It’s hot outside, but beware of cooling down with a smoothie, iced frappe or shake.
A new survey of 40 cold drinks sold in Australian café chains and fast food restaurants has found half contained more kilojoules than a Big Mac.
The survey from LiveLighter, a government-funded health initiative, found that 24 of the drinks surveyed had at least 16 teaspoons of sugar, and some had 20.7 grams of saturated fat, almost twice what’s in a Big Mac. Health experts believe that many chains are misleading customers with phrases that make drinks seem ‘guilt-free’.
Food outlets use phrases like 97% ‘fat free’ or ‘dairy free’ to make their smoothies and frappes sound healthy.
“Food outlets use phrases like 97% ‘fat free’ or ‘dairy free’ to make their smoothies and frappes sound healthy, but with up to 31 teaspoons of sugar and as many kilojoules as a Big Mac, these drinks can actually do more harm than good,” says LiveLighter Victoria Campaign Manager Alison Ginn.
“Like with soft drinks and other sugar drinks, regular consumption of frappes and smoothies can contribute to weight gain and a buildup of toxic fat around your organs, which increases the risk of type-2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.”
One of the worst offenders was Boost Juice’s Brekkie to Go-Go Super Smoother (large) with 2560 kilojoules and 18 teaspoons of sugar. A Big Mac contains 2060 kilojoules. Gloria Jean’s Mango Fruzie (large) was also worse than the McDonald’s burger with 2150 kilojoules and 31 teaspoons of sugar.
One of the worst offenders was Boost Juice’s Brekkie to Go-Go Super Smoother (large) with 2560 kilojoules and 18 teaspoons of sugar.
“Our research found that on top of their high sugar content, milkshakes, thickshakes, iced coffees and frappes, which are laden with cream or ice cream, were also alarmingly high in saturated fat – some had more saturated fat than we should consume in an entire day,” says Roni Beauchamp from the Heart Foundation Victoria.
“For good health we should aim to limit saturated fats in our diet as they can raise cholesterol levels and put us at greater risk of heart disease. The average Australian should not have more than 16g saturated fat per day.”
If you can’t resist the cool drink, opt for a smaller size or offer to share a drink with a friend. Or better yet, whip up your own at home, so you know what's going in the blender.