‘Healthy’ drinks are worse for you than a Big Mac or Coke – Australian survey

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A new survey conducted in Australia has discovered that the store-bought smoothies that are supposedly good for your health actually contain more calories than a Big Mac, and more sugar than a can of Coca-Cola.

The LiveLighter survey agency analyzed the calories, sugar and fat in 40 cold drinks that can be purchased in restaurants and fast-food cafes across Australia. And the findings are truly shocking.

A whopping 50 percent of all drinks – including three so-called ‘healthy’ smoothies – contained about 500 calories, more than a Big Mac.

Then 24 drinks had at least 16 teaspoons of sugar, while a “healthy” fat-free mango drink contained an astounding 31 teaspoons (some 120 grams).

A few of the shakes and ice-based frappes contained up to 20.5g of saturated fat – more than twice a Big Mac. That's while the average Australian is recommended to have no more than 16g saturated fat a day.

“Food outlets use phrases like 97 percent ‘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,” LiveLighter Victoria campaign manager Alison Ginn said in the agency’s press release.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that added sugars make up no more than 5 percent of people's daily energy intake, or 6 teaspoons per day, for the biggest health benefit. You would consume up to five times this amount from just one drink alone,” she said.

Thus, drinking “healthy” beverages can sometimes lead to some unhealthy results like “weight gain and a build-up of toxic fat around the organs,” she said.

So what could be the solution? Give up the “healthy” drinks altogether, ask for skim milk, choose the smallest available amount, or share the beverage with a friend, LiveLighter recommends. Or else, simply choose water, the best and most natural way to stay hydrated.