Are Smoothies Bad for Us?
Smoothies are perceived as the quick, healthy or even skinny option to grab, but they indeed can be bad for us! And that isn’t only about the sugars, though that is an obvious culprit. As for a daily intake, the American Heart Association recommends that:
o women consume a maximum of 100 calories (24 grams or 6 teaspoons) of added sugar per day;
o men are allowed 150 calories (36 grams or 9 teaspoons) max, in total during the day;
Let’s dive deeper into the pros and cons of smoothies!
- Ignorance: A lot of people are still unaccustomed to thinking about what they buy and eat, let alone do their own research; which makes it is easy to think a smoothie is healthy, period!
- Store bought smoothies, when we examine the label, usually contain a large amount of (processed) sugars;
- It is harder to find out what percentage of the sugar content is actually added sugars, (artificial) sweeteners, like (high fructose corn)syrup or natural fructose;
- When we drink our fruit, instead of eating them, it is easier to consume more sugars (including fructose), ie. it is easier to drink 6 oranges than to eat them.
- Be aware that we might be rather accustomed to drinking container sized drinks; store bought smoothies can similarly be too big of a portion;
- Commercial smoothies can easily contain preservatives, BPA (due to the use of canned fruits), dairy (with chances of anti-biotics and growth hormones) or residual pesticides when greens aren’t properly washed;
- Ready-made smoothies lack a good mixture of protein, fat and fibres;
- When drinking smoothies, we can increase our daily intake of fruit and vegetables;
- When making smoothies ourselves, we control exactly what is inside;
- Preferably local, biologically grown fruit and veg;
- The ratio of fruit and veg;
- What kind of protein and fats;
- What kind of liquid is added, ie. coconut water, rice milk, filtered water and alike;
- Home-made smoothies are easily adjusted to our preferred taste;
- When we drink green smoothies, we decrease the fructose content and increase fibres, vitamins and minerals, and it still tastes great! Use a high power blender to really make your smoothie smooth enough, though some people might not mind some chewing;
- The fibres make us feel satiated, which decreases the chances of snacking in between meals;
- Smoothies are easy and quick;
- Which can save parents a lot of stress in the busy morning routine! Don’t forget to add a quarter cup of (ground) oatmeal before blending; it gives a smooth creamy texture as well as fibres and protein!
*These days smallest cup -a child’s size- is 12 ounces (35cl), slightly more than a can (33cl); the adult cups range in size from 16 to 30 ounces (47cl to 89cl).