Advice Column: Smoothies: Good or Bad?

By Noor H. Salem

Question:  Last week you mentioned the smoothies from McDonald’s not being a great choice. I always thought they were better to drink than pop and get it with my daily lunch. Can you explain why I shouldn’t?


smoothieLast week I elaborated on the benefits of home cooked meals, but also gave advice on eating on the go. It’s not easy for many people to walk into a restaurant and pick a healthy meal off the menu. In fact, most of the time, they are fooled into what the food chain advertises as healthy. So you are not alone. McDonald’s, as well as other fast food chains, advertise all around the world using Billboards, commercials, and even buses that their smoothies are made with real fruit. “Made with real fruit” is what they say, and “this is not true” is what I say back.

Don’t be fooled by advertisements; obviously they want to sell their product, and they’re not going to tell you that it’s harmful for you. Firstly, not a single branch of McDonald’s in the United States places fresh fruits in a blender when you drive up to the window and make an order. They pour sugar-packed concentrated fruit juice of the flavor you order, add milk, ice, etc. Then they blend it up, pour it in a plastic cup, and hand it to you with a smile. It’s not only McDonald’s that does this though; the majority of fast food chains will do the same. It’s not healthier to drink than soft drinks, and you’re better off without it daily. Begin by decreasing your intake to perhaps once or twice a week maximum. Make it a treat, or find an alternative that won’t affect you in the long run.


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