Are McDonald’s Real Fruit Smoothies really made out of real fruit?

The Short answer: Yes

The Long and more complicated answer:

Even though fruit is in the ingredient list-sugar is, too. The smoothies are made by adding ice and low fat yogurt to a fruit blend. McDonald’s sells two different kinds of smoothies: Wild Berry and Strawberry Banana. Here’s the ingredient list for each fruit blend:

Strawberry Banana Fruit Blend
Strawberry puree, banana puree, water, sugar, concentrated apple juice, contains less than 1% of the following: Cellulose powder, natural (botanical source) and artificial flavors, xanthan gum, citric acid, colored with fruit and vegetable juice, pectin.

-

Wild Berry Fruit Blend
Strawberry puree, water, sugar, blackberry puree, blueberry puree, concentrated pineapple juice, concentrated apple juice, contains less than 1% of the following: Cellulose powder, xanthan gum, colored with fruit and vegetable juice, natural (botanical source) and artificial flavors, pectin, citric acid.

Low Fat Yogurt (Added to both smoothies)
Cultured Grade A reduced fat milk, sugar, whey protein concentrate, fructose, corn starch, kosher gelatin. Contains active yogurt cultures.

The FDA requires the ingredient list to be written from greatest to least. This means that Strawberry Puree is the most added of the ingredients, and citric acid is the least (for the wild berry smoothie). With this rule in mind, Sugar is the 3rd ingredient on the Wild Berry Smoothie’s list. That means that a large portion of the smoothie is made of plain ol’ sugar.

Also, McDonald’s adds concentrated apple and pineapple juice to the smoothies. Juice concentrate is made by taking away the water from the juice, leaving the flavor and a lot of sugar left. On top of this, the low fat yogurt uses 2 more sugar ingredients: sugar and fructose. The sugar, concentrated juice, and fructose makes the smoothie one sugar-high drink. Look at the stats for proof:

Strawberry Banana-Small (12 oz.)

Calories: 210, Fat: .5 g, Sodium: 35 mg, Carbohydrates: 49 g, Sugar: 44 g, Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 2 g

Wild Berry-Small (12 0z.)

Calories: 210, Fat: .5 g, Sodium: 30 mg, Carbohydrates: 48 g, Sugar: 44 g, Fiber: 3 g, Protein: 2 g

But, if you should choose to order the large smoothie, the sugar content jumps up to 70 grams!

These smoothies contain a lot of sugar in them! If you were to drink one of these, expect your blood sugar levels to spike! Compare this 12 oz. smoothie to 12 oz. of mountain dew: mountain dew tops the smoothies’ sugar levels by a mere 2 grams! (46g grams in 12 oz. mountain dew)

In conclusion, why buy a small smoothie at McDonald’s for $2.29 when you can just as easily make one at home for cheaper? At home, you can also control what you put into the smoothie, making it healthier and yummier!

Smoothie Ideas:

~I love making smoothies all the time! They are quick and easy to bring. Just throw the ingredients in a blender, and take it to go in a cup! I make mine by putting frozen fruit (or fresh) in the blender, fill it with juice, water, milk substitute, and add other miscellaneous items like spices, extracts, or protein powder

  • PiNa Colada: coconut milk, pineapple, banana
  • Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry
  • Strawberry Mango
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter: cocoa powder (or chocolate protein powder), milk, peanut butter, banana
  • All the fruit in your pantry smoothie: and add milk and juice!
  • Peachy: peaches, papaya, mango, orange juice
  • Orange julius: orange juice, ice, milk
  • Chai smoothie: banana, milk, cinnamon, chilled chai tea

The possibilities are endless!

Thought-provoking, mind-prodding question of the day:

What is your favorite Smoothie? Do you make them at home, or but them somewhere? Do you drink them almost everyday (like me in the summer)?

(Psst! This Post is featured on WordPress Freshly Pressed-One of the best posts of the day! Yipee!)



 

 

321 Responses to McDonald’s “Real” Fruit Smoothies

  1. Haribo says:

    Brilliant post- so many people buy into these things thinking they’re putting good stuff inside them but you have shown its not always as good as you think!

    I am totally addicted to home made smoothies at the moment. Some fresh fruit, a blender, natural yogurt and ice! No added bits and bobs and they so delicious and a few euros will make litres ! :)

    • Thanks so much! People don’t always understand what they are drinking (or eating).

      Keep up the smoothie-making!! :)

      • Awesome Post! Does my blog count as “Family, pop culture and anything else that comes to mind” If it does, then please help me get my story out. http://www.forantonia.com Tomorrow night, George Clooney hosts a telethon “Stand Up 2 Cancer”. I wonder if Mr. Clooney will ever know of my story.

        Signed, a husband in love

      • missderrie says:

        Hi, I enjoyed your post- the photos do look delicious, I must say! I am now craving a fruity shake! To be honest, I never did trust McDonald’s. How food can be that ‘tasty’ yet be 100% natural beats me. It tastes unnaturally good. I may try a sneaky new shake but I won’t be making a habit of it. In a magazine I recently bought there was an article on how there are 12 sugar cubes (equivalent) in the current shakes they do. This to me is ridiculous and I’m surprised they’re allowed to sell them!

        I think people can buy and eat whatever they like, but it is wrong of restaurants to deceive us. It either is real fruit or it isn’t! Things are beginning to change, though and I like it. Nearly all foods have nutritional information on their packaging now and I do check how much fat etc products have.

        But as I said..yes I will be going to try one. Well done for making freshly pressed!
        MissDerrie

      • y8 says:

        yes, this is delicious drinking

      • Do what we do: Never eat fast food. The term “fast food” is an oxymoron anyway.

        We have smoothies for breakfast almost every day of the year, using home made yogurt, fruit we grew or picked ourselves, flax seed, an egg and a touch of honey.

    • Thanks Alex for this information. My son is diabetic and I love the diet info when eating out! It helps me keep him healthy :)

    • Kathleen Rowland says:

      Me too, Haribo– I’d rather make my own without sugar and fructose. Thank you, Spoonfulofsugarfree, for your in depth post.

    • cscpr2010 says:

      i totally agree but we still can”t stop ourself drinking smoothies from mac donald. its always better then the other fast food.

    • laceymp says:

      I agree people definitely buy in WAY too easily. Not with food products alone, also electronics, clothes, and other whatsits.. I wont really go into that.

      Point is that homemade and natural anything is always going to be better then anything commercial. Anything commercial means they are using the absolute cheapest ingredients to make their product cheap so they can profit. Therefore, getting a not-so-great product as media would like them to believe.

      Great artical. I enjoyed the read!

      Love, Laceymp

    • laceymp says:

      I agree people definitely buy in WAY too easily. Not with food products alone, also electronics, clothes, and other whatsits.. I wont really go into that.

      Point is that homemade and natural anything is always going to be better then anything commercial. Anything commercial means they are using the absolute cheapest ingredients to make their product cheap so they can profit. Therefore, getting a not-so-great product as media would like them to believe.

      Great article. I enjoyed the read!

      Love, Laceymp

      • I agree all the way!! It is so hard to go to the store now without having to worry about what kinds of chemicals are lurking in your foods. I always have to read the ingredient’s list now just to make sure (like HFCS in Worcestershire sauce?)

    • tigerlalie says:

      thanks for posting this… i have been addicted to the wild berry smoothie ever since they came out and was just on the way to get one when i read this…

  2. huanglixia says:

    I really like posts like this.

  3. I have never made one at home, but might have to try it! Nice post:)

  4. Azure Finch says:

    Great post. I love making at-home smoothies too, but my current blender is too weak to crush ice or cut through frozen fruit, which limits my options. Peanut butter banana smooties are my favorite!

  5. Dan Wilson says:

    I make a smoothie every morning. I use frozen fruit blends such as a berry blend from cascadian farms, almond or coconut milk, add in a fresh banana and some real peanut butter and I’m good to go. No lactose, mostly natural sugars, healthy, tasty, and keeps me going till lunch!

  6. I love smoothies, I make them myself though. I thought it beat the heck out of Ice cream (calorie & fat wise). I just use fruit, low fat yogurt and 1/2 cup of OJ, guess I had better check to see if this is actually good for me?

    • Oh Yes! That is definitely a healthy smoothie! It’s good that you only use 1/2 cup of oj instead of a whole cup because the juice can get really high in sugar if you drink too much. Keep up the good work!

  7. Besides the informative post (which was well-written and to the point), I really dig the layout of this blog. It’s eye-catching and classy. Very cool. : )

  8. McDonald’s is being deceptive?? Never!

    j/k

    Great post. The only real smoothies are the ones you make and know what’s going in them. A Magic Bullet is like God’s gift to smoothie making. :D

    Cheers!

  9. Marc says:

    Great post! Thanks for the info.

  10. Evan G. says:

    thanks a lot! this was really informative (and fun too)!!

  11. BitFit says:

    We don’t have these McSmoothies in the UK yet, I don’t think. They seem a great exercise in marketing and not in nutrition by the looks of it. What a shame. Why not just make the things out of decent ingredients rather than cheap refined sugars? Ummm…

    I make my own from fresh fruits quite often: grapes, strawberries and blueberries with the mandatory banana base and apple juice. What’s great about it is that if left in the fridge for a day while you go to work, all the fibre rises to the top, which you dry out into a snack bar, while the at bottom resides all the refined juices and pectin: fruit jelly! (Or jello, depending on which side of the Atlantic you are reading this…). For me, though, it is best drunk straight away.

    • I know! Why can’t McDonalds just use fruit-why do they HAVE to add more sugar? But oh well….I’m perfectly ok with making my own. Then I’m not stuck with just strawberry and banana or wild berry…I can experiment!!!

  12. Stephanie says:

    I am surprised that they really do put fruit in their smoothies! As you pointed out, the sugar content is way high, but it is kind of a miracle that they actually do use real fruit. Thanks for the post and the recipe!

  13. I love making my own smoothies! Espcially Green Smoothies Boo! Mcdonalds, Boo!

    • elenasc says:

      I’m with you! Even if I enjoyed reading this post I still have hard time believing there is real fruit in those McDonald’s smoothies. Or maybe it’s just because I love making it myself!

  14. congrats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Sinead says:

    that’s really interesting, I read somewhere that some of the McDonalds salads have more calories than their cheeseburger – pretty crazy! They don’t sell smoothies at my local McDonalds but I have to say although they do seem quite high in sugar, some of the ones they stock in the supermarket are even worse…I like to get my smoothies from a fresh juice bar but this post is kind of inspriring me to make my own now :)

  16. Thanks for the heads up. I’ll admit that I bought one. I do suffer from a lack of blender though. I hope to fix that soon. There are so many things that I want to blend damn it. :)
    Congrats on being freshly pressed!

    • Oh I hope you get a blender soon! You can actually find some really cheap ones that work well. Maybe in the meantime you can make your smoothies with your fork!! Hahaha-an arm exercise and a treat in one! (That would probably be really messy, though, and super time consuming!)

  17. urbannight says:

    With so many types of fruit concentrates added to those smoothies, there is no need to add more sugar. It just seems silly. Just reading about it makes my teeth and tummy hurt.

  18. Sulfonix says:

    Must say, informative post! Though I never tried a McD smoothie, now I don’t think I’d even want to.. I love Pina Coladas!! *goes away to make a smoothie right now*
    Oh and… Congrats on getting to Freshly Pressed

    http://sulfonix.wordpress.com

  19. Thanks for the breakdown. I’ve had a McD smoothie, and I wanted to believe that they were good, but didn’t investigate the numbers. With your help, now I can make a better choice.

  20. Señora López says:

    Thanks for this post. I got coupons in the mail from McDonald’s yesterday and included in the packet were coupons for completely free smoothies – no purchase necessary. I was going to give them a try after all the commercials I’ve seen making them look so healthy —- should have known better. Now I’ll skip it. This is a good reminder to check out the nutrition information. It’s just so disappointing that companies/restaurants have to go and ruin a good thing. The U.S. continues to unsuccessfully fight obesity. It’s no wonder. Eating healthy is hard enough when one has bad habits from childhood. This kind of thing does not help those of us who are at least trying.

  21. I love smoothies, but rarely buy them. Making them is SO much cheaper and better for you! My favourite:

    1 banana
    1 big ol’ handful of frozen berries
    1 blob Plain low fat yogurt
    1 splash of sugar free chocolate Almond Dream

    Sometimes I switch up the chocolate splash for fruit juice and add lime or lemon to make it tangy!

  22. Andrea says:

    I make AT LEAST one smoothie pretty well every day! I am a competitive rower and a rowing coach, so I either take one with me before practice if I’m coaching as a quick breakfast (at 4:30am I don’t want to think!) or I have one after practice if I’ve been rowing myself.

    This summer I bought cases of local, organic fruit and berries and chopped it up for the freezer so that I wouldn’t go without this winter.

    -1-2 raw egg (Note, from grass-fed chickens from a local farmer. Raw eggs from the supermarket are not so good for you, if from grain fed chickens!)
    -raw/unpasteurized milk
    -frozen fruit galore (my fav is banana + blueberry + peach, but i also have raspberries, strawberries and blackberries in my freezer!)

    YUM. I want one right now, actually.

    • That sounds like a good smoothie!!! I have just started to drink milk again once I found raw milk. It makes me feel sooo goood! Wow, your strawberry and cream smoothie sounds so good that I think I will go make one right now :)

      !END

  23. Great, informative post, although I wouldn’t trust McDonald’s as far as I can throw the hamburglar anyways! What I’m interested to know is what exactly denotes “puree”. Generally, it is the fruit itself blended together. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if that puree also has added sugar in it!

  24. Thank you for posting this. It really sucks that they made something that could be healthy so bad for you. What was the darn point? What would had happen if they just left the sugar out? Evil McD’s…

    I make my own smoothies. I prefer it, they taste better and I know exactly what is going in.

  25. evilcyber says:

    Excellently said! I recently had a similar article that highlighted the differences between Starbucks trying to appeal to the fitness-minded and their menu. Their “Orange Mango Vivanno Smoothie” comes with 260 kcal per 16 fl oz, most of them (34 g) from sugar. In comparison 16 oz of Coca-Cola, the softdrink most people have in mind when they think “sugar”, have only 194 kcal.

  26. Jan Marie says:

    Thanks for posting this! I wish more people realized what a farce all this “real fruit” stuff is. I drink smoothies from only two places: home or Smooth Moves, the local smoothie/coffee shop. They make theirs with nothing but whole fruit. You choose frozen mango or frozen strawberry to start (instead of ice), then one or two other fruits including banana, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, peach, and probably a couple others I’m forgetting. Then you choose whether you want apple juice or cranberry juice. They add a shot of peach puree to sweeten it, and that’s it. No dairy products, no extra sugar, no chemicals… I got so used to that, I tried a “real fruit” smoothie from a chain place one time (not McDonalds, I refuse to go there) recently and it felt like I was drinking liquid sugar, by comparison.

  27. Jaclyn says:

    I agree that there is a misconception of healthy foods, which is disappointing. I like to talk myself into things like smoothies by saying “oh it’s a smoothie, it’s healthy, it has fruit.” But, when you break it down, there is a lot of sugar that goes into smoothies made from other places, like McDonalds. However, when you compare a smoothie to a Mountain Dew, I think picking the smoothie is much more beneficial. At least a smoothie, with sugar, offers some substance of fruit and milk. A mountain dew offers no health benefits.

    I also agree that making smoothies from home is the best way to go. That way you get to personalize them and actually monitor what is going in them. Therefore, if you don’t want sugar, you do not need to add straight sugar, although other juices and low fat yogurt ice creams still will have some levels. Let’s not forget that some sugar in a diet is perfectly health too.

    • Oh some sugar in a diet is definitely good! Our bodies crave that quick carbohydrate energy. But it definitely is not necessary to add sugar to something that is naturally sweet.

      And I agree with you that McDonald’s smoothies are much healthier than a mountain dew! If I was stuck out in the middle of no-where with my only food being McDonald’s smoothie or soda. Every time, I would choose their smoothie because it does have the fruit which adds vitamin c and fiber.

  28. Strangely enough, I have managed to not eat anything from McDonald’s for my entire life so far. And I hope it stays that way. But I do loooove smoothies! :) Great post!

  29. kireinachou says:

    I love smoothies too…

  30. aurumgirl says:

    Still contains lots of sugar, ingredients I don’t want (such as msg–”botanically” sourced artificial and natural flavours, sure thing) and gelatin (great in soup stock, idiotic as an additive to watery flavourless yogurt) to replace the good fat in yogurt.

    Plus I’m sure the fruit used is not the best quality–just the cheapest available, since they also have to colour the smoothies in order to make them look fruity.

    Right now fruits are abundant where I live–lots of peaches, plums, fresh figs, apricots, sweet pears, grapes, berries of all kinds and apples of every variety. I’m not crazy about smoothies but if I were to make one it would contain the best yogurt–full fat, as well–I could find, and maybe some really good wildflower honey or maple syrup to give it a bit of sweetness.
    Even if every ingredient I used were costly, it would still be cheaper than McD’s pseudo food version, and likely taste a heck of a lot better too.

    • I totally agree with everything you say!!! And you might like a good smoothie with fresh strawberries and raw milk or yogurt! It would taste like strawberries and cream :)

      And I hope you enjoy your fresh fruits!! Sounds very good.

  31. aurumgirl says:

    @ Angela, the Rower–

    your kind of smoothie sounds perfect. Wish I could get raw milk and dairy here-it’s still “illegal” in Canada, because we’re not allowed to decide for ourselves what we can eat. And raw egg is still the best smoothie protein source out there, and yes, very safe to eat if they’re grass/forage fed, free-range chicken’s eggs. All pricey stuff–but still cheaper than McD’s, and at least your version is loaded with protein too.

    • Yeah, In the US, raw milk is mostly illegal, too. Maybe if you find it at a health food store? I found mine at a small health food store. That lady who owns the store, Abby, said that they have to label the milk as a “pet food” in order to sell it. So the label on my raw milk says “Not for human consumption”

  32. Evie Garone says:

    I’ve always made my children banana smoothies. I like some of the ideas I’ve read here! Thanks for the post! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!I guess McDonalds is still trying to do their part…it’s better for people who never eat any fruit, right???

    evelyngarone.com

  33. serenityh82 says:

    This is my first time commenting. I often like buying McDonalds smoothies, thanks for letting me know what is in it. I love making my own smoothies especially from fresh fruit. I’ll keep an eye on your posts. Thanks for letting us know about these.

  34. dafilex says:

    I love smoothies but hate my body with a passion. McDonalds really knows what I like.

  35. Ishana says:

    I see adverts for these at the train station every morning on my commute to work. The adverts themselves feature fake (or at least, photoshopped) berries, which automatically puts me off. If they can’t even feature real fruit in the advert, how can I trust the product itself?

    Thanks for highlighting the actual content of the smoothies, always good information to know.

  36. helengunnar says:

    Thanks for your great post pointing out the high sugar content of most commercial smoothies. I love making smoothies, especially for breakfast. Occasionally, if I’m feeling that I haven’t had enough fruits and vegetables over the course of a day, I’ll have one for dinner. I’m partial to throwing in a handful of fresh organic baby spinach, since it’s an easy to way to get a serving of greens and you can’t taste it. (Has to be fresh; frozen doesn’t work.) I’ve also been grating lemon and lime zest into smoothies along with squeezing the juice. Since I never add sugar or any sweetener to my homemade smoothies, I notice that the commercial ones, which years ago I would have loved, taste WAY too sweet to me.

  37. I thought it was just logical to not trust anything coming from a fast food restaurant as “Healthy”.

  38. SallyK says:

    I go tio a local market every Friday and a guy there makes smoothies with freeze dried fruit because he doesn’t have freezer space at the market. That plus yogurt and milk make a delicious smoothy – I never would have thought of using freeze dried fruit. Only organic of course….. North Coast Muse @ http://sally1029.wordpress.com

  39. sarahnsh says:

    Yeah, I was thinking those smoothies would have a ton of sugar in it. I’ve basically cut pop, soda, and other drinks from my diet, I mainly just drink water now. Even with fruit juices there will be a ton of sugar, especially lemonaid to cut down the tartness of it.

    This is a great idea to make smoothies at home if you like them, they’re super easy and then you can control what goes into it if you want it healthier.

    • Good for you! I know so many people who have a hard time breaking their soda habits. Keep up the good work!

    • dcwright02 says:

      my wife had a soda addiction. now a popcicle addiction. for the life of me i can’t convince her that a popcicle with as much sugar as calories is not good for you. addictions are hard, we all have our own to deal with. congrats on making water your drink of choice. I’m the same, water, coffee in the morning and tea at night when i’m in the mood. take care!

      • That’s great for you! But maybe your wife needs a new yummy treat to love. Have you seen the banana ice cream recipe on my blog? Or maybe freeze some smoothies into cups to make your own homemade popsicles? I always like frozen grapes, too! Good luck!!

  40. The Rowdy Chowgirl says:

    Great post–you are so right about smoothies, and not just the Mcdonalds version. They are often high sugar, high fat, high calorie…and yet they somehow seem like a healthy option. Much better to make your own (or just drink the Mountain Dew already!)

    • Yep, pretty much any smoothie place you go adds sugar. For example, Smoothie King automatically adds turbinado and honey to all their smoothies. You have to ask for a “skinny” smoothie to get just the fruit. It tastes sweet on its own!

      • inkgwen says:

        I went to Planet Smoothie last week and asked them to add sugar in my smoothie, but they said they didn’t have sugar to add because they don’t add sugar. He offered a “stevia” (sp) alternative to sugar, but I declined and took my smoothied “straight up,” no sugar! :) The natural sugars in the fruit were good enough for me.

  41. Jornal do Whisky says:

    i dont know if is healthy, but my son loved the flavor.
    http://jornaldowhisky.wordpress.com/
    Cheers!

  42. Joey says:

    Excellent post, and this is one of the main reasons I have stopped eating at McDonalds so often. I don’t mind the odd treat now and again, although my preference would be given to KFC any day. Do you have a blog like this for the burgers and chicken products that McDonalds sell? I’d love to find out what is in those. I once heard a rumour, I’m still unsure whether it is true or not, that if a burger from there did not come with the pickle (or gerkhin) on it, it would be classed as a dessert and would be illegal to sell because of its high sugar content. I’d be intrigued to find out just how true it is!

  43. divinedebris says:

    Ah ha! I knew McDonald’s couldn’t be trusted. I’m a huge fan of the smoothie, make them at least 4 times a week. I like to throw frozen fruit, spinach and yogurt in my smoothies- deceptively deliciously nutritious.

  44. ivanbissell says:

    My daughters love to make home made smooothies and I love to do my part in helping consume them!

  45. Thanks so much for this post. Virtually everything McDonalds sells is genetically engineered and loaded with “surprise” ingredients. And, McDonalds aside, if people knew what they were eating in most places (I mean, really eating), they might think twice about buying it. I think it’s really important for people to know the truth about all of our food products nowadays, since they are completely different than what was being sold a generation or two ago.

  46. Cynthia Matos-Medina says:

    Thank you so much for this post.
    It is very eye opening. It’s easy to fall for the adds and the trick they play on you.
    Thanks!!!

  47. Thomas says:

    I had no idea the McD smoothie had so much sugar. I don’t drink soda, now I know to avoid this “healthy” drink.
    For smoothies at home I use non-fat Greek style yogurt, a banana, skim milk and whatever frozen fruit I have available (wild blueberries, mango, papaya, peach, cherries) in lieu of ice. Sometimes I toss some cinnamon or nutmeg in there.

    Here’s my post about the food at the Iowa State Fair. It makes McDonalds look healthy in comparison:
    http://middleofthefreakinroad.com/2010/08/28/the-iowa-state-fair-fried-food-on-a-stick/

    • Oh I will check out that post! I actually grew up in Iowa, and have gone to the state fair almost every year! (it’s the best in the country!) But the food is truly nasty, everything you can think of-fried and on a stick

  48. Summer says:

    I truly think not!!
    nothing is real food in MCdonalds!

    LOVE.
    SUMMER.

  49. saraflower says:

    Wow that is nasty! It’s like diabetes in a smoothie. :(

  50. Alexandra says:

    Great with some new ideas :) Why do they add sugar?? Usually juice contains a lot of sugar because the fruit does, but why add extra??

  51. joefisher1 says:

    Thanks for the post Alex! Great information. In McDonald’s defense – they are trying by adding puree. You can’t get away from sugar. It is naturally occuring in everything, including fruit.

    What we need to analyze is the fiber content and the vitamins and minerals in the smoothie when comparing it to a can of Mountain Dew. It’s all about nutrient density.

    My family loves the smoothies I make. I use frozen fruit, lowfat yogurt, ripe bananas, V8 Fusion and Carrot Juice. I like the V8 Fusion instead of the concentrated juice because you get a serving of fruit and vegatables in each serving. I like the idea about peanut butter – I am going to try this.

    • That is definitely true-2 grams of fiber and 70% vitamin c is a whole lot better than nothing! But if McDonald’s smoothies can be avoided…

      I’ve never tried adding V8 juice to smoothies-what a great idea! Thanks!

  52. Mimi says:

    I’ve been skeptical of McDonald’s smoothies from the beginning. Actually, smoothies in general are often sugar-bombs in disguise. I definitely like making my own at home, where I can control the ingredients!

  53. Thanks for the great post. I was surprised that McD’s has fruit in their smoothies. More importantly, I am glad for the reminder that I can do them at home. It is funny how we forget the simpliest things that are tasty when made fresh.

  54. Homemade smoothies are hands down the best and it’s all about control. You control what goes in…flavours, fruit, amount of sugar, all that good stuff. I’m not really a fan of the fast food restaurant smoothies or milkshakes – they always have that nasty aftertaste that clings to your throat and esophagus on the way down.

  55. Ahh great post pointing out what’s REALLY in a smoothie.

    Too many ppl just assume, “ohh smoothie, such a healthy option, I’m IN” and they wonder why the weight scale never changes lol

  56. Kim says:

    Thanks for this post! I was often wondering. It’s ridiculous to add sugar to a smoothie with so much fruit….there’s already sugar in there!

    For a great dairy and soy free smoothie, I use So Delicious coconut milk yogurt in vanilla. Tastes great, and works well paired with strawberries and orange juice and ice. Highly recommend!

  57. dcwright02 says:

    has anyone bothered to look at McDonald’s healthy salads? OMG freaking full of fat and calories! you might as well eat a big mac! or how about the “healthy” subway? not so healthy once you pile on mayo or any of their other dressings (except for mustard). PEOPLE, PLEASE INVEST SOME TIME INTO THINKING ABOUT WHAT YOU PUT INTO YOUR BODIES!!

    great post and congrats on your fresh press!

  58. catfest says:

    Thank you for this info!! I saw they had Real Fruit smoothies and assumed they wouldn’t add sugar. Reading on, I see they use yogurt with gelatin, too. Ick. So, I’ll be avoiding McDonald’s completely now. I like to make my own smoothies at home, too. I use Costco frozen fruit and milk or juice and/or Trader Joe’s or Wallaby yogurt.

  59. milieus says:

    Great blog! I’m going to have to come by here more often!

    I also wrote a blog about McDonald’s and their “healthy” food. Check it out!
    http://milieus.wordpress.com/2010/09/07/the-value-of-the-healthy-option/

    <3 Milieu

  60. inkgwen says:

    Haha…this is too funny. I had a Wild Berry smoothie from McDonald’s last night. Last night was the 3rd time I bought a smoothie from McDonald’s. The more I drank it, the less natural it tasted and felt. As it melted, and I got to the end of my smoothie “treat,” it seemed more syruppy than anything else.

    I decided I was going to get online and find out how they really made the smoothie and what they put into it because it literally tasted like it was just flavored syrup (with berry seeds) and ice (more syrup than ice). The consistency felt very unnatural and thick and nasty in my stomach. The way the syruppy smoothie oozed down in my cup was the way I imagined it oozing down in my stomach. Blech! I love smoothies, but I decided that would be my last one from McDonald’s.

    Anyway, I was going to write a blog about the same thing, but, it seems you beat me to it! :) Saves me the time and energy researching the ingredients. Thanks! It also confirms that if I want a really good smoothie, I should just keep going to Planet Smoothie. Although it’s more expensive, it is better tasting and healthier. (My favorite is Mango/Strawberry)

    I’ve tried making my own smoothies at home, but they never really taste all that good. I use fresh fruit. Maybe the secret is using frozen fruit. I might try that next time.

    Thanks for the blog, and congrats on being freshly pressed! :)

  61. reyglo says:

    informative post. I just had one the other day and thought it was a bit too sweet for my own good.

  62. Pop says:

    I saw some fruit snacks at the store the other day that had the following on the box:

    No HFCS! Good source of Vitamin C! Made with real fruit!

    17g of sugar, 10% vitamin C, made with juice from concentrate. Gotta hand it to them though – if I didn’t stop and read the labels, I’d think I was eating something healthy.

  63. crazy kitty says:

    I knew it!!! I never buy these stuff. Don’t even buy cakes or creams. Just make everything at home. So I can control what I eat. Not that I don’t eat/drink tremendous quantities of sugar, but I know what and when goes in my system ;) My mum thought me well :P

  64. Great Post! Does my Blog http://www.forantonia.com count as “Family, pop culture and anything else that comes to mind”? If it does, then please help me get my story out. Tomorrow night, George Clooney hosts a telethon “Stand Up 2 Cancer”. I wonder if Mr. Clooney will ever know of my story.

    Signed, a husband in love

  65. Thanks so much for heads up! I almost bought one of these last night thinking it would be healthy-ish.

  66. jenkline75 says:

    My husband and I were just talking about these the other day. We knew that McDonald’s would never really go all that healthy. His guess was that they just added fruit to their milkshakes. Thanks for the post and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  67. pickiepixie says:

    Here’s something funny – I didn’t even want to bother with the smoothies because of the price, but now I don’t want to bother because it’s a sugar bomb! Thanks for the insightful post. This is a great blog. :)

  68. [...] { September 10, 2010 @ 10:42 +00:00Sep } · { Uncategorized } Are McDonald's Real Fruit Smoothies really made out of real fruit? The Short answer: Yes The Long and more complicated answer: Even though fruit is in the ingredient list-sugar is, too. The smoothies are made by adding ice and low fat yogurt to a fruit blend. McDonald's sells two different kinds of smoothies: Wild Berry and Strawberry Banana. Here's the ingredient list for each fruit blend: Strawberry Banana Fruit Blend Strawberry puree, banana p … Read More [...]

  69. TLH says:

    And I thought the taste of the McD’s smoothie was…ok at best. Not great. So they didn’t even really get it all that right in the flavor department either.

  70. sweet tooth says:

    Your descriptions of where the sugar comes from are a little bit off. Sure, concentrated juice has more sugar than raw juice, but it has more of everything except water. That’s why you add water to it. If you don’t know whether it has been restored to original concentration, you don’t know whether the sugar content remains boosted.

    Making the smoothie at home doesn’t get you out of not knowing what goes in. We do not know the sugar content of fresh fruits. At best you can guess, but it depends on what fruits you choose, how ripe they are, where and when they were grown and what condition they’re in. But illusion if you think you get full control by doing it yourself.

    And this nonsense that some people say about fresh fruit giving the advantage of “natural” sugar – cane sugar, beet sugar and even the glucose and fructose in high-fructose corn syrup are ALL natural sugars. The issue should be WHICH sugars. The sugars in fruit tend to be closer to those in high-fructose corn syrup than the sucrose crystals from beet and cane in your sugar bowl.

    Your article’s really nicely written. It’s a great opportunity to provide a bit more detail to educate readers rather than letting them indulge their misconceptions on what you don’t say.

    I do trust McDonald’s on this, by the way, since chances are their nutrient breakdown is more accurate than I could produce for my smoothies at home. Expensive, though, as you say. More expensive than that information is worth to me!

    • Yes I agree a lot with what you say. Concentrated juice can be restored by adding water, but juice in general loses its vitamins the second it hits the air and starts to oxidize-leaving the sugar and flavor left. Also, I think that we can control what we are putting into our smoothies when we make them. Maybe we don’t know the exact calorie/sugar content of all our fresh fruits, but at least we know they are fresh and not manufactured. Also, I believe fruit sugar is better because it is in its natural state, and combined with the fruit’s fiber. This compared to sugar or HFCS, where it has been put through machines and refined to take out the vitamins and minerals.

      Thanks for your thought-provoking comment!

  71. cscpr2010 says:

    I love this post,thank you. It is really helpful. I love smoothies.

  72. Wonderful post! I personally don’t patronize McDonald’s or any other fast food place. But your post is an eye opener for me friends that do! It’s sad how consumers are duped into thinking something is healthy by the fast food industry. We LOVE smoothies and make our own at home too. My sons seem to prefer them with a bit of grape juices, yogurt, water, frozen fruits (organic), banana and whey protein powder.

    Joanne

  73. nelleytimes says:

    I make them myself, but I also like to go to Jugo Juice as they have the best smoothies out there…I think! Now I need to go back and take a look at the sugar levels in my previous fave drinks there.

    Thanks for the tips! ;)

  74. barrycyrus says:

    very informative! i love smoothies! and esp those blueberry ones! i just hoped they had wild berries here in the philippines to make my life easier:/

  75. Smile :)
    ninjawiththeorangetshirt.wordpress.com

  76. Courtney says:

    HAHAHAH awesome!

    Is there even such a thing as “real” anything coming out of McDonald’s these days?

  77. Oh my gosh, Alex!! I saw your blog on the homepage of WordPress.com and I FLIPPED OUT! Hooray for you! This is so exciting, congrats!! You rock. :)

  78. What about the Frappes? It would be interesting to know what is in them since I am a Frappe-holic!!!

    • As in McDonald’s frappes or all frappes? Frappes are almost always a sugar bomb, though. I just looked up a small frappe from mcD, and it has 57 grams of sugar…yikes….(I don’t think any of those grams of sugar comes from fruit, either) Sorry!

  79. sayitinasong says:

    It always surprises me how many calories these “health” drinks can actually contain. I just saw a news item where your average lunch-times salads bought from Pret a Manger or some such place, can actually contain more salt than a Mickey D’s burger. I suppose if it looks healthy does not mean it actually is…

  80. raisingable says:

    thanks for the report.
    there are worse things at McD’s.
    MORE FIBER and less sugar, please McD’s.
    we’re too fat.

  81. Great post. People need to know this stuff.

  82. Thanks for giving us the low-down. I personally NEVER patron McD [watching "SuperSize Me" is a sure cure for anyone still addicted] however, I liked how you pointed out the “hidden sugars” beyond the ingredient “sugar” listed, which applies to so many of our convenience foods.

    I love smoothies! I particularly enjoy using my garden frozen fruit, plain yogurt, and a scoop of protein powder.

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! Well deserved.

  83. Jim/Nick says:

    I hate you, gelatin. You make being a vegetarian so much harder.

  84. cscpr2010 says:

    i love smooties, and i like the post here, talking about the health, i don’t trust mac donald.

  85. cscpr2010 says:

    i love smooties, and i like the post here, talking about the health i love mac donald.

  86. I have been making smoothies nearly daily lately. I throw some peaches (fresh or frozen) into the blender with a banana, some ice, two tablespoons of yogurt, and 1/2-1 cup of orange juice. YUM!

  87. benjammin105 says:

    They are very good. But I don’t expect much health happiness from Mcdonalds products. lol

  88. Rebecca says:

    So, essentially it’s just like a Jamba Juice!

  89. cscpr2010 says:

    i love smootheis. specially from mac donald

    shanchui

  90. Glad you posted this – I was on the road for Labor Day and almost got the Wild Berry for the first time just to see if McD’s actually had something I could feel comfortable eating… and the answer is still no :)

  91. I have yet to try/buy one. The prices on them are insane and for that price you can make quiet a few smoothies! Now with the knowledge of all that sugar, I’ll be skipping it completely. If I wanted something with sugar I’d get a milkshake or something.

    I do enjoy smoothies in the summer, it’ a nice cool refreshment. I don’t make them as often as I should, but heck I have a blender, that’s all I need (besides ingredients).

  92. [...] post: McDonald's “Real” Fruit Smoothies « Spoonful of Sugar Free By admin | category: smoothie | tags: bright-vibrant, epitome, from-the-juice, juice, [...]

  93. Swimmer Girl says:

    Ohhhh now I’m thinking twice about spending $2.59 on a suger loaded drink. Thanks for letting us know :)

  94. I am more of a frozen coffee drinker, but I LOVE Jamba Juice’s Strawberries Wild.

  95. Elle says:

    You bring up some REALLY great points!!! I talk about this kind of stuff all the time with friends and family (sometimes about diet but mostly applied to ingredients in skin care products), some get it, but most don’t.

    I recently went mostly raw in my diet so I make TONS of smoothies to get through my day… and really, until I started experimenting because otherwise I would starve…lol, I had no idea how great an all natural smoothie drink could taste.

    Anyhow, fantastic post and congrats on freshly pressed!!

    ~Elle

  96. Palak says:

    I love homemade juices and smoothies.Every weak for one day,we eat only veggies and take juices.So for that day whole body system gets rest and cleanses.
    I also like Acai Smoothie of Jamba juice and prefer this smoothie over caffeine drinks.

  97. eunice31 says:

    Very Informative post! Thanks. I have a sweet tooth, big time! but I’m trying to control my sugar intake as I know how it can affect my health. Yes a lot of us are not aware of what we eat and drink and a lot of the people in the food business don’t bother about what the consumers buy, their priority is to make money sad to say.

  98. We make our smoothies at home…so much better and healthy that way ; )

    Great post!

  99. blndsnbrdr says:

    Thanks for the breakdown! I have moral/personal issues with McDonald’s and their new marketing schemes so this post makes me happy!

    I might as well stick to a can of Mt Dew that costs me only 35 cents and gives me a sugar coma AND a caffiene high! :)

  100. CJ says:

    I’ve never heard McDonald’s claim that their smoothies are low in sugar or otherwise healthy, so why does everyone here seem so surprised? Most people dont go there to eat healthy, they go because it tastes good. Let us enjoy our food without feeling guilty for once!

    • I agree with you a lot, too! I think that when McDonald’s advertised its real fruit smoothies, we though that they might be good for us….But alas, it isn’t as good as we thought. But I completely agree that everyone should enjoy what they eat! Life is short, why waste it worrying?

  101. lifecoachdee says:

    considering i had bariatric surgery, i’m very funny about my sugar–i don’t have dumping syndrome, but still…i try to stay low carb for the most part, it keeps me relaxed–i feel less threatened to gain. anyway, the shakes are grrreeeaaat! but i only eat one a week…even making shakes at home, sometimes can be tricky and high in sugar…

    • Yes, fruit is naturally high in sugar. I’m sorry that your stomach doesn’t agree with it :( Can your stomach handle stevia? Because surprisingly, mine can, and I really am enjoying a little bit of sweetness every once in a while with the stevia drops.

  102. Utah Movers says:

    Thanks for this article. I have always wondered what is really in these things!!

    Sherri

  103. aishwaryabalamurugan says:

    Very nice and taste

  104. Thanks for sharing. I knew for McDonald’s to start selling smoothies, the nutritional value couldn’t be that great, but I couldn’t find the ingredient info as specific as this.

    I recently discovered strawberries, watermelon, ice, & a bit of lemon juice are great together. Very refreshing and sweet.

  105. PhingPhing says:

    Wonderful ! This is a great story and good for my experience.Thank you for your sharing.

  106. Alex says:

    I started making smoothies at home before they started being sold so widely commercially, and apparently, before adding yogurt became a norm. The smoothie recipe I grew up with and which I like about the same as recipes with yogurt is:
    1 cup frozen strawberries
    1 frozen banana
    1 cup orange juice
    Blend it in a blender. That’s all there is to it.
    You can also change up the fruit, just keeping the ratio about the same. Very delicious, and no added sugar. But to be totally honest, I like McDonald’s smoothies as well… but it is cheaper to make them at home.

  107. Felice Forby says:

    I just love how companies try to make stuff like that sound “healthy”

  108. james says:

    very good you can find more in this site http://www.cnygtoy.com/

  109. jessebell says:

    Its Really a Magnificent Post , Thanks alot :)
    But You Know .. Your Mc is More Wonderful Than what we Have Here in My Country
    There is No Blends or anything Healthy and Delicious umm in which word I can Describe it ?! Oh Yeah Its YUCK
    When I saw That They Sells Fruits Blending I said Oh Wow You’re Just Lucky To
    Have These Products and in The End It Got Some Percentage Of Healthiness
    and Thank You again For The Post

  110. [...] Mmmmmm…Smoothies! (Week 4) Posted on September 9, 2010 by mofojohsh LINK: http://spoonfulofsugarfree.wordpress.com/2010/09/09/mcdonalds-real-fruit-smoothies/ [...]

  111. I love anything that exposes misleading advertising by mega-companies like McDonalds. I say, if you are going to eat a bunch of sugar, do it right and go buy yourself a tripple thick chocolate shake with whipped cream and a cherry on top!

  112. xoxiejhondhie says:

    elow

  113. eurybe08 says:

    Now that’s a good question, are they? Well I honestly think they are just made of preservatives, but hey they do taste great.

  114. Spritey says:

    Ah, I meant to check to see what was in those, I knew it would be more than fresh fruit and low fat yogurt. You did the work for me, thanks. ;) I figured since it’s McDonalds they would be adding something to make it not so healthy. But I had hoped they would surprise me. I did try one recently, and thought they were good, but I could do without the sugar, they really don’t need it.

    I like to make my own smoothies anyway. I keep it simple; fruits (which ever ones I’m in the mood for) & low fat yogurt and/or juice.

  115. [...] McDonald's “Real” Fruit Smoothies « Spoonful of Sugar Free [...]

  116. Love smoothies. My squash plant was super productive this year, and now I have diced squash in the freezer that I throw into my smoothies. Doesn’t affect the taste and gets a veggie serving into the mix.

  117. Cecilie says:

    I love this! So many products try to come of as healthy, and so many people believe that they actually are! I would have thought this to be something completely different than it in fact is. Thanks for enlightening me!

    And I completely agree; why spend so much money on something that can be made cheap. I spent a whole lot of money on buying smoothies from Innocent, which were £3.50 to £4 for 1 litre! It’s completely ridiculous!

    My own favourite smoothies is made out of banana, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. I always try not to overdo the banana, as I really like it less sweet and flat, as banana can often taste like. And no milk or yogurt, just fruit. But I always use a straw, since it can be quite harmful to your teeth!
    Oh, and to make it a meal, I add oatmeal! Tastes great!

  118. GullahMama says:

    Thanks for the info. Like many others, I only expect junk from McD’s, so I’m not shocked. While I eat the very occasional Big Mac, I have no delusions. I love smoothies and make a green one every morning. Adding a big bunch of spinach or kale to the frozen fruit keeps my blood sugar balanced and helps me feel great! I miss it when I’m traveling.

  119. I absolutely love the Mickey D’s smoothies. They are incredible after a workout, a day at the beach, or between bridal showers. They are totally ambrosia. I like to order two larges before I go in to work and I freeze one in the break room and have that at coffee hour. I then go to Mickey D’s for their lunch menu and get french fries, a latte, and an apple pie. My coworker Luis likes the Banana one but I love love love the mixed berries. Sometimes we trade half way through (keeping our own straws though) and that way we get a taste of both. I had Luis over for dinner and I made a special smoothie treat at home: I got two large smoothies from take-out and then once I got them home, I added some sugar, vodka, malt extract, more xanthan gum, schnapps, and berries. I whipped this up in a blender at ‘puree’ for like 20 seconds and added some chipped ice. It was a great summer treat. Now that it is cooling off a bit and fall is on its way, I am going to be leaning towards doing more of Mickey D’s chocolate shakes because I love the taste of hot chocolate but love love love the creamy smoothness of a shake. Thanks for the post!

  120. Marcia says:

    OMG! You created a storm of responses with this blog, didn’t you! Great blog, and good information for interested folks out here! Now, what will you write about next??? MJ

  121. mskillasmile says:

    Hi Spoonfulofsugar, thank you very much for posting this information. I had no idea how much sugar was in their smoothies. I don’t drink them, but I have been tempted. Just wanna let you know that I posted your information on a website that I write for. I get you credit for it in the intro paragraph. Just wanted to share that with you. Please let me know if it was not ok for me to do so. Thank you. Here is the link: http://www.chaata.com/content/409-What-s-in-a-McDonald-s-Smoothie

    Have a great day. Chaata’ing Tammy;)

  122. banbamama says:

    great post! I don’t eat McDonald’s. I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole. But now I know what to do with the can of coconut milk in my cupboard. My daughter likes smoothies. I might even freeze them as ice pops :)

  123. Alex, have you done a similar breakdown of the Starbucks Strawberry and Banana Smoothie. I believe they add a protein mix to theirs, and I’ve watched them put in a real banana, but I believe they use a mix for the strawberry part. Any idea what the sugar content is on that? Thanks!

    • Hi Sandra! As far as I can see, Starbucks smoothies ingredients fair a lot better than McD’s. Ingredients of strawberry banana: ingredients: one whole banana, strawberry puree, whey protein and fiber powder, 2% milk and ice. Now as far as “strawberry puree,” I don’t know if they add more sugar to their puree or not. Ingredients with words like that can get tricky sometimes. But for *16 oz* (compared to McD’s small of 12 oz) it has *280 calories, 15g protein, 7g fiber, 1.5g fat, 56 carbs (7 grams fiber, 41 grams sugar). WHich if you compare it to the McDonalds, it is less sugar, but you get an extra 4 oz of drink! Plus it has 7 grams of fiber and 15g of protein! A whole lot better than McD’s! *

      **Hope this helps :)

  124. treespryte says:

    Clicked through from the wordpress home page…. so it’s working for you. When I eat fast food I consciously revel in the junk factor. That said, I usually have hot tea no matter the season. I get my all-fruit smoothies either at home or at my local coffee shop. They only use fruit and juice… milk if you ask for it. never any ice as the fruit is frozen.

    Their best one is blueberry mango with OJ. I spend the $4.29 for the pleasure of being at the coffee shop and because I think it important to support something I love about my smaller-than-small town of 500.

    • Yes the wordpress homepage is definitely working for me! I’ve had more views and comments than ever before! I am flabbergasted! But it is great that such a small town like yours offers great, healthy smoothies. I am all-for boosting the local economy!

  125. Thank you for this post! The smoothies do sound delish. I’m so glad you gave the facts of the ingredients. And it IS so much healthier to make it at home.

    I hope you don’t mind if I share your post on my own blog. I feel my handful of followers would really benefit from this.

    Thanks again.

  126. Couldn’t agree with you more! Homemade is best made; although, my local Nature’s Fare in BC, Canada makes a smoothie called the Macatastic. It’s a protein smoothie with banana, almond milk, chocolate whey powder and cocoa, that’s it! It’s delish. Thanks for the post!

  127. nyota0uhura says:

    I’ve always been aware that McD’s and other fast food chains like to pretend something is healthy when it isn’t, but this is the first time I’ve seen it all broken down so well. Thank you for that!! I don’t drink any other smoothies than those I make myself. Sometimes, I don’t even add milk to the fruit puree, just water or ice. My favourite smoothie goes like this: fresh or frozen raspberries, a teaspoon of sugar, plain yoghurt or lemon yoghurt (the lemon brings out even more flavour in the raspberries). Puree everything and serve. And if you’re not afraid of a bit of extra sugar, you can add a small scoop of vanilla ice cream to the mix. Yummy!

  128. choknot says:

    wow

    just like a crushers. awesome!

  129. [...] McDonald’s “Real” Fruit Smoothies (via Spoonful of Sugar Free) Filed under: Uncategorized by choknot — Leave a comment September 10, 2010 Are McDonald's Real Fruit Smoothies really made out of real fruit? The Short answer: Yes The Long and more complicated answer: Even though fruit is in the ingredient list-sugar is, too. The smoothies are made by adding ice and low fat yogurt to a fruit blend. McDonald's sells two different kinds of smoothies: Wild Berry and Strawberry Banana. Here's the ingredient list for each fruit blend: Strawberry Banana Fruit Blend Strawberry puree, banana p … Read More [...]

  130. Jane says:

    I make smoothies at home and have seen billboards all over for the new McD smoothies. I have to admit, they make them look really yummy. After reading your post, I will not be trying one! Thanks for breaking it down!

  131. interesting, I had these smoothies before way better than the Costco smoothies you get for a lot cheaper. You get what you pay for I guess…how’d you find out the ingredients to these smoothies? I would like to see a Orange julius or even a green tea smoothie

  132. i’ve had these smoothies before they are alot better than the costco smoothies
    how’d you find the ingredients to these smoothies?

  133. hippydude says:

    Hey, if you own a Champion juicer you can make great sorbets by just freezing your favorite fresh fruits just put the plastic insert in the extraction chute and run the fruit through. It come out of the waste chute the consistency of sorbet and if you like creamy just add some frozen banana to the mix of fruits. Voila!

  134. Hi Alex!
    Thanks so much for this blog. I’m so sick of places like McDonald’s presenting themselves as being a healthy choice because of one random ingredient in their recipes. It’s good to know there are plenty of people smart enough to know that just because it has fruit, that doesn’t mean it’s healthy. What’s sad, though, is knowing how many more people don’t realize it.

    And while we’re on the subject, I saw another comment saying how they can’t believe they’re even allowed to sell something like these shakes–I agree! My biggest annoyance right now is that “sandwich” from KFC where the bread is replaced by two greasy chicken breasts. What the–? I mean, come on. I don’t even want to KNOW how many calories and how much fat is in that, and I can’t imagine someone being brazen enough to actually put that in their body. Gross. You KNOW the people coming up with these ungodly creations know how horribly unhealthy they are–how do they sleep at night? =) Seriously.

    • Haha! While I do think we should be allowed the freedom of choice, I also think we should have the ingredients and nutritional info more available. There was a new law passed recently having the caloric information right next to the menu item at chain restaurants be required. I can’t wait until that comes into effect!

      And I think the people who come up with the food like the KFC double-stacker-thing aren’t even chefs! They are scientists! (Seriously, food scientists. Which is what I would like to study, but use it for health instead of industrial main-stream unhealthy food!)

  135. Shane says:

    I’ve had one of each, and enjoyed them, but I can only imagine how much better a homemade one would be. I need to try it sometime! Thanks for the very informative post! :)

  136. kalcurl says:

    I came across your blog today for the first time and I love it! Thanks for the work you put in educating and informing!

  137. Sunny says:

    Hi ! Thankyou so much for this very informative post ! I always shied away from “smoothies” but now will make my own :) I have to use Lactaid brand milk, though.

  138. Kiki says:

    Thank you for stopping by my blog the other day! My mom keeps telling me about how she tried the McD’s smoothies recently and how they’re “so good!” but now I know it’s because of all the added sugar! It’s so easy to make your own version at home that it yummier and healthier.

  139. Thank you so much for this post!! Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!! Glad to find you!! As someone who has diabetes on both sides of her family, I *try* to keep an eye on my sugar intake. I do my best to eat healthfully and feed my family healthfully too. I love smoothies & I add flax seed to them :)

  140. I haven’t had them yet, but usually McDonald’s food is a bunch of yummy, but amazingly unhealthy food. Especially their Big Mac…

  141. interestig, i did’t know that yet

  142. K. Cheep says:

    Great post. I happen to be a bit of a smoothie addict. For breakfast, often I will blend spinach, a banana or two, flaxseed, cacao nibs, rice/soy/almond milk and ice. Spinach and flaxseed are two highly recommended smoothie additives; one of the great things about spinach particularly is that although it changes the color to a green or even a slightly unappetizing brown (with the cacao nibs), it is virtually flavorless–you can stand to add a lot and get the nutrient benefit of spinach.

    Bananas are a good natural sweetener and serve to sweeten the chocolate in the cacao nibs without any refined sugar, other than the minimal amount used in sweetening your base (milk or soy/rice milk). Also, if your bananas start going bad, just throw them in the freezer. Be sure to peel them first–it’s a mess to peel a frozen, unopened banana.

    Also, rather bizarrely, frozen bananas, if left out, will melt into a puddle of banana-ooze.

    • I add spinach to my smoothies sometimes, too. You are absolutely correct in saying it has NO taste. But I like the color when I do it-key lime green colored :) I’ve never tried cacao nibs to a smoothie before, though. I’ve added it to peanut butter or oatmeal. And I’ve added cocoa powder to smoothies…but never cacao nibs. Good Idea!

      Have you tried making 1-ingredient banana ice cream? I have a recipe here. It tastes very good topped with cacao nibs!

      • K. Cheep says:

        Ah yes, my housemates used to call “1-ingredient banana ice cream” under a different name: Creamy Banana Ice.

        You can do the same trick with other fruits, too. If you live somewhere where wild blackberries grow, just blend some of them after freezing, or with a little bit of ice, and you’ll get the same kind of ice-creamy substance. (I suppose you can do it with store-bought blackberries too, but it’s kind of nice (and cheaper) to pick them yourself.)

        Cacao nibs, depending on how much you blend them, can add an interesting texture to your smoothies. Well-blended, they become speckled, but if they’re slightly less blended, you get a nice, light crunch in addition to the smoothness of the smoothie.

        Also, my roommates used to make fun of me for my dirt-colored smoothies, which happens when you combine banana, spinach and cocoa powder. Until they tasted it, of course, at which point they were converted.

        • Yeah, I’ve done it with frozen strawberries and blueberries before, but mine just wasn’t as creamy….I bet mango would do the trick! Because it kind of has the same texture as a banana. Mmmm…I love mango!

  143. I am a smoothie junkie! The most delicious smoothie is always the one made at home!

  144. cdewine21 says:

    Krogers selling a big bag of frozen strawberries, peaches, mangos, and pineapples. Fill the blender half full of frozen fruits, add 1c. peach yogurt, and finish filling the blender with 2% milk… yummmmm!!!! I have one for breakfast every day! I am also a fan of the chocolate peanut butter, but I add strawberries instead of the banana, but I will be trying the banana soon!!!

    Love the post!!!

  145. I personally love the smoothies, but after knowing the actual ingredients, I will opt for something more healthy. Thanks for sharing.

  146. Here in the Philippines, It is very hard to find a McDonald’s store which sells smoothies. Not all McDonald’s here sells smoothies. But once you found one, it’s heaven! :)

  147. deadwednesdays says:

    I don’t really drink smothies, but I really like this post! It’s so funny how restaurants try to trick you and make something seem more healthy for you than it really is. =P

    Thanks for revealing their lies, lol. It is healthier to make your own smoothie because you can actually control what you put in it.

  148. jbsussman says:

    hey :)

    I love your blog, your articles are very helpfull and well thought out.
    keep up the good work.
    Great Blog !!!!

    http://www.jbsussman.wordpress.com

  149. hey-thank you! you eloquently proved a point I try to make everyday with my blog and to my clients. It’s better and healthier to “dine in”. will be checking back often.

    http://www.clubdinein.wordpress.com

  150. susha says:

    well… i’m glad i can live without sugar… and i would choose fresh strawberries over a ‘smoothie’ anytime!

  151. [...] Wow! I can’t believe all of the wonderful feedback I received from my last post about McDonald’s “Real” Fruit Smoothies. Thank you so much to everyone who helped spread the word, and to those who provided great insight! [...]

  152. Hi i’m back do you mind if I share this on my blog????

  153. Gricel says:

    Great post! I had been wondering about those…

    I generally make my own smoothies with frozen fruit, some juice, and almond milk or low fat yogurt. If I’m feeling indulgent, I’ll make a banana chocolate smoothie :)

  154. Tanya says:

    My golden rule is to avoid eating anything that’s cheap! Obviously I still do but I try to avoid it if I can. Everything we buy is now processed which mean high in either sodium or sugar. I agree with you! Smoothies are easy to make so we should all be preparing them at home! Good post!

  155. eastbird says:

    Right right !
    Better to do it yourself than buy it. You know companies usually try to make more profits. And when it comes to this matter they would add much sugar instead of the fruit itself!

    Nice post

  156. Kayla says:

    I agree with this post.
    It’s almost amusing how good people feel about picking a smoothie from McDonald’s and saying it’s healthy. I work in a coffee shop and people order smoothies all the time thinking it’s such a great idea! But really we just use “strawberry base” and “yogurt base” and really its just kind sad how sugary they really are!
    Even making them makes my hands sticky!

  157. and that is why you will never find me ‘dining’ at any fast food ‘restaurant’
    I’ve been making my own smoothies for about 10 years now!

  158. dustedoff says:

    I love your list of homemade smoothies… but I have a question: I assume you don’t add anything to the pina colada smoothie other than the pineapple, the banana and the coconut milk? Or am I being dumb, and those are just the ingredients you put into your blender along with yoghurt? Pina colada is one of my favourite flavours, and I’m itching to try this out – but do need to know that itsy bitsy detail. Thanks!

    • I don’t put yogurt in my smoothies, but it is completely up to you!! That is the great thing about smoothies: you can experiment with whatever you want! Blend some smoothie, taste test, add something else, taste again…But yeah, that is all I put in my pina colada smoothie-banana, pineapple, and coconut milk. Hope you like it!

  159. haha yeah you gotta be skeptical when a infamous unhealthy fast food joint puts out something seemingly healthy

  160. PhingPhing says:

    Wonderful story !!! This is a good for my experience ,thank you for your sharing.

  161. hoffie1 says:

    Its just best to make them at home. Fresh fruit and fresh yogurt and no added sugar. A lot healthier as well. Dunkin donuts “smoothies are just as bad…. fruit puree, sugar ice and yogurt… they are sweeter than a Pepsi with added sugar!

  162. Hi! I saw your post on the WordPress page and was intrigued about the ingredients in Mickey D’s fruit smoothies. WOW – I did NOT know that they had 44 GRAMS of sugar in it! That is insane! I guess that’s why I never really liked their smoothies, but my boyfriend is insanely in love with them ever since they came out with the smoothies.

    I would prefer to make my own smoothies. Something about buying smoothies in fast food chains or any other chains here in NYC just doesn’t sit right with me. After all, majority of the people have a sweet tooth, especially those who buy smoothies from the stores. If there’s not enough sugar in it, I feel like they’ll say it tastes like garbage and won’t ever come back to the store. So for me, I like to skip that step and just take out my Vita-Mix in the morning and blend, blend, blend away :)

    Nice blog, by the way. I love the green =) Have a wonderful weekend!

  163. Lisa says:

    I thought i was getting a healthy alternative! thanks for the info! (:

  164. keroome says:

    I’m shocked, shocked I tell you, that there is added sugar in the McDonald’s smoothies–Not. Guess what – I work at one. I’m the maintenence man and guess what else – they put extra sugar in those because they KNOW what sells – and guess what else – they do, tons. I applaud the info in this blog, and those responding with their own food stories. But know that for every one of you – there are thousands who will respond to their own mistaken beliefs. We want to believe they’re healthy, we want to believe corporations are looking out for our health, but deep doown we know what’s right and what’s a lie. For some convience is better than work. Pray for these people, cry for these people. Do your best to live in a way that is a guiding light. Every sweep of my boom through the litter of parking lot cigerette butts is a prayer for a life improved. Why would I work there? Because after getting laid off from my “good” job and down to, literally, my last dollar, they gave me a job.

    ken

    • Wow, Just WOW! They add more sugar to the smoothies? That’s crazy! Thank you for this wonderful comment, and great, great words. Would you mind if I posted your comment on the next post I write? These were really great words that people need to hear.

  165. fyfax says:

    Great post! Very informative, I will definitely think about the amount of sugar in McDonalds’ smoothies next time I ever stop by. I love smoothies, and I remember the best one I’ve ever had was some delicious mango-banana combo in Mexico. There’s nothing like sitting by the beach and drinking a smoothie in the morning. :) I think I’ll have to try your Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry smoothie recipe- it sounds delicious!

  166. Mariah says:

    Wow, fruits contain enough natural, healthier sugars making it naturally sweet. Why would you add sugar to these smoothies? Honestly I prefer the ones I make at home, frozen blueberries, half a banana, protein powder, and skim milk. mmmm… :D

  167. justjaneva says:

    Great post & congrats on your freshly pressed! We avoid McDs as much as possible and use it as a treat every now and then. The added sugar is quite scary. But did you also notice the sodium levels in your lists? So not good. Well done to you spoonfulofsugarfree and I’m soooooo impressed that you’ve responded to most of these posts – FAB!

    Jane

  168. Wow! Now I certainly don’t regret never having tried a McDonalds smoothie!
    During the summer I drink smoothies ALL THE TIME! Never buy them though. I love making them myself and putting loads of different stuff in them.
    I always use frozen fruit because I like my smoothies real thick, like a milkshake. What ‘s really good is banana, strawberries and orange juice. Another favorite : frozen tropical fruit blend, raspberries, orange juice (to that you can add wild berry or raspberry yoghurt :) )

  169. I like chucking lots of random stuff in a blender (Jamie Oliver style) and seeing if what comes out tastes nice…usually it does, but sometimes there’s some nasty surprises!

  170. Really like your post. Hidden sugar is everywhere, even in things marketed as fat-free, like yogurt. Thanks for your smoothie ideas!

  171. oghex says:

    Great post..but i dont like sugar

  172. Terri says:

    Nice post but I think anyone who actually thinks anything coming out of a fast food joint is healthy deserves to be fat.

  173. Mmm could definitely go for a mango/peach smoothie after reading this! Love the Naked smoothies (when there isn’t time to make a fresh one), but they are a little on the pricey side.

  174. Диета says:

    correctly selected diet – good health

  175. boho fangirl says:

    oooohh! I’m so craving for a smoothie right now! ;)

  176. They haven’t made it over to the UK I don’t think

  177. cookmeslim says:

    You are such an inspiration to me, I have never blogged before and have just started my journey of weight loss by blog! love the recipes

  178. caramilk says:

    Wow, I never expected juice from concentrated is so highly sugared! I will definitely avoid Mickey D’s smoothies.

  179. I work at McDonald’s in Australia, while we don’t sell these smoothies, I still wouldn’t trust anything we sell to be healthy in any way. Not even the salads. Thanks for posting this, it’s nice to see that there are people out there who aren’t fooled by our “healthy options”, haha

  180. widi says:

    Healthy and help everyone.

  181. acadashek says:

    Anyone who ever goes to McDonald’s can never assume anything is “healthy” for you in any way. I’ve been a frequent McDonald’s customer for numerous years and have never thought for a second that anything at all I have ever gotten has been good for me. I’m sure even the ice water has extra sugar in it somehow, or the ice was made with different water that in some way isn’t good for you. All in all McDonald’s is the best and everyone knows that, its just not the healthiest.

  182. @victoriachidgey it’s actually prety cool to hear that from somebody who works at McDonalds (:

  183. Ashley F. says:

    I’m glad I read this before I went out and got one. Those commercials are very tempting.

  184. whispers1621 says:

    i love your post i keep telling my friends how bad fastfood places are but they just don’t believe me i love making smoothies that consits of strawberrys blackberries blueberries raspberries some kind of fruit juice and protein powder plus ice come read my blog i’m writing a book and i have posted the first chapter come check it out thanks :) ;) :P

  185. Blaaaaahh.
    I know its all fag food, but it’s DELICIOUS, I mean really irresistible stuff.
    But oh so bad for health.
    But I guess we all deserve a small treat now and then, don’t we? ;)

    Btw check out my blog..

    http://boomkaboom2608.wordpress.com/
    Ciao.

  186. aieharry says:

    Great post… and I get more information from this post
    Thanks a lot

  187. Cakescity says:

    I love your blog. I’ve added it to my favorite bookmarks and subscribed in a reader.

    Looking forward to reading more.

    Thanks.

  188. Nicole says:

    I’m sorry to be possibly the biggest downer here, but I find it equally misleading to compare this to a Mt. Dew when the smoothie will give you vitamins C and A, calcium, and iron (not as good as many other sources, but not just trace amounts). It would have been easy to post the full nutritional content, but you didn’t mention any of those in your analysis. Where I live these things are flying out of the restaurants and I find it much preferable to the soda.

    Also, fresh fruit is only cheap if you buy it in season and use it all before it spoils. Frozen is not significantly cheaper in my grocery freezer either. Milk is hardly cheap before we even consider organic or substitutes. I don’t already have a blender, so there would be $15-20 additional I would have to spend before even buying ingredients. Even the stated price of the smoothie is/has been a bit out of sync with reality since a spate of recent promotions have made the small smoothie free or a dollar at most. You can’t get anything cheaper than free. Maybe once the price normalizes this will be a point, but for now I am resigned to expecting to pay more for higher quality and have no pretense of beating McDonalds at its own game.

    I do like your recipe suggestions, though — I would never have thought to put a banana in chai, but that sounds heavenly. It’s too bad there’s no room for a blender in my tiny kitchen.

    • I appreciate your comment because I completely agree that it is far better to drink McDonald’s smoothies than a soda.

      One thing, though, is that I do think it is cheaper to make your own smoothie (atleast where I live. McDonald’s doesn’t sell them for a dollar or for free here.). i can buy a bag of frozen strawberries for $7, and it lasts through about 12 smoothies (a very big bag). Also, I use almond milk ($3 for 8 servings) in my smoothies. For me, this is cheaper than mcd’s.

      Thanks for your comment!

    • evilcyber says:

      The fact remains that it wouldn’t be necessary to add sugar to these smoothies.

  189. Y8 says:

    Very cool article. Keep up the good work.

  190. I also want to point out that I’m pretty sure they use skim milk. Or that one of their “flavors” might be MSG because I got scary sick on this smoothie. Sometimes I find if I have too many milk products in one day I can have the runs later, but this was truly terrible. My mom has a similar reaction to low fat milk products. She can only drink whole milk or she’ll get sick or have to take something later. I’m still feeling the effects of that smoothie 24 hours later. I have terrible IBS, and visceral hypersensitivity, but never ever again….I don’t know what I was thinking….

  191. David says:

    Smoothie is delicious! Sugar content may be not so great, but many aspects of the smoothie are quite beneficial and healthy. I like the wildberry flavoured one as much as i love to make my own fresh smoothies, it is nice to have a treat and be diet wise, much worse on the menu than these smoothies!

    Good happy and healthy day :)

  192. josh says:

    I am with everyone on the “McDonalds makes crappy food”, but the sugar content can also mean the sugars from the fruit used. Comparing it to mountain dew is like comparing it to my “Oasis fruits etc.” juice. On the ingredient list of my juice carton, it says “no sugar added”, so it contains only natural sugars. Well, per 250 ml, the sugar content is 26g.

    “Why not make your own smoothies?” I do. However, I also make my own breakfast, lunch and dinner, but it’s nice to eat out every once in a while.

    I hear BK now has smoothies. Can we compare that to cocaine somehow?

  193. Nicholas Chan says:

    FYI, the sugar count in the nutrition facts includes the sugar found from the real fruit/puree. I’m not saying that it’s healthy, but 70 grams of sugar doesn’t mean is 70 grams of ADDED sugar, a large portion of that 70 grams is from the real fruit and milk in the yogurt.

  194. Ravi Jay says:

    Interesting read, but McDonald’s is convenient versus getting up early in the morning to make it all-natural. I will just have to monitor my in-take and be hopeful that more juice bars open up. =)

  195. Frank says:

    You sugar Nazis are really annoying. Someone actually had the nerve to suggest that food shouldn’t taste THAT good. ????? You people are content to take all of the joy and pleasure out of food for some misguided concepts about health. Does the concept of MODERATION ever factor into your views?

    And since when is fruit puree NOT real fruit? Does it change to fake fruit when it is pureed?

  196. Kira Moore says:

    I make smoothies all the time. To cut the sugar (my husband is Diabetical :-) i use the frozen fruit and add Arizona 1/2 and 1/2 lemonade/tea- the zero calorie or Lite version. If we’re out of that, I just add water and then add splenda to sweeten. So refreshing and cool to drink on hot summer eve or any eve. If I want to “fake it” as ice cream- mix the fruit with milk and blend. Add as little as possible and it will be thick like soft serve. Freeze it overnite and you’ve pretty much made ice cream. I love the smoothies at McDonald’s too,,,but I definitely try to have them only occasionally. They are deeeeelicious!!

  197. TT335i says:

    It’s true that if one doesn’t look into the ingredients in any of the food they eat, then they don’t really know what it is they are consuming.
    This article is as misleading as the claim that McDonalds is misleading by making their smoothies appear “healthy”.
    McDonalds isn’t misleading anyone. If one is interested in what is in a McDonalds smoothies, then all they have to do is ask McDonalds, or look it up on the web. But, be careful of web info because it’s just as full of sociopolitical sidedness as McDonalds can be. IOW, information is always given from a point of view.

    I say this article is misleading because it’s not being completely honest about the smoothie.
    Example, why compare a 12oz of Mountain Dew to the smoothie?
    It makes no nutritional logic sense.
    The calories contained in a Mountain Dew are ALL attributed to the sweetner used. Regular MD has corn syrup and there is a “throw back” variety that uses only sugar.
    Both are equal in sugar content.
    The near equivalent amount of calories in a McD’s smoothie are NOT all sugar. The fruit puree and yogurt also contain their own natural sugars. So, not all of the smoothies calories are from added sugar. Be honest and truthful, that makes more sense when giving people nutritional advice.

    Sugars contained in fruit is absorbed into our bodies at a slower rate as the sugars are contained within the fruits cell structure and that requires added time to digest and head to the blood stream. I won’t either, because there is still a lot of sugar in the smoothie, but it’s far different than the pure sugar in a Mountain Dew.

    Also, the smoothie contains vitamins and nutrients inherent in the fruit, plus there is some fiber and a wee bit of protein. Those things are NOT found in the Mountain Dew.
    So, the only equivalent you can draw is that the total calorie content is about the same, and nothing else.
    But that is far from making the smoothie the same as the Mountain Dew as this article implies, and it IS implying that.

    Granted, this smoothie should not be considered a “healthy” beverage that one can consume on a daily basis for good health. But then, who said it was? I haven’t seen a single McD’s ad suggesting that it is.
    This smoothie is simply an alternative beverage one can choose that is not all sugar and calories devoid of any nutritional value.
    It is and should be drank as a treat.

    I make my own smoothies at home using my Magic Bullet mini blender. When I make my own I use whole fruit, ice, plain home made yogurt, and depending on the fruit and it’s ripeness I will add some sugar to make it easier to drink.
    I don’t add a lot, and not as much as a McD’s smoothie.
    I have had their smoothies and they are not bad at all.
    They have a great smooth mouth feel that is hard to achieve at home without some added time.
    And, even though I don’t add a lot of sugar my smoothies are still nearly as sweet as McD’s, showing that not all of their sweetness is from added sugar. The majority of it comes from the fruit, but that also depends on the ripeness of the fruit used. I don’t know if McD’s uses green fruit, but I’ll take an educated guess that they do not. In fact, most frozen and canned fruits and vegetables are near to ripe than what we can get at the grocery. For frozen or canned, the fruits and veggies can stay on the plant longer before being picked, because those are going straight to the plant for processing, and most processing centers are nearer the farm than our grocery stores.

    People need to calm down and stop being so obsessed with our food quality in general. People are living longer than in any time in our human history, and by a LONG shot we are living longer. And, we’re doing that while still eating the foods brought to us by the wonderous world of food science.
    Granted, all of the food tech isn’t the best or so good, but for the most part, it is, and our long lives and good general health attest to that.

    The American Diabetes association may not like this smoothie, but that’s for a good reason. A diabetic needs to closely monitor their overall sugar intake even if they are not eating food with any added refined sugars. They till need to watch their sugar intake even when eating fresh fruits, and all other food items. So, it’s no wonder that the ADA suggests skipping this smoothie. It’s because they are giving advice to DIABETICS. You don’t become diabetic from eating a sweet smoothie or candy bar or even Mountain Dew.
    Asking the ADA about a sweet smoothie is akin to asking the insurance industry if a slow family sedan is safer than a fast sports car. They’ll tell you the sedan is safer, even though that is not actually true either, but that’s a different topic.

    Be smart, eat smart, live happy. Barring an actual biological problem, we can eat sweets, smoothies, and actually enjoy our time on this planet enjoying the many culinary items available. Just don’t eat those things in high quantities nor all the time.
    LIVE life and enjoy it too. :)

  198. Pablo says:

    How come no body is even saying anything about “Cellulose Powder.” Cellulose is the major constituent of paper, paperboard, and card stock.

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