As fast food chains end up the scapegoat of the excess weight emergency, McDonald’s does its part to change its standing as an artery-clogging, overweight hamburger chain. So, the recent launch of McDonald’s smoothies in their menus should not come as a surprise to anyone.
McDonald’s smoothies, publicized being made using “real fruit,” already have arrived at a number of the McCafe locations of the chain, and are allegedly selling far better than predicted, mainly among their target audience: females. Therefore, the golden arches already have big plans to launch the drinks to all of their 14,000 U.S. locations.
And why not? Isn’t a fruity drink better for you over a soda?
Here is the fact: McDonald’s smoothies are full of sugar, and sugar implies calories. In fact, a small strawberry banana smoothie comes with 210 calories — just about the same as a small order of French fries or a medium Coca-Cola. The large smoothie contains more calories than the cheeseburger — 330 calories to be exact. And there’s 70 grams of sugar in that one. Wondering where all that sugar will come from? Based on McDonalds’ contents listing, these smoothies incorporate sugar from pureed fruits and also fruit juice, as well as added sugar. This is a lot of sweetness for just one drink.
“These smoothies are quite rich in sugar and there are far too many calories to include one as your drink choice with a meal”, explained a representative for the American Dietetic Association. Savoring a smoothie with your quarter-pounder meal is a no-no, but why not a smoothie being a dish by itself? That doesn’t appear to work either “They have very little necessary protein, and that is important to keep a person full until their subsequent mealtime.” The spokesperson revealed.
Nevertheless, they are not even close to the nastiest item on the menus. If you’re out and about and you genuinely have no other option than one of these smoothies, pick a small one. And they’re a significantly better option versus the strawberry shake, which has 570 calories and 17 grams of fat in a small, but that’s not saying a lot.
Regardless of the marketing and advertising, McDonald’s smoothies are certainly one food you need to be careful with — The fact is, they can contain up to 1,500 calories.
So, the moral of the story is to make your smoothies at home using fresh or frozen fruits where you can control the ingredients and use either natural or low calorie artificial sweeteners if more sweetness is desired.