SmoothiesNowadays, smoothies and other healthy beverages have became very popular, both among those who prefer home cooking and those who choose to take a light bite in small cafes or restaurants. Smoothies, frappes, various beverages with freshly squeezed juice or low fat yogurt are very well promoted as healthy drinks or snakes which can add a great number of vitamins and essential nutrients, at that are believed to be quite low in calories and dangerous fats. That is why most of us learned how to prepare and started extensively using this kind of beverages. Moreover, healthy beverages are now offered in some very popular fast food restaurants like McDonald’s, Baskin and Robbins, and many others. Recently, an international group of scientists decided to look closer at chemical content, calories and possible health impact of consuming such kind of healthy smoothies, mainly the ones offered by public restaurants. The findings were quite surprising and very very disappointing for the researchers.

According to the report published at the beginning of this year by an expert team from the consumer group Choice of 95, after analyzing a good number of ‘healthy smoothies’ and other healthy beverages from such popular fast food restaurants as Gloria Jean’s, Donut King,  Boost Juice, Wendys, and others it became apparent that they are overfilled with quite dangerous and unhealthy substances, thus can put our health to quite serious risks. Healthy SmoothiesFirst of all, the scientists could not help noticing extreme amounts of sugar in these beverages, and it is reported that in some of those the equivalent of 31 teaspoons of sugar was found (namely in most of the yogurt smoothies that are served in the restaurants of Baskin and Robbins network). “Smoothies might have a healthy image, but some are packed with hidden sugars,” Ingrid Just, a spokesperson for the research group commented on the findings of her colleagues from Choice of 95.

During the further research it was found out that the beverages like that are filled up with a variety of artificial flavor and preservatives, various fruit juice concentrates, high-fructose syrups, and a great number of other artificial ingredients which have no good effects on our health and can not be linked to anything ‘healthy’. Undoubtedly, such smoothies and other beverages should be considered harmful and it is recommended to avoid consuming those. Moreover, it was found out that the amount of calories in such healthy smoothies and other beverages is extremely high, and according to the findings, in some of those the amount of calories was as high as 200 kilojoules, making such kind of beverage  satisfy almost our daily norm of calorie intake. Thus, the researchers underline that such smoothies can not play a role of a snack since normal snack should not exceed 600 kilojoules in calories.

At the same time, as the analysis has shown, even those ‘healthy smoothies’ and beverages which claimed to be made only from natural juices without adding any synthesized chemicals were very high in calories. They still had roughly the amount of calories equal to a full meal for a healthy adult. Finally, the researchers pointed to another very important fact making these health beverages quite harmful to our health. It was found out that most of the smoothies and low fat yogurt beverages tend to be of a supersize, and the portions offered by most of the restaurants were too large for an average person. If a regular portion of a beverage like coffee rarely go beyond 300-400 ml, some portions of ‘healthy smoothies’ and health beverages went as high as 650 ml. “If you are an active person and you want a quick pick-me-up, some outlets have better options with smaller sizes, fewer kilojoules or less added sugar,” it is stated in the report. The researchers recommend giving a good thought and considering all pros and cons before using such kind of healthy beverages offered by modern fast food restaurants.

 

Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.



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