August 20, 2010

McDonald's "Real Fruit" Smoothies

Things in smoothie-world have been on fire with the recent introduction of Real Fruit Smoothies from McDonald's. But how much "real fruit" is actually in a McDonald's smoothie? 

Both flavors - Strawberry Banana and Wild Berry - have fruit puree as their first ingredient, followed up by sugar in 2nd place, low fat yogurt (which also has added sugar) and ice.

A large (22 oz) Wild Berry Smoothie has 320 calories, 4 grams of fiber and 69 grams of added sugar. If you're not sure what 69 grams of added sugar looks like, it's slightly more than a 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Compare that to a McDonald's small Chocolate Triple Thick Shake which only has 63 grams of added sugar!

McDonald's Real Fruit Smoothies are basically fat free milkshakes. They're lower in calories than the shakes, but they are by no means a health food! There are 2-4 grams of fiber in a smoothie - but for 210-330 calories, it's hardly worth sucking that down just for the fiber. Your average piece of fresh fruit has 4 grams of fiber for less than 100 calories. 

McDonald's does sell Apple Dippers - which even after the smoothie introduction - remains their only "Real Fruit" offering.