On Friday, I revealed some of my smoothie secrets. After I wrote the post, I saw an ad for McDonalds New Real Fruit smoothies. My initial thought was that one shouldn’t need to use the word “real” before fruit unless you are McDonalds. My next thought was that all smoothies aren’t created equal and the cup full of nutrition I had blogged about was many, many golden arches away from these suspiciously pink “real fruit” drinks. Before jumping to conclusions or rather to support the conclusions I had already made I did a little digging.
One multiple McDonalds franchise owner reported he was “selling the dickens out of the new smoothies.” And sales were so brisk in certain parts of the country that McDonalds cancelled a free giveaway of the beverages. After all, why give away what you can get good money for, right? Hearing that the beverages were selling well only secured my suspicions. As we know, in this country sweet sells. So just how sweet are these smoothies? A small, Wild Berry Smoothie has 44 grams of sugar. A cup of blackberries or strawberries has 7 to 8 grams which makes the 44 grams seem very “wild” indeed. If 44 grams doesn’t mean anything to you that’s 11 teaspoons of sugar, over ¼ cup, equivalent to 6 popsicles, 10 grams more than the same size frappaccino, it’s a ton. Hmn, how come there’s more sugar in a 16oz smoothie than in 7 cups of fruit? Well, because there’s sugar added to the “real” fruit purees and “real” fruit juices and a lot of it.
Is there anything good about these smoothies, any nutrition with that sugar? To be honest, there are 3 grams of fiber in the small smoothies. A cup of blackberries has 7 grams of fiber but 3 is something. And if this fiber came from the fruit I would be happy but there’s cellulose powder and xanthan gum listed in the ingredients both of which could comprise these 3 grams.
There is some confusion over these smoothies. Message boards alluded to the fact that Innocent Drinks (another name I’m not thrilled with) provided the ingredients to McDonalds. Innocent drinks advertise that there is nothing artificial about their beverages and make a lot of healthy claims. It seems, I could be wrong, that in the U.S. Innocent Drinks are not the source of McDonalds smoothies. In any case, sugar is “natural” as is fruit juice and I just don’t think it needs to be present in diabetic-coma inducing amounts. So I dug, I researched, I even entered the “fruitiverse” on McDonalds website and I’m not convinced. I like the universe and homemade smoothies better.
Have you tried these? I’d love to hear from someone who has. What do you think is the most disturbing part of this? The language in the ad suggesting “real fruit”? The amount of sugar in a seemingly healthy menu item? The cancellation of the free give away?
I tried a free shot of McD's smoothie at an airport last week. Not.Good. Cloyingly, molar-achingly sweet. Didn't really taste like fruit but rather like "froot". I'd rather have a 7-11 slushee. This is a big no for me.
And we started the "7 smoothies, 7 days" challenge yesterday with our new Brenville blender (highly recommended! No pulp or seeds for my texture-adverse husband). Yesterday we had a watermelon, strawberry, mint smoothie. Very refreshing, delicious on a hot day. Husband added some vanilla protein powder to his, and it was equally yummy. Tonight we'll try a honeydew and cucumber smoothie w/ a green tea base. Very excited!
We have enough problems eating healthy in this country without companies trying to pull one over on us when we finally make good choices (or try to). Sigh.
I'll definitely check out your smoothie recommendations. Marie's sound pretty good too!
The smoothie experiment has been great so far! Today we had a post-workout smoothie of green tea, grapes, mango, and peaches. Colin added protein powder to his, I added more lemon and lime juice to mine. Tonight we're trying the Giada-like basil smoothie!
I was so annoyed when I first saw the commercial for these smoothies. Now I'm even more annoyed that there is that much sugar in them. I knew it would be bad……. People are so gullible when it comes to "health" food. Slap a claim or label on there and all of a sudden it's good for you. Grr
Today's smoothie — "hawaiian delight" pineapple, papaya, mango, guava nectar, lime juice, ice. REALLY good! Maybe I'll add some mint or more lime next time. Loving the smoothies and the blender!
Last smoothie of the week — blueberry/lemonade/lime/mint/ice. This was delightfully refreshing, but a little pulpy, which freaks out my husband. We were given 2 gallons of fresh picked blueberries and I wanted to do something with them before I froze the majority. (5 cups of berries went to some whole grain blueberry/almond muffins…yum.) Great way to end the week of smoothies!
I liked it although I could tell there had been sugar added. I thought it tasted pretty natural with exception of a slightly artificial banana flavor.
Wanted to run get one now and in a debate with my bf about the true healthiness of it, looked up the ingredients and found that a small had 44 grams of sugar. Was disappointed and knew that getting one was now out of the question as I was no longer blissfully ignorant. Why couldn't McDonald's make one truly healthy item?? How hard is it to do? Even half of the sugar would be a step in the right direction.
The McDonald's smoothies are quick and healthier than POP…
They taste better than anything else McDonald's carries…
HATE MCDONALDS! They refuse to make anything even remotely healthy. Why would they put sooooo much sugar in their smoothies? I wish Americans would wise up and stop eating there, which would force the company to change their evil ways. Its disgusting, 44 grams of sugar! Come on people, get smart!
I tried this and it was disgusting..
Tastes nothing like "real fruit", and are way too sweet. Also if McDonalds really did use real fruit you would have seen fresh fruit at the back where they prepare the food/drink right? Well i didn't see ANYTHING like that :/ very questionable..
does anybody know how to get information on how many smoothies Mcdonalds sell in a day or month