The 'healthy' smoothies with more sugar and calories than a can of Coke
23:37 GMT, 14 December 2012
Packed with fruit and with no added preservatives, fruit smoothies are billed as the healthy option when it comes to drinks.
But a new study shows smoothies might not be as healthy as they are cracked up to be – as they contain surprisingly high calorie and sugar levels.
Research by Which tested 52 fruit smoothies from leading brands and major supermarkets and found 24 contained 30g or more of sugar per 250ml, the equivalent of six teaspoons of sugar.
Which tested 52 fruit smoothies and found they might not be as healthy as they are cracked up to be
Nearly four out of five smoothies contained more sugar than a 250ml bottle of Coca-Cola (26.5g) with the worst smoothie per 100ml for sugar was The Co-operative Pineapple, Mango and Passionfruit smoothie with 14.7g of sugar.
Scientists say that while the sugar in smoothies is from the fruit and not added, it is just as damaging to teeth and weight as the sugar in fizzy drinks.
All the smoothies were also found to have surprisingly high calories – all 52 tested contained more calories than a 250ml bottle of Coca-Cola (105 calories).
The worst smoothie of all per 100ml for calories was Asda’s Pineapple, Banana and Coconut smoothie which had 71 calories..
Scientists say the high calorie and sugar content found in fruit smoothies is due to the high concentration of fruit included.
For example drinking one 250ml Innocent Blackberries, Strawberries and Blackcurrants smoothie contains: 3.5 blackberrries, one strawberry, 31 blackcurrents, 5 white grapes, one apple, half an orange and half a banana – which someone would be unlikely to eat in one go.
'It's clear from our research that smoothies might not be as healthy as many people think.'
Richard Lloyd, from Which
While the findings reveal shockingly high levels of sugar and calories, smoothies do still provide valuable vitamins and minerals, which you would not get from a bottle of Coca Cola which only contains added sugar.
The demand for smoothies has boomed in the last decade with the rise of brands such as Innocent and the market is now worth an estimated 109m a year.
Richard Lloyd, Which executive director, said: ‘It’s clear from our research that smoothies might not be as healthy as many people think.
‘Smoothies are a good source of fruit and provide valuable vitamins and minerals, but they can contain high levels of sugar and calories so should be consumed as part of a balanced diet.’
Which Also surveyed over 2,000 UK smoothie drinkers and found that nearly a third (29 per cent) wrongly believe that you can get more than two of your five a day from drinking a smoothie, with one in ten under the assumption they can get all five portions.
However research shows a person can only get their five-a-day by eating a mixture of fruit and vegetables, it is not possible to do this by drinking smoothies alone