Fruit smoothies and frappes contain more kilojoules than a meal and are high in sugar, states recent study.
Consumer group Choice analysed 95 drinks sold at a variety of popular chains including Boost Juice, Donut King, Wendys and Gloria Jean's, finding 81 were high in sugar - at least 7.5g per 100ml, News.com.au reported.
AdvertisementThirteen of the drinks were more than 1900 kilojoules, or 454 calories - about three times the amount dieticians recommend for a snack.
Five were high in saturated fat, with each drink containing more than 11g of saturated fat per serve, most likely because they were made with ice-cream.
Although fruit smoothies have a healthy image, Choice spokeswoman Ingrid Just said some were packed with "hidden sugars", containing fruit juice concentrates and high-fructose syrup.
"It's always preferable to have the whole fruit," Just said.
"With the whole fruit, you get the fibre, you get the added nutrients from the skin and the fibre in the fruit, plus you're not consuming as many kilojoules as quickly.
"You should be having roughly two pieces of fruit a day. Some of these smoothies have many, many more times the kilojoules of that amount of fruit," she added.
The Choice review found that Baskin and Robbins' yoghurt smoothies contained between 29 and 31 teaspoons of sugars, including concentrated fruit puree, high-fructose syrup and added sugar.
Boost Juice's Super Smoothies are made with real juice but they are also energy dense, at close to 2000kj (478 calories) per regular serve - about the same as a full meal.