How many calories … in a Smoothie King smoothie?

It’s mid-September, and the seasonal shift may find you in the mall — either for new school clothes, a raincoat, or a small selection of other fall gear. You’re racing through on a Saturday afternoon to cross everything off your list and you hit the food court for a snack. But you try to play it smart. You know to skip Cinnabon or even the pretzel shop.

Then you’ve got it: you’ll get a smoothie at Smoothie King! Refreshing, filling and chock-full of fruit, you order a medium, 32-oz. Slim-N-Trim Strawberry smoothie. Smoothies have been around long enough for you to know that there are hidden dangers — extra sugars, protein powders, carb enhancers — but you think you’re making a safe choice. After all, it’s “slim and trim,” right? So, just how many calories do you think are really in that blended beverage?

(a) 235
(b) 364
(c) 421
(d) 536

(d) 536 calories!

Unfortunately, fruit often is not the only ingredient. Smoothie King uses a “carbohydrate mix,” honey and turbinado sugar to sweeten and enhance the flavor. This means that even the smallest size low-fat shakes generally have 300 to 500 calories.

Our advice is to request that Smoothie King leave out the sweeteners, which is an option they provide in their nutritional brochure, usually available at most franchise locations. While you’re at it, check out the calorie counts of Smoothie King’s smoothies and shakes before placing your order. You can also order the smallest size — a 20-ouncer that will save you 179 calories, whittling down that 536-calorie heavyweight to 357. Still high but not as bad, which sometimes is the best you can hope for in a food court.

Author by Kristi Anderson