Milkshakes: hidden calories behind the amazing taste

Milkshakes are some of the guilty pleasures most of us succumb to once in a while. It’s no big surprise since everyone is familiar with that tasty treat from early childhood. We can’t stop ourselves from consuming it because of its sweet taste, especially during the sweltering summer. Many people believe that this drink is healthy. Or it could be that they refuse to accept the truth. Researches have shown that milkshakes are not healthy at all. However, people continue to consume them without realizing that they’re full of calories, fat and sugar.



Before answering this question, we need to point out some facts. First of all, there are different kinds of milkshakes. It depends whether you drink a milkshake from a fast food chain or a homemade one. The difference between them is huge, since you can easily make healthier milkshakes by adding less sugar, more fruits and replacing the ice cream with low-fat milk. By doing so, you can significantly lower the calories and fat you’re going to consume. By replacing processed sugar with natural sweeteners like bananas or dates, you are definitely going to drink a healthier milkshake which wouldn’t harm your body.

healthy milkshake is considered to have less than 300 calories

healthy milkshake is considered to have less than 300 calories

A healthy milkshake is considered to have less than 300 calories. Instead of ice cream, you can use low-fat milk or yogurt. If you like, you can use soy products instead of the usual dairy ingredients. When it comes to sugar, the best solution is not to add at all. If you’re the can’t-live-without-sugar type of person, we recommend adding small amount of brown sugar. For those who have successfully fought the sugar demon, there are plenty of fruits which have enough fructose in them to be giving the milkshake a sweet taste. Such fruits are bananas, dates, peaches, dried figs, pears and many other more. You can also use other natural sweeteners such as raw honey, stevia, coconut sugar or maple syrup. It all depends on the milkshake recipe of course, but try to make different milkshakes with different fruits. For example, all kinds of berries have antioxidants which fight various diseases; pineapples decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart diseases.  

The above tips will help you to make your favorite milkshake less caloric and healthier than the normal milkshakes sold outside.

Many people don’t realize what they’re actually consuming. Milkshake is one of the trickiest products on the market since it’s considered a drink but actually has the calories and the nutritional value of a standard dessert. Maybe this drink is somehow comforting for the people who want something sweet but don’t want to feel guilty about eating a dessert.  Whatever it is, people must be aware of the nutritional value of milkshakes.

After drinking a milkshake, you feel sated as the daily requirements of your body for carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and proteins are satisfied. Of course, those requirements are partially met but is still enough to keep you from feeling hungry for hours.

  • Milkshakes contain:
  • Protein

They’re very rich in protein as milk is their main ingredient. Milk contains huge amounts of calcium which benefits our bone development and muscle building. Regular milk also contains a lot of fat which can be detrimental for you if you’re on a diet. You can simply opt for milkshakes made with low-fat milk if you want to avoid the consumption of too much fat.

You can opt for milkshakes made with low-fat milk

You can opt for milkshakes made with low-fat milk

  • Carbohydrates

The sugar in the milkshake provides energy required for the proper functioning of our brain. The fruits in the shake provide us with vitamins and fiber which boost both the digestive and immune systems.

  • Fiber

It plays a great role in our cardiovascular, digestive and excretory system. Found in the most fruits and vegetables, fiber improves digestion, clears toxins and fats which clog the digestive system and improves the functioning of the heart.

However, don’t be fooled. All these benefits are present in milkshakes that are prepared with high quality ingredients. Not surprisingly, milkshakes sold in fast food chains are not of high quality which contain vast amounts of processed sugar and fat.

  • Milkshakes from fast food chains

Two of the biggest fast food chains, McDonald’s and Burger King, also offer milkshakes on their menus. Taking a look their nutritional value will give us an idea of what is actually hiding behind the amazing, addictive taste.

Milkshakes from fast food chains

Milkshakes from fast food chains

McDonald’s milkshake includes:

  • McCafé Chocolate Shake recipe states that it’s made of vanilla reduced fat ice cream, chocolate shake syrup, whipped cream and maraschino cherries. A small shake contains 530 calories, 15g of fat (of which 10g is saturated fat). It contains 12g of protein and 68g of carbs and 73g of sugar.
  • McCafé Vanilla Shake contains vanilla reduced fat ice cream, vanilla shake syrup, whipped cream and maraschino cherries. A small shake contains 510 calories, 15g of fat (of which 9g is saturated fat), 11g of protein, 60g of sugar and 64g of carbs.
  • McCafé Strawberry Shake has vanilla reduced fat ice cream, strawberry shake syrup, whipped cream and maraschino cherries. It’s no great surprise that its nutritional value is close to the previous ones since they do not actually fruit. Sweetness coms from chemical sweeteners in the form of syrup. It has 520 calories and 15g of fat (of which 9g is saturated fat), 11g of protein, 73g of sugar and 66g of carbs.
  • Burger King’s milkshakes include:  
Vanilla Milk Shake has 580 calories

Vanilla Milk Shake has 580 calories

  • Oreo Shake which has 730 calories, 21g of fat ( of which 11g is saturated fat). Carbs provided are 121, 100g of sugar and 15g protein.
  • Chocolate Oreo Shake offers a total of 610 calories, 21g of fat (of which 12g is  saturated fat), 99 carbs, 81g of sugar and 13g of protein.  
  • Vanilla Milk Shake has 580 calories, 15g of fat(of which 10g is saturated fat), 98g of carbs, 85g of sugar and 14g of protein.
  • Chocolate Milk Shake contains 610 calories, 16g of fat, saturated fat – 10g, 103g of carbs, 88g of sugar, and 14g of protein.
  • Strawberry Milk Shake has 640 calories, 15g of fat (of which 10g is saturated fat), 113g of carbs, 99g of sugar and 19g of protein.

It is clear that such milkshakes are really not healthy. Not only do they contain many calories, they also don’t have any real fruits in them. They have too much added sugar which is not healthy for the body.

  • Effects of sugar

Added sugar affects your body. It contains no essential nutrients. This is the reason why it’s called “empty” calories. It is also bad for your teeth, overloads your liver, which causes non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases. It can also cause insulin resistance, one of the main factors for metabolic syndrome and diabetes. It’s also causes obesity. Added sugar can also affect your hormones and function of the brain.

Effects of sugar

Effects of sugar

Sugar causes massive dopamine release which makes many people become addicted to it. Fast food chains are aware of that. They deliberately add so much sugar to make their customers become addicted to their products. For a 2,000- calorie diet, the maximum amount of sugar per day is 50g, whereas a 3,000-calorie diet permits 75g of sugar. Only one small milkshake topples the limit.

  • Conclusion

So, next time when you decide to go to a fast food chain and grab a milkshake, be aware of what you’re consuming. You don’t need that much sugar. Even though you may be tempted by its sweet taste, resist the temptation and make yourself some nice homemade milkshake with lots of fruits and a small amount of sugar.

Just remember: to avoid health problems, avoid consuming too much sugar.


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