SOME fruit smoothies sold at popular drink outlets around Australia have more than 30 teaspoons of sugar in a serve, with Baskin and Robbins yoghurt smoothies among the worst offenders, a study by consumer advocate Choice has found.
The advocate group analysed 95 drinks from outlets including Muffin Break, Boost Juice, Donut King, Wendy's, Gloria Jean's and New Zealand Natural.
Among those drinks, Choice found 81 were high in sugar, 13 had more than 1900 kilojoules and five had high levels of saturated fat.
Choice spokeswoman Ingrid Just said while smoothies may have a healthy image, some were packed with hidden sugars like high-fructose syrup and fruit juice concentrates.
"This makes smoothies more like a sugary meal than a snack," she said.
The review found Baskin and Robbins yoghurt smoothies had between 29 and 31 teaspoons of sugars, including concentrated fruit puree, high-fructose syrup and added sugar, as well as artificial flavours and colours.
Five of the Muffin Break smoothies reviewed were high in saturated fat, with each drink having more than 11g of saturated fat a serving.
Boost Juice's super smoothies were made with real juice but were energy dense, with almost 2000kJ for a regular serve, about the same number as a meal.
"Dieticians recommend a snack to be about 600kJ - yet a quarter of the smoothies we looked at had almost three times that amount," Ms Just said.
The review found Boost Juice's skinny minnie smoothies were the best Boost Juice option, as they were made with fresh fruit and have fewer kilojoules.
Tips for healthier smoothies
- Go for smaller serving sizes
- Look for smoothies made from real fruit rather than juice concentrate
- Avoid smoothies with added sugars
- Ask for yoghurt instead of ice-cream
- Swap a smoothie for a piece of fruit and a tub of yoghurt
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