You might think of a fruit smoothie as a healthy snack option, but it very much depends on the ingredients. An analysis of smoothies sold in Australian chain stores by CHOICE highlights that some smoothies have more kilojoules than you need in a single meal.
Smoothies picture from Shutterstock
CHOICE analysed 95 fruit-based drinks from popular chains, including Boost Juice, Donut King, Gloria Jean's, New Zealand Natural and Wendys. The results weren't pretty. 81 were rated as high in sugar (more than 7.5g per 100ml), and 13 had more than 1900 kilojoules in a typical serve.
As CHOICE spokesperson Ingrid Just explained in the release announcing the study: "Smoothies might have a healthy image but some are packed with hidden sugars like high-fructose syrup and fruit juice concentrates which pack a dense sugary punch when compared with a couple of pieces of fresh fruit. This makes smoothies more like a sugary meal than a snack.
Sugar isn't the only problem. Five of the smoothies sold at Muffin Break have more than 11 grams of saturated fat in a single serve.
There's a lot of variation in what counts as a 'small' or 'regular' serve at each chain, which makes choosing trickier. Some chains offer nutritional information, but this isn't yet a universal trend.
The simple solution? Skip smoothies altogether and eat a piece of fruit (or two) instead. Hit the link for CHOICE's recommendations for the best and worst choices.
Are smoothies and frappés healthy? [CHOICE]