Is your smoothie really healthy? Well, you might think so, but in reality that is not the case. LiveLighter program developed in Western Australia has recently released findings of an investigation into calories and sugar levels of store-bought smoothies, frappes and shakes this summer.

The official statement reveals that the World Health Organisation recommends that people should not consume more than 6 teaspoons of sugar on a single day for the biggest health benefit.

LiveLighter analysed the kilojoules, sugar and fat in 40 cold drinks sold at six chain cafes and fast food outlets this month. The survey revealed that half of the 40 drinks surveyed (including three ‘healthy’ drinks) had more kilojoules than a McDonald’s Big Mac (2060kj).

At least 24 drinks were hiding at least 16 teaspoons of sugar – more than a regular 600ml bottle of soft drink. And the seemingly healthy 98% fat-free Mango Fruit Fruzie from Gloria Jeans had the most sugar – a whopping 31 teaspoons (123g). Some shakes and iced-based frappes had up to 20.5g of saturated fat – almost twice as much as a Big Mac (10.7g saturated fat).

That is not all, reports that ‘Brekkie to Go-Go Super smoothie’ from Boost contains 2560kj, 500kj more than a Big Mac (2060kj) with 18 teaspoons of sugar.

The program also states that the ‘Protein Supreme’ smoothie from the same company’s Black Label range, which is marketed as premium smoothies with an abundance of nutrition, contains 2360kj and 12 teaspoons of sugar. While McDonald’s Large Bananaberry Bash smoothie contains 17 teaspoons of sugar.

“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,” states LiveLighter Victoria Campaign Manager Alison Ginn.

“If you do decide to have one of these drinks, you can limit the damage by asking for skim milk, choosing the smallest cup size available and sharing with a friend,” she signs off.