Fruit smoothies, frappes, juices and frozen yoghurt drinks marketed as healthy beverages, contain more calories than an actual meal, with some having the equivalent of up to 31 teaspoons of sugar.
Health experts are warning us to be wary of store-bought so called ‘healthy’ smoothies, after a survey of 40 cold drinks found some contained more calories than a Big Mac and more sugar than a bottle of soft drink.
And the biggest offenders? Boost Juice, Top Juice, Starbucks and Gloria Jeans. Here are some numbers;
- Boost Juice’s ‘Brekkie to Go-Go Super Smoothie’ contains almost 700 calories, which is 130 calories more than a Big Mac and has 18 teaspoons of sugar.
- The ‘Protein Supreme’ smoothie from Boost’s Black Label range, which is marketed as ‘premium smoothies with an abundance of nutrition’, contains 600 calories and 12 teaspoons of sugar.
- Top Juice’s ‘Breakfast Banana Smooslie’ is a whopping 620 calories with 115g of carbs, of which 94 are pure sugar. And their healthy ‘Protein Shakes’ are as equally bad.
- The Gloria Jeans ‘Mango Fruzie’, marketed as ‘98 per cent fat free’, contains 31 teaspoons of sugar and 550 calories.
These popular juice bars use phrases like 97% ‘fat free’ or ‘dairy free’ to make their smoothies, juices and frappés sound healthy, but with up to 31 teaspoons of sugar and as many calories as a Big Mac, these drinks will do more harm than good contributing to weight gain, a build-up of toxic fat around your organs and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.
Just because something says its gluten-free or dairy-free or fat free or natural, doesn’t make it healthy at all. People get confused by those terms but some of the calories in these ‘health’ foods are off the charts!
How Fruit Juices Went From Health Food To Junk Food
Fruit juice is often perceived as healthy. That’s understandable, given that it is natural and has the word “fruit” in it. However, what many people fail to realize is that fruit juice is also loaded with sugar and is no better than Coca-Cola.
- Coca Cola: 140 calories and 40 grams of sugar (10 teaspoons)
- Apple juice: 165 calories and 39 grams of sugar (9.8 teaspoons)
As for orange juice, it contains as much sugar as many fizzy drinks – think of your morning O.J. as soda – minus the bubbles.
If you think freshly squeezed juice from popular juice bars is a better option? Unfortunately, it’s worse. When you juice you need 5-8 pieces of fruit to get a decent glass of juice which is way too high in calories and sugar fructose that will most definitely halt fat loss.
A small amount of fructose, in an apple for example, does us no harm because we consume it along with the fibre. Fibre protects us against the effects of fructose by slowing its absorption, and also makes us feel full.
Lack of fibre is the key problem. When the pulp is removed so is the goodness and you are basically left with sugar. The pulp is where ALL the nutrition lies and what slows the absorption of the sugar fructose and prevents an insulin spike (which locks up fat loss = fat storage!). The pulp is not only important to your gut microbiome but is loaded with nutrients, vitamins and minerals and is most beneficial in the fruit itself.
Dr Robert Lustig obesity expert and author of Fat Chance: The Bitter Truth About Sugar, is unequivocal, “Calorie for calorie, fruit juice is worse for you than fizzy drinks” he confirms. If sugar highs and lows, weight gain, heart disease and diabetes risk weren’t enough to scare you then at least consider your teeth. The acids in fruit juices and the copious amounts of sugar can damage tooth enamel and make your teeth rot.
- Skip the smoothies and protein shakes altogether.
- Skip ingredients such as yoghurt, sorbet, coconut yoghurt, milk, avocado, acai and syrups.
- Choose lower glycaemic fruits such as apples and berries.
- Choose SML sized juices.
- Make sure when you buy a fresh juice, they use a blender that does not discard the pulp, choose a vegetable based juice and ask for ONE PIECE of fruit to be added only. You will not only have fewer calories but you will have a lower glycaemic reaction thus storing less sugars as fats and feel more fulfilled from including the pulp.
- Add 1 scoop of protein to the mix.
- Add fats to slow down the absorption of sugars – such as a tablespoon of MCT oil, flaxseeds, walnuts or chia seeds.
- Fruits are always better eaten whole and veggies are great juiced when the pulp is included because you will consume overall way more veggies in juice form which has amazing nutrients, minerals and alkalinity benefits. THE GREENER THE BETTER.
- Choose a fresh celery juice instead – the health benefits are astronomical.
- GROW UP! And switch to tea. It’s time. Tea is where it’s at. It tastes great, it’s calorie free and the body benefits are truly epic.
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By Kinga Czekalski
BODYIQ Founder, Nutritionist & IFBB Figure Champion
‘You are how you Eat+Move+Emote+Live!’
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