Smoothies are deceiving. You think you're making a healthy choice, but in reality, you're actually consuming way more than the recommended serving size of fruit.
PSA (before everyone freaks out): not all smoothies are "unhealthy," I'm solely passing judgement on the nutritional content of popular smoothies. That being said, take a look at why you might wanna rethink your next "all-natural, low-fat, 100% fruit" smoothie.
The good news about Chick-Fil-A's Berry Açai Smoothie is that it contains actual fruit ingredients (so yeah, I'd say that's a plus). Sugar in this smoothie though? 58 grams. That's more sugar than a Mini Oreo Blizzard from Dairy Queen.
Described as "the feel good taste of the summer" is Dunkin's Tropical Mango Smoothie. Let's assume you order a size small, so 16 fl. oz. of frozen, fruity flavor. This smoothie racks in 290 calories and contains citric and malic Acids for color retention.
Citric and malic whaaat? And for color retention? I don't know about you, but I'd say real ingredients are more important to me than color retention.
Jamba Juice thrives on the fact that they use no artificial flavors, preservative or high fructose corn syrup, so A+ for that. Again though, you have to consider how much fruit you're actually consuming in a single smoothie.
Tucked away in this smoothie is actually orange sherbet, so yes, basically ice cream. You're getting all the carbs in this smoothie, with a total of 61g in a size small.
The Strawberry Banana Smoothie from McDonald's is on the lower end for sugar with 40g. 40g of sugar is low? Well, no, but in relation to other smoothies on this list, yes.
There's about 11g of sugar in one cup of pureed strawberries and about 14g of sugar in one medium sized banana. So from the fruit, let's assume you get about 25g of sugar—we'll venture to guess the extra sugar comes from the milk and other random concentrates.
Low-fat? Yes. Low-sugar? Nope. Let's talk about what you're getting with this 300 calorie smoothie. The base of the smoothie is mango (so real fruit, A+ job), but this tropical drink is no stranger to added sugar either. This smoothie has a grand total of 57g of sugar.
Sadly, Sheetz falls into the "puree" category. Both banana and pina colada purees are used to create this 270 calorie smoothie. Among other ingredients, this smoothie contains xanthan gum, a thickening substance that can cause symptoms such as gas and bloating.
Smoothie King is legit when it comes to real ingredients. Their Passionfruit Peach Hydrator has an ingredient list of six: peaches, strawberries, coconut water, passionfruit juice blend, turbinado (sugar) and electrolytes. Impressive, right?
So what's the downfall with this? Well, not much, but you're just going overboard on your fruit intake for the day. A small, 20 oz. smoothie has 330 calories, 87g of carbs and 76g of sugar. Yes, this all comes from the six ingredients above, so it's natural, but it's also a lot.
Alright Starbucks lovers, don't go hatin' on me quite yet. This smoothie has its pros and cons, so just hear me out. It's always better to get the bad news out of the way first, so this smoothie's bad guy is the mocha sauce. Basically, it's the artificial flavoring that gives the smoothie it's unnatural, chocolate-y taste.
Yes, the smoothie is 320 calories and does have 53g of carbs and 34g of sugar, but it also has 20g of protein. Most smoothies contain under 10g of protein, so 20g in this smoothie is solid. Oh and for the fruit in this? Yep, there's real bananas!
What's your takeaway? Your takeaway is to be aware of what's going in your body. Check and see what's real and what's not. You want the real fruits, not fake purees.
Your body needs fruit, but as the old saying goes, too much of a good thing can be bad. You're smart though, so just keep some of this info in your memory bank and you're good to go.