What Is In McDonald’s Shamrock Shake?


It’s officially March! And that means today, many New Yorkers are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day a little bit early with parades in Queens, Staten Island (and Jersey!).

And if you are Irish (like me) than chances are you have your own traditions to celebrate your heritage. While I probably won’t attend any parades, I am running a Leprechaun 5K on the 15th, and with the luck of the Irish on my side, I am hoping to PR.

Others look forward to the flavors of the Irish, whether it’s corn beef and cabbage, Irish soda bread, or a cold glass of Guinness. Then there’s the beloved seasonal Shamrock Shake from MacDonald’s.

The Shamrock Shake hits McDonald’s locations every sprint, first starting in 1970, originally called the “St. Patrick’s Day Green Milkshake.”

I can’t really put my finger on why this is such a popular treat, but there is even a Shamrock Shake finder.

Okay, so maybe the shake tastes good and it’s in such demand since you can only get your hands on it once year, but have you ever wonder what is in McDonald’s Shamrock Shake? I mean we are talking about McDonald’s, not known for healthy menu items.

McDonald’s Shamrock Shake contains 33 different ingredients including many chemicals that are poor for our health. It is loaded with sugar—115 grams for a large—high fructose corn syrup and lots of artificial flavors. A large has 23 grams of fat with a whopping 820 calories, the same as one and half Big Macs.

The main ingredients include: vanilla reduced fat ice cream, Shamrock Shake syrup, whipped cream, and a cherry. However, each of these ingredients contain many others.

For example, the ice cream contains: dextrose, corn syrup solids, and carrageenan (harmful on gastrointestinal). The Shamrock syrup contains: high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, water, sugar, natural flavor, xanthan gum, citric acid, sodium benzoate (preservative), yellow 5 and blue 1.

The whipped cream contains 12 ingredients itself including: cream, nonfat milk, corn syrup, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, nitrous oxide and carrageenan.

The ingredients made the shake a chemical cocktail of preservative and colorings that are bad for your organs. The chemicals have been linked to allergies, gastrointestinal issues, headaches, acne and even cancer.

You could just make your own the healthier way using almond milk, banana, avocado, vanilla and peppermint extract. Sounds a lot better than a whole list of ingredients that you probably didn’t even know you were consuming for just 5 minutes of satisfaction.

How do you spend St. Patrick’s Day? Are you a Shamrock Shake fan?



6 comments on “What Is In McDonald’s Shamrock Shake?”

  1. I can’t lie – I indulge in a shamrock shake every year. They are nostalgically delicious to me. I also use that day to indulge in my yearly Big Mac as well 🙂 Then I spend the following day remembering why I don’t do that more than once a year. Ah traditions. Haha.

  2. 115 g of sugar in a LARGE? I’ve never tried a Shamrock Shake (even though people are going nuts over it right now). But for that fact alone, I’m staying away from it. People need to post the truth about what’s in the products we consume – so thank you for doing that!!

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