Are Fruit Smoothies Actually Healthy? Fact or Fiction?

Fruit smoothies, frozen yogurt drinks, frappes and other beverages based on fruit are strongly promoted as healthy beverages, both as a fast food choices, restaurant drinks and homemade.

But as most people are aware, raw fruit does contain significant calories, especially certain varieties such as bananas, avocado and figs. Nuts are also promoted as healthy, but they are rich in fats and have very high calorie contents.

However, most fruits, with rare exceptions such as avocados, contain virtually no fat, but they are rich in natural sugars and carbohydrates.

These sugars get concentrated in dried fruits and so-called 'fruit concentrates' that are used to prepare various fruit beverages. Cane sugar and fructose are added to many fruit juices and beverages, often in ways that the consumer is unaware of. Upsizing boosts calories!

Beware that even the classic green smoothie may contain more sugar than a can of Coke. Why? Blame the juice that you add to it. A large glass of apple juice contains 9 teaspoons of sugar. Using juice rather than whole fruit means the sugar is in a liquid sugar form, which is the worse way to consume fruit. The fiber is gone and there is no bulk of tissues to slow down the absorption of the sugar from the gut.

Recent studies of the nutrients in commercially available smoothies in Australia has found that more than 50 percent of them have very high sugar contents.

Some smoothies contained the equivalent of 30 teaspoons of granulated sugar in a single serve, and calorie contents as high as 500 calories (2000 kilojoules). This is equivalent to one standard sized meal.

For women and men, the recommended daily intake per meal is 675 and 825 calories respectively (total 2,000 calories per day for women; 2,500 for men).

For people on a diet, trying to choose healthy alternatives such as salads and low fat dishes, this can be a tragic disaster, undoing all their efforts, despite them trying to choose a 'healthy' beverage for their meal.

This article provides nutrition information for a variety of smoothies, and guides and tips for checking that the fruit smoothies you eat at various outlets, or make at home and not stuffed with hidden extra sugar and are calorie bombs.

Choosing the Right Ingredients for Smoothies that are Actually Healthy

A survey by the Australian consumer group 'Choice' of almost drinks from a variety of local outlets such as Donut King, Boost Juice, KFC, Wendys, New Zealand Natural and Gloria Jean's has found 80% of them were high in sugar.

Often this was because the ingredients included fructose syrup, cane sugar and fruit juice concentrates to make them sweeter. In the worst cases the standard serve smoothies on the menus had the equivalent of 30 teaspoons of sugars.

The study also highlighted a trend to get customers to supersize from 'small' or 'regular' to 'medium' or even 'large serves', thereby turning a healthy drink into a calorie overload.

There was a lot of inconsistency between serving sizes even when described as 'regular, medium and large'. Customers opting for 'regular' may get almost twice the volume at some outlets.

There are similar concerns for homemade smoothie, which while healthy make contain a huge number of calories.

Some supplements such as diet and protein shakes can contain relatively high calories and adding two medium bananas (total 200 calories) to a blender can quickly boost the calories.

Adding one cup of rolled oats can boost the calories by 300 calories.

A homemade fruit smoothie made with soy protein mix can contain 370 calories for an 8 oz serve (225 g).

People need to be conscious of the calories when they are loading lots of fruit into the blender and adding a sweetened fruit juice or flavored yogurt (8 oz Greek yogurt honey flavored has 320 Calories).

Clearly people should consider all the ingredients in a fruit juice smoothie they buy or make at home.

When fruit is juiced, fluids, flavors and all the sugars and carbohydrates are extracted from the fruit fiber (bulk solids), however virtually all the calories remain in the liquid.

Most people would be unlikely to eat the bulk of four apples, but could easily consume the equivalent in apple juice or a fruit smoothie sweetened with apply juice, especially a concentrate.

Even the kids’ servings at popular outlets such as Boost, which is 350 ml (12 fl oz), provides up to 360 calories in a single serve.

The study found that the calories in the smoothies were well beyond those of the fruits that were blended to provide the drink.

The extra calories arose from added sweeteners and yogurt.

The item on the ingredients list "concentrated fruit juice" may seem healthy, and it is in relation to fiber and vitamins, but not in terms of the huge loading of calories.

Calories in Fruit (standard serving of 100 g [100 ml when juiced])

The table opposite shows a ranked list of the calories in raw fruit, for a standard serving of 100g (equivalent to about 100 ml when blended).

The fruit with the lowest calories are listed first.

Calories in Raw Fruit (Serving 100g)

Fruit - Serving 100 gCalories (Cal)
Tomato 18
Black currants 28
Watermelon 30
Grapefruit 30
Star fruit (Carambola) 31
Babaco 31
Strawberries 32
Salak 32
Cantaloupe 34
Honeydew 36
Muskmelon 36
Huckleberry 37
Plumello 38
Peaches 39
Papaya 39
Prickly Pear 41
Blackberries 43
Mulberries 43
Nectarine Orange 44
Gooseberries 44
jaboticaba 45
Plum 46
Cranberries 46
Loquats 47
Clementine Orange 47
Tangelo Orange 47
Salmon berries 47
Apricot 48
Fejioa 49
Navel Orange 49
Pineapple 50
Boysenberry 50
Mandarin Orange 50
Cloudberries 51
rose apple (Wax jambu, makopa or java apple) 52
Apple 52
Raspberry 52
Tangerine Orange 53
Calamondin 53
Logan Berries 55
Mammee Apple 55
Currents 56
Pluot (plumcot) 56
Blueberries 57
Quince 57
Pears 58
Longan 60
Dragon fruit 60
Ice cream bean 60
Gold kiwi 60
Cherries 63
Marang 63
Mangosteen 63
Mango 65
Lychee 66
Soursop 66
Grapes 67
Star apple 67
Rambutan 68
Guavas 68
Strawberry guava 69
Persimmons 70
Kumquat 71
Cupuacu 72
Crab Apple 73
Elderberries 73
Figs 74
Red Mombin 74
Cherimoya 75
Pomegranate 77
Jujube 79
Atemoya 80
Melon pear 80
Chempedak 81
Sapodillas (Chikoo, Sapota) 83
Bananas, Cavendish 89
Jackfruit 94
Sugar-Apple (Sweetsop) 94
Abiu 95
Passion fruit (Grandilla) 97
Cempedak 98
Custard Apple (Bullocks heart) 101
Breadfruit 103
Rowal 111
Plantain 122
Pawpaw 124
Sapote 135
Abiu 140
Canistel ( Egg-fruit, Yellow Sapote, Khamen, Khe maa) 140
Fresh Lucuma 143
Durian 147
Akee 152
Ambarella (Ambra) 157
Avocado 160
Monstera Deliciouso 229
Tamarind 239
Dates 277
Velvet Apple (Mabolo) 504

Calories and Nutrient Listings for 100 ml of Common Fruit Juices

The table below lists the nutrients in some common fruit juices that may be used in smoothies.

Most of the listings are for raw and unsweetened juices that have not been concentrated. You can click on the headings to resort the table for various nutrients.

The ones included are Calories, Total Fat (g), Sugar (g), Total Carbohydrate (g), Vitamin C (mg), Vitamin A (ICU), Other Vitamins (a rating for all the other Vitamins), Folate (mg), Protein (g) and Fiber (g).

Comparison of Calories and Nutrients in 100ml of Common Smoothies, Desserts and Fruit Juices

The final table lists the calories and nutrients in popular smoothies available in Australia. Some popular fast food desserts and also some fruit juices have been included for comparative purposes. The chart list the items from high to lowest calories for the standard serve of 100ml.

The headings are:

The tabulations show that:

Calories and Nutrients in Common Raw Fruit Juices (100ml / 100g)

(click column header to sort results)
Nutrients in 100 ml Serve Cals Total Fat Sugar Total Carbs Vit C Vit A Other Vit Folate Protein Fiber
tomato juice 17 0.05 3.6 4.2 18.3 450 1.7 19.8 0.76 0.38
lemon juice 23 0.25 2.5 6.9 38.8 6 0.5 20.8 0.35 0.21
lime juice 25 0.07 1.7 8.4 30.0 50 0.6 9.1 0.41 0.45
blackberry juice 38 0.60 7.7 7.8 11.3 123 2.9 10.0 0.30 0.08
grapefruit juice, white 39 0.10 9.1 9.2 38.0 10 0.7 10.2 0.50 0.10
carrot juice 40 0.15 3.9 9.3 8.5 19124 3.7 3.8 0.95 0.81
tangerine juice 43 0.20 9.9 10.1 31.0 253 0.5 4.9 0.50 0.20
orange juice 45 0.20 8.4 10.4 50.0 200 0.8 29.8 0.70 0.20
apple juice with added ascorbic acid 46 0.13 9.6 11.3 38.5 1 0.2 0.0 0.10 0.20
cranberry juice 46 0.13 12.1 12.2 9.3 45 1.9 1.2 0.39 0.12
pineapple juice 53 0.12 10.0 12.9 10.0 5 0.5 18.0 0.36 0.20
peach nectar 54 0.02 13.3 13.9 5.3 258 0.8 0.8 0.27 0.60
pomegranate juice 54 0.29 12.7 13.1 0.1 24 2.0 23.9 0.15 0.12
apricot nectar 56 0.09 13.8 14.4 0.6 1316 0.8 1.2 0.37 0.60
grape juice 60 0.13 14.2 14.8 0.1 8 0.3 0.0 0.37 0.20
pear nectar 60 0.01 15.2 15.8 1.1 1 0.4 0.8 0.11 0.60
prune juice 71 0.03 16.5 17.5 4.1 3 1.7 0.0 0.61 1.02

Calories and Nutrients in 100 ml of Popular Smoothies and Fruit Juices

Beverage (Serving Size 100 ml)Caloriesenergy (kJ) / servetotal fats (g) / servesaturated fats (g) / servesugars (g) / serveNumber of teaspoons of sugar equivalent to the caloriescalories in standard 20 fl oz serve ( 450 ml)
Mc Donalds - McFlurry with M&M'S Candies 175 732 5.64 27.05 11 786
Mc Donalds - McFlurry with OREO Cookies 158 661 4.51 24.80 10 710
Baskin Robbins - Strawberry Banana Yoghurt Smoothie 136 568 1.31 0.80 26.00 8 611
Muffin Break - Banana Smoothie 127 533 4.86 3.16 17.06 8 573
Baskin Robbins - Mango Yoghurt Smoothie 125 524 1.87 1.11 24.31 8 564
Mc Donalds - Chocolate Triple Thick Shake 124 519 2.82 21.42 8 558
Baskin Robbins - Strawberry & Wildberry Yoghurt Smoothie 123 516 1.72 1.08 24.31 8 555
Baskin Robbins - Strawberry Yoghurt Smoothie 120 503 1.53 0.96 24.31 8 541
Mc Donalds - Strawberry Triple Thick Shake 118 496 2.82 20.57 7 533
Mc Donalds - Vanilla Triple Thick Shake 118 496 2.82 20.29 7 533
Muffin Break - Blueberry Smoothie 118 492 4.61 3.00 15.95 7 529
Muffin Break - Mango Smoothie 114 476 4.21 2.73 16.05 7 512
Muffin Break - Raspberry Smoothie 110 462 4.20 2.66 13.85 7 496
Muffin Break - Strawberry Smoothie 110 459 4.25 2.75 15.07 7 494
Boost Juice - Super Smoothie Brekkie to Go Strawberry 104 436 2.30 0.90 12.80 7 469
Boost Juice - Super Smoothie Brekkie to Go Mango 103 433 2.30 0.80 12.70 6 466
Boost Juice - Super Smoothie Brekkie to Gogo Original 103 430 2.30 0.90 12.50 6 462
KFC - Krusher Strawberry Smoothie 101 424 1.91 1.39 13.40 6 456
Gloria Jeans - Banana Fruzie Smoothie 87 365 0.96 0.73 18.46 5 392
New Zealand Natural - Tropical Tornado Yoghurt Smoothie 78 328 0.91 0.57 11.78 5 352
prune juice 71 297 0.03 0.00 16.45 4 320
Subway - Strawberry Smoothie 70 293 0.48 0.33 12.40 4 315
Subway - Mango Smoothie 66 275 0.47 0.32 11.48 4 296
Subway - Banana Smoothie 65 270 0.52 0.37 10.02 4 290
grape juice 60 251 0.13 0.02 14.20 4 270
pear nectar 60 251 0.01 0.00 15.16 4 270
New Zealand Natural - Mango Tango Yoghurt Smoothie 59 247 0.62 0.40 11.17 4 266
New Zealand Natural - Berry'lishius Yoghurt Smoothie 58 243 0.62 0.38 11.14 4 261
apricot nectar 56 235 0.09 0.01 13.79 4 252
peach nectar 54 226 0.02 0.00 13.32 3 243
pomegranate juice 54 226 0.29 0.08 12.65 3 243
Michel's Patisserie - Smoothie Mango 54 225 0.07 0.07 11.05 3 242
pineapple juice 53 222 0.12 0.01 9.98 3 239
Michel's Patisserie - Smoothie Banana 52 219 0.10 0.07 10.30 3 235
Michel's Patisserie - Smoothie Mixed Berry 51 212 0.07 0.07 10.03 3 228
apple juice with added ascorbic acid 46 193 0.13 0.02 9.62 3 207
cranberry juice 46 193 0.13 0.01 12.10 3 207
orange juice 45 189 0.20 0.02 8.40 3 203
tangerine juice 43 180 0.20 0.02 9.90 3 194
carrot juice 40 168 0.15 0.03 3.91 3 180
Michel's Patisserie - Dairy Free Fruit Smoothie Mango 39 163 0.00 0.00 8.98 2 176
grapefruit juice; pink 39 163 0.10 0.01 2 176
grapefruit juice; white 39 163 0.10 0.01 9.10 2 176
blackberry juice 38 159 0.60 0.02 7.70 2 171
Michel's Patisserie - Dairy Free Fruit Smoothie Banana 38 157 0.07 0.00 8.23 2 169
Wendys - Berri Blast Non Dairy Smoothie 37 156 0.00 0.00 8.20 2 168
Boost Juice - All Berry Bang Lite 37 155 0.50 0.20 7.10 2 167
Boost Juice - Berry Berry Lite 36 151 0.30 0.10 7.00 2 162
Michel's Patisserie - Dairy Free Fruit Smoothie Mixed Berry 36 151 0.03 0.00 7.97 2 162
Boost Juice - Smoothie Mini-Me Mango 35 146 0.30 0.10 7.30 2 157
Boost Juice - Crushes Watermelon Crush 34 144 0.10 0.00 7.50 2 155
Wendys - Watermelon Delight Non Dairy Smoothie 34 144 0.04 0.00 7.54 2 155
Boost Juice - Crushes Lemon Crush 31 129 0.10 0.00 6.60 2 139
Boost Juice - Skinny Minnie Melon 29 122 0.30 0.10 5.80 2 131
Wendys - Lemon Zest Non Dairy Lite Smoothie 28 118 0.04 0.04 5.78 2 127
lime juice 25 105 0.07 0.01 1.68 2 113
Muffin Break - Froot Blast Mango Tropic 23 98 0.02 0.00 5.02 1 105
Muffin Break - Froot Blast Blueberry Banana 23 98 0.00 0.00 5.26 1 105
lemon juice 23 96 0.25 0.04 2.52 1 104
tomato juice 17 71 0.05 0.01 3.56 1 77




Modern blenders and smoothie makers claim to be able to free-up all the nutrients within the ingredients. Ironically this may mean that all the sugar ends up in a liquid form to be instantly absorbed by the body.
Modern blenders and smoothie makers claim to be able to free-up all the nutrients within the ingredients. Ironically this may mean that all the sugar ends up in a liquid form to be instantly absorbed by the body.
        Source: Sigurdas (Own work), [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Smoothies are a great way to get your daily allowance of fruit, but the number of fruit may be excessive and greater than you would eat as whole fruit, leading to high sugar and calorie intake.
Smoothies are a great way to get your daily allowance of fruit, but the number of fruit may be excessive and greater than you would eat as whole fruit, leading to high sugar and calorie intake.
        Source: Public Domain CC0
Beware that your homemade smoothie may contain more sugar than a can of soft drink
Beware that your homemade smoothie may contain more sugar than a can of soft drink
        Source: cyclonebill [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Beware that yogurt, cheese and other dairy products are high in calories and may make your smoothie unhealthy
Beware that yogurt, cheese and other dairy products are high in calories and may make your smoothie unhealthy
        Source: dbtelford [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The classic green smoothie can contain many spoonfuls of sugar if you do not choose your ingredients carefully
The classic green smoothie can contain many spoonfuls of sugar if you do not choose your ingredients carefully
        Source: By Kari Sullivan from Austin [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Smoothies are very popular and many contain healthy fresh fruit. Cheers!
Smoothies are very popular and many contain healthy fresh fruit. Cheers!
        Source: By Pink Sherbet Photography [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Many of the common smoothie ingredients are healthy foods, even super foods, but many of them have high fat and calorie contents.
Many of the common smoothie ingredients are healthy foods, even super foods, but many of them have high fat and calorie contents.
        Source: By GEOlaviva (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons