informant!”, is extracted from corn starch to be used as a sweetener instead of natural sugars, due largely to its ability to be cheaper and easier to be created and processed into foods. Corn syrup is generally 76% carbohydrates, 24% water, with no fat, no protein, and no essential nutrients in significant amounts. So you eat it, it sits there in your body for a little bit, then (if you exercise) you get rid of it again. It doesn’t do much good for anyone.
So the Slurpee is full of mostly nothing, but a significant amount of sugar. One 12oz Slurpee is 26g, which is about the amount you’ll get in two Pop-Tarts. One cup, 12oz of Slurpee, is approximately 6.5 teaspoons of sugar.
The good news there is that a 12oz of Fanta Wild Cherry Slurpee has significantly less sugar in it than your average can of Coca-Cola (375ml serving), which has 40 grams of sugar. Gatorade has 36 grams of sugar (in a 600ml serving), and a standard tall can of Monster Energy Drink contains 54 grams of sugar. Slurpee may not contain much nutrition, but it’s not actually super terrible when it comes to sugar.
UPDATE: The Coca-Cola Classic Slurpee is pretty similar to the others, save its 16g fewer Carbohydrates, one extra gram of sugar, 27mg more Phosphorus, and 23mg of Caffeine. Same thing, right?
OK but where can I get one?
If you STILL want to get that free Slurpee from your local 7/11, by all means, this is America, be my guest. If you want to Ron Swanson yourself into a delicious container of corn syrup with Wild Cherry flavoring inside, today is indeed the day to do it. Select 7-Eleven stores are giving away neon mind-melting slurp-friendly drinks from 11AM until 7PM across the country.
San Diego Reader
What exactly are Slurpees made of? I know heavily sugared things aren’t particularly thirst quenching, but somehow you’d think even lots of sugar couldn’t make ground-up ice not thirst quenching. But it does. What’s in there, anyway?
— Drinking, but still thirsty in the Backcountry
The magikal Slurpee is a concoction of colored, flavored sugar water and a blast of carbon dioxide. (Ditto the Icee.) It is flash-frozen soda pop with a higher sugar-to-water ratio than the liquid stuff in a can. Into the back of the big Slurpee vat go the liquid and gassy ingredients; and through the wonder of technology, out comes very, very cold slush. There’s no crushed ice in the recipe.
Inside the Slurpee vat the secret machinery continually mixes the sugary, bubbly stuff in a freezer compartment that keeps it fluid and at brain-freeze temps. It doesn’t crystallize into slush until it comes out of the tap. To freeze properly, the sugar balance is critical. That’s why you won’t find diet Slurpees. At least not yet. But they’re working on it. (Oh, whoopee…) No sugary drink will ever quench your body’s thirst because it takes a large amount of water to metabolize even a small amount of sugar. Any “refreshing” feeling you get from a cold, sweet drink is just temporary and just in your mouth.
The Sugar And Chemicals In Your Free Slurpee
If you’re fond of neon colored, icy drinks, today is your lucky day. Since 2002, 7-Eleven stores have been giving away free 12-ounce Slurpees on July 11 (7/11).
The frozen drink is turning fifty this year and to celebrate, participating stores will be giving away 9 million small Slurpees from 11 am to 7pm.
But before you load the kids into the car, make a beeline to your local 7-Eleven and start turning your tongues bright red, yellow or blue, you may want to swallow some of these less than appetizing Slurpee facts.
There is nothing in a Slurpee that even remotely resembles real food.
Here’s the ingredient list for the Fanta Wild Cherry Slurpee:
“A beverage syrup prepared with high fructose corn syrup, water, citric acid, natural and artificial flavors, quillaia extract, sodium benzoate (to protect taste), yucca extract and Red 40.”
The only ingredient in this list that doesn’t require explaining is water. Here’s a little information about the others:
- Most people know that high fructose corn syrup is an inexpensive form of sugar processed from corn.
- Citric acid is used as a preservative and to give a tart flavor to beverages.
- Natural flavors can mean almost anything that is derived from a natural source like fruit, herbs or flowers. It can even mean a substance that is extracted from the anal glands of beavers to produce a vanilla flavor.
- Artificial flavors are man-made chemical concoctions designed to add certain tastes.
- Quillaia extract comes from the inner bark, small stems, or branches of the soapbark tree. It’s used as a foaming agent in beverages.
- Sodium benzoate is a preservative that has been linked to increased hyperactivity in some children.
- Yucca extract is used as a flavoring and as a foaming agent in beverages.
- And Red 40 is a controversial petroleum-based food dye that has been linked to hyperactivity and ADHD in children. It is banned in Norway, Finland, France, Austria and the U.K. and the European Parliament requires a warning label on products that contain the dye.
A 12-ounce Fanta Wild Cherry Slurpee has 6 teaspoons of sugar.
With 24 grams (approximately 6 teaspoons) of sugar, a 12-ounce Slurpee packs quite the sweet wallop. That’s about the same amount of sugar you’ll find in six Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies.
But those 6 teaspoons pale in comparison to the sugar content of the larger-sized Slurpees, which are far more popular:
Medium (22 ounces) 44 grams (11 teaspoons)
Large (28 ounces) 56 grams (14 teaspoons)
X-Large (40 ounces) 80 grams (20 teaspoons)
To put those numbers into perspective, the Medium has about the same amount of sugar as two packages of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups; the Large, the same amount as two Dunkin’ Maple Cream Drizzle Donuts; and, the X-Large, the same as 21 Chips Ahoy! cookies.
All that sugar isn’t so great for your body. Sugary drink consumption can raise a person’s risk for obesity, diabetes, tooth decay, heart disease and other chronic ailments. Researchers have found that drinking one or two sugary drinks a day increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 26%.
The American Heart Association recommends that children up to age 8 consume no more than 3-4 teaspoons of sugar daily and older kids limit themselves to 5-8 teaspoons. Men should have no more than 9 teaspoons and women, no more than 6. Just one small Slurpee has more sugar than a child should consume daily, while a medium is more than both men or women should consume each day.
Now that you know the facts, go get your free Slurpee. But since it has no nutritional value, is made from artificial ingredients and chemicals, and contains no real food, you’d best wait until 7/11/17 to have another.
Slurpee and slushie differences that will refresh you from the heat
A Slurpee and a Slushie are not the same. While there are some similarities, there are also some big differences. Some people call a Slurpee a slushie and a slushie a Slurpee, and there have been many debates about what to call the treats. Some say it doesn’t matter what you call them as long as you enjoy them.
Both are made with frozen ice and a sugary beverage that come in many different flavors. The ice is the same, but the flavors are different. While they are both popular on the hot days of summers, the icy drinks are available in the stores all year long.
Both of the drinks are named after the sound a person makes while drinking or eating it. The slurpy sound is made while drinking a Slurpee through a straw. The ice crystals in a slushie (also spelled slushy) are eaten with a spoon.
A quick lesson is to remember that a Slurpee is a brand name that is sold only at 7- Eleven. It always starts with a capital letter. The 7-Eleven store gives away a Slurpee every year on National 7-Eleven Day on July 11 to celebrate its anniversary. This year is the store’s 90th anniversary.
The convenience store is the only establishment that can sell or give away Slurpees because the frozen drink is a 7-Eleven commodity and cannot be found in any other store.
While Slurpee is a brand name, a slushie is a general name and can be purchased at any store or made at home. You cannot make a Slurpee at home. To further explain the difference in a brand name and a general name is to give three well-known examples.
Every tissue is not a Kleenex, but people ask for a Kleenex all the time so they can blow their nose. Every tissue is not a Kleenex, but every Kleenex is a tissue. You can always tell a brand name because the first letter is capitalized.
Another example is that every copier is not a Xerox. You hear it around the office all the time when people want to use the copier, which in most cases, is not a Xerox machine.
The same point is that every pill for a headache is not a Tylenol. The aspirin could be another brand.
To summarize, a Slurpee is a brand name sold only at 7-Eleven. A slushie can be sold at Wawa or made at home. The word “Slurpee” should always start with a capital “S.” It is usually consumed by using a straw and the sound that is heard is a slurp.
The bottom line is that no matter what you call the treats, pick up a free Slurpee on July 11 from any 7-Eleven to help the convenience store celebrate its birthday.