But I knew going in that Smoothie King is a sugared-up wolf in sheep's clothing.
I don't normally patronize Smoothie King. But I live in a new town and need to promote my Texas Fit Chicks boot camp, so I visited the establishment in the hopes of dropping off a flier or two and reaching people who have a desire to "be healthy." So my daughter and I decided to throw them some business one Saturday morning.
As per usual when we go out to eat, Zach and I visited the nutrition website to select a healthy smoothie before I was standing at the counter to make a decision.
I was utterly flabbergasted at the nutritional listing of the smoothies. I'd estimate 99% of these things are nothing but sugar bombs. Here are a few of the highlights (review it yourself here). Note that these are for the 20 ounce "small" smoothies:
Remember, to convert grams to teaspoons, divide by 4
- Orange Ka-BAM -- 469 calories, 108 grams of sugar (the equivalent of 27 teaspoons of sugar)
- Lemon Twist Strawberry -- 398 calories, 94 grams of sugar (23 teaspoons)
- Coconut Surprise -- 460 calories, 64 grams of fat, 83 grams of sugar (20 teaspoons)
I could go on and on. And on.
Do you know what sugar is doing to us as a country?
- Weight gain
- Impaired immune system
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Leptin resistance (causing an inability to tell when we've had enough food)
- Sugar addiction
I'd be willing to bet that the average person on the street considers a stop at Smoothie King to be a healthy choice. One that is helping, not hurting, their attempts to live a healthy lifestyle.
And then they order the equivalent of 25 teaspoons of sugar.
As a personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist, it is so frustrating to see deceptive marketing everywhere you look. Without guidance or a desire to really find out what is healthy and what is not, the average person does not stand a chance in a grocery store or restaurant.
Now Provides Fiber!
From the LiveStrong website:
Sugar is the first ingredient on the list in Kellogg's Froot Loops. Grains include whole-grain corn flour, wheat flour, which is not a whole grain, and whole-grain oat flour. Froot Loops contains oat fiber and soluble corn fiber. This cereal contains hydrogenated vegetable oil, a trans fat. It also contains natural fruit flavors and several dyes and artificial colors. It's fortified with vitamins and minerals and contains BHT, a chemical preservative. A 1-cup serving contains 110 calories, 1 g of fat, 25 g of carbohydrates, including 3 g of fiber and 12 g of sugar, and 1 g of protein.Sugar is sugar is sugar. Whether it's coming to you in the form of a banana or Froot Loops does not matter. While it's not popular to stand up and say you ought to limit the amount of fruit that you eat, it is true that we need to keep an eye on our fruit intake in addition to watching added sugar. Which is everywhere!
- Instant oatmeal
- Peanut butter
- Jarred tomato sauce
Here are some of sugar's aliases:
Ugh. My trip to Smoothie King was weeks ago, and I'm still disturbed by it.
By the way, I did find a smoothie with no sugar in it -- the Gladiator. At 180 calories, 45 grams of protein and no added sugar, it was a good choice in a sea of bad choices. The best choice on the kids' menu was the "Choc-A-Laka" with 210 calories, 15 grams of sugar, and 13 grams of protein. It's made of frozen yogurt and cocoa, and contains 255 mg of sodium. Ho hum.
Be careful out there, people.
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