I tried a McDonald’s strawberry banana smoothie today. I was looking for something different, and something filling so I wouldn’t feel hungry all day now that I’m trying to snack less at my desk. I knew McDonald’s has been making a big push in the beverage area, both with its new emphasis on coffee drinks and with its smoothies. Since I don’t drink coffee, I decided to give a smoothie a try.
And I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I had checked first on Dietfacts.com to see how many calories I would be dealing with. The good news is that a small McDonald’s strawberry banana smoothie is only 210 calories. That’s only about 50 calories more than a McDonald’s yogurt parfait, my usual indulgence at McD’s.
The smoothie is only 12 ounces, which didn’t sound like a lot to me and doesn’t look like very much in its plastic cup. But it was filling and had a good strawberry taste.
Unfortunately, it also has 44 grams of sugar. The daily recommended allowance for refined sugar is 40 grams per 2,000 calories consumed, about what I’m supposed to be eating. Remember, one teaspoon of sugar contains 4.2 grams, so this thing ladles more than 10 teaspoons of sugar into your system. Not the best idea.
So the smoothie on top of the chocolate bar I had on the way to work put me way over that amount. Therein lies a lot of my eating problems.
Back to the smoothie, the 12 ounces made me feel full, something it normally takes a lot of food, and a lot more calories, to accomplish.
If you want to try one, stay away from the large, that has 330 calories and 70 grams of sugar. Tony wrote extensively about consuming this amount of sugar in McD’s Frozen Strawberry Lemonade Why You Shouldn’t Drink McDonald’s Frozen Strawberry Lemonade. It’s worth reading.
Regarding my meal, I also had a bacon and cheese Angus snack wrap but took out the cheese. Doing that saved me 50 calories and, more importantly for me, 230 mgs of sodium, taking the total sodium for the wrap down to 850 mg from 1,080.
6 responses to “How Many Calories in a McDonald’s Strawberry Smoothie?”
You’re cracking me up, John. All this hemming and hawing over a 210-calorie smoothie, then you casually mention the candy bar you had just finished. On the way to work. And you call the yogurt parfait your standard McDonald’s indulgence–but seem to think you’re in the clear cause you removed the cheese from a bacon-and-cheese steak wrap?
All due respect, this post reminds me of the proverbial moviegoer who pats himself on the back for ordering a diet coke with his extra large tub of buttered popcorn and Goobers. Except I’m reading it on a nutrition blog.
For the sake of readers who come here looking for guidance, I wish you had included some recognition of how little the calories in the smoothie mattered compared to the other foods you off-handedly mention. There’s too many guys out there who fool themselves into thinking they’re eating healthy because they ordered the diet coke with their 1,500-calorie snack. Surely, as the writer of a nutrition blog, you understand this. I think you do your readers a disservice by implying the candy bar and bacon-and-steak wrap (cheese or not) are OK as long as you opt for the 12-ounce smoothie.
That’s not what I was implying at all, I’m talking about making small changes that eventually lead to bigger ones like not eating the candy bars, the HoHos, the cupcakes and all the other things I keep trying to get away from. My point here is similar to that made in the Eat This Not That books, namely when you’re in an unhealthy situation regarding food, do the best you can to cut what you can and find the least harmful foods there. I could have gotten the Angus burger on the calorie-stuffed bun with the salt and calorie soaked fries but didn’t, for example, the 1500-calorie snack you refer to. Sorry you missed my point but thanks for getting a discussion going, would love to hear from some other readers as well.
Also, you must have missed my post yesterday, Tony is the nutrition writer here, I’m the struggling everyman who still buys the popcorn at the movies and then bikes for an hour in the basement to work it off, read his posts for nutrition advice, mine for the challenges most of us face every day.
If your goal is harm reduction rather than actual healthy eating, then fair enough. Every little bit helps. I just do hope you understand how very little a smoothie matters in comparison to a candy bar/steak-and-bacon lunch. There’s way too much delusional thinking about food in this country, particularly among men our age.
ye s, you’re definitely right about the delusional thinking among men about food.
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