If you frequent Smoothie King, you may have noticed turbinado on the menu. What is turbinado and is it good for you? Read on to find out!
What is turbinado?
Turbinado is a type of sugar that’s less refined than white sugar. It has large, golden brown crystals from the molasses in sugar cane. It has a caramel-like flavor that’s stronger than brown sugar, but not overpowering.
The most popular brand is Sugar In The Raw, but you can find other brands. It costs more than white sugar, typically twice as much, if not more.
Look at the price per ounce to see the cost difference. Turbinado sugar is sold in smaller bags/containers so the price difference doesn’t seem as steep.
It’s used in baking as a finishing sugar for added crunch. You can find it at Starbucks in small packets for coffee. It’s also used in smoothies at Smoothie King and Tropical Smoothie Café.
Is turbinado healthy for you?
The short answer is no. Although less refined, it’s still sugar. It contains trace amounts of antioxidants and calcium from the molasses, but it doesn’t contribute nutritional value and it’s high in calories.
Both white sugar and turbinado contain the same amount of calories, at 48 calories per tablespoon.
A greater intake of added sugars is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and obesity. It should still be enjoyed as a treat, just like white sugar.
Does Smoothie King use turbinado?
Yes, smoothie king uses turbinado in many of its smoothies and smoothie bowls. It’s listed on the menu under the details of each smoothie. If you’re not sure which ones have it, you can ask an employee and they will tell you.
Not all of Smoothie King’s smoothies are sweetened with turbinado. Some only use juice and fruit for sweetness, like the MangoFest. Others use dates or protein powder.
Which smoothies at Smoothie King contain turbinado?
A lot of Smoothie King’s smoothies contain turbinado! Here’s a list of smoothies and bowls that currently contain turbinado:
- Bee Berry Sting Bowl
- Hive Five Bowl
- PB Delight Bowl
- Coffee D-Lite Mocha
- Coffee D-Lite Vanilla
- Espresso D-Lite Mocha
- Espresso D-Lite Vanilla
- The Hulk Coffee
- The Hulk – Espresso, Chocolate, Strawberry, Vanilla
- Peanut Power Plus Strawberry
- Power Punch Plus
- Angel Food
- Banana Boat
- Caribbean Way
- Kindness in a Cup
- Lemon Twist Banana
- Lemon Twist Strawberry
- Muscle Punch
- Passion Passport
- Pineapple Surf
- Tart Cherry X-treme
- X-treme Watermelon Lemonade
- Yogurt D-Lite
You can customize your smoothies at Smoothie King! If you don’t want them to add turbinado, ask them not to. Doing so will decrease the calories and overall sugar in your smoothie.
Should I add turbinado to smoothies?
It’s a personal preference but I don’t recommend it. Smoothies are easy to sweeten naturally without added sugar.
Bananas, fruit, juice, and dates all add sweetness with no added sugar. For the most nutrients, use bananas and fresh fruit for sweetness.
It also trains your tastebuds to like sweeter smoothies. I make most of my smoothies at home, so Smoothie King’s smoothies taste very sweet to me!
What smoothies at Smoothie King are healthy?
A smoothie is only as healthy as the ingredients it contains. This is true of Smoothie King’s smoothies too. Look for a smoothie without added sugar like turbinado and frozen yogurt.
Instead, look for a smoothie that contains real fruit like bananas, berries, pineapple, or mango, and other nutrient-dense ingredients like spinach, kale, almonds, peanut butter, or plant-based milk.
You can look at Smoothie King’s menu online and see the nutrition info for all of their smoothies, including the calories, sugar, added sugar, saturated fat, fiber, and cholesterol.
Look for a smoothie with nutrient-dense ingredients with no added sugar and minimal saturated fat.
Are Smoothie King smoothies high in sugar?
Yes and no. It depends on the smoothie! Smoothie King has a ton of options and some are low in sugar.
Here are some of Smoothie King’s smoothies with the lowest sugar content per 20 ounce cup:
- Keto Champ – Berry or Chocolate (2 to 6 grams)
- Lean1 blends – (8 to 33 grams)
- Slim-N-Trim blends – (19 to 29 grams)
- Vegan Nutty Super Grain (33 grams)
- Power Meal Blueberry Raspberry (30 grams)
Here are some of Smoothie King’s smoothies with the highest sugar content per 20 ounce cup:
- The Hulk blends – (90 to 131 grams)
- Banana Boat (75 grams)
- Lemon Twist Banana (78 grams)
- Kindness in a Cup (74 grams)
- X-treme Watermelon Lemonade (90 grams)
If you’re goal is a healthy smoothie, it’s best to avoid the Enjoy a Treat section of the menu. These smoothies are intended to be treats!