What’s Wrong With Smoothies And How To Make 1 That’s Right
In recent years, there has been a global movement away from soda and to fruit juice and smoothies under the premise they are a healthier replacement. But as soda consumption dropped by 9% globally over the last 10 years, obesity rose during the same time frame by 15%.
Part of the rise is thought to be caused by the increased consumption of fruit juice and smoothies. But how can that be? Aren’t they made from all natural ingredients?
While most fruit juice and smoothies do contain natural fruit, the problem come from the processing, packaging and promoting of the product.
Juicing removes almost all of the fiber and many of the nutrients that you would otherwise get if you ate the whole fruit in its natural state. While most people would be satisfied eating an orange or two, a smoothie can have the sugar of six oranges, but without the fiber to keep you full, you are looking for something more to eat an hour or two later once the sugar wears off.
As with many foods, when we buy a packaged product, most of us think it is one serving, but you have to look at the nutritional label to be sure. In the case of fruit juices and smoothies, there can be two servings in a bottle.
So if you drink the whole thing, which is the common thing to do, you have ingested twice the calories (and twice the sugar) that you would have otherwise had you had just one serving or half the bottle.
Companies are deceptive in their advertising. For example one company states their 8 ounce orange smoothies “are made entirely from fruit and therefore contain the same amount of sugars that you would find in an equivalent amount of whole fruit”. But if you look at the label, it has 29 grams of sugar! Compare that to the nutritional label of an eight ounce serving of orange juice and it lists sugar as 19.05 grams. So, where did the other 10 grams of sugar come from?
A couple better alternatives to fruit juice and smoothies are to either eat unprocessed fruit or freshly squeezed juice, or smoothies made from vegetable juice. Real fruit in its natural state has all the fiber and nutrients, and you know what you are getting; no hidden ingredients. Smoothies or juice made from vegetables have far less sugar than ones made from fruit, so you are getting fewer calories per equal serving and without blood sugar spiking.
Drinking juice and smoothies can be healthy if you select the right products or make you own drinks so you know what is in them.
How to Make A Healthy Breakfast Smoothie
If you are wondering how to make a healthy breakfast smoothie, then we should probably nail down the definition of that word first. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a smoothie as …
“noun: a creamy beverage made of fruit blended with juice, milk,
or yogurt ”
Likewise, Dictionary.com uses words like beverage, fruit, blender, milk, juice and yogurt, but adds ice. Anyway, you get the picture. A smoothie generally steers clear of using processed foods, sugar and other unhealthy components to make a thick, frozen, or at least cool beverage designed to promote health.
Breakfast Smoothie Step 1 – You have probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So if you are going to replace your morning meal with a smoothie, there are some things you have to be sure and include. Protein is important at breakfast and gives you energy and throughout the day.
People that eat protein during breakfast also tend to eat less all day long, leading to a more naturally regulated body weight. So you want to ensure you get some type of protein in your breakfast smoothie. Some great sources of protein for your breakfast smoothie include eggs, spinach, kale, collard greens and protein powders.
Breakfast Smoothie Step 2 – Adding fruit to your smoothies makes them taste great. It also delivers a lot of wonderful nutrients and dietary fiber. This regulates your digestive system, once again promoting a healthy body weight. Apples, mangos, blueberries, bananas, strawberries, pears, blackberries and pineapples are all great tasting additions to any breakfast smoothie. (You may also choose to add fruit through yogurt, but read the nutrition label carefully so you do not indulge in a processed, unhealthy product.
Breakfast Smoothie Step 3 – You need some type of liquid base. Try to steer clear of dairy products as much as you can. The last few years, we are learning more and more that dairy products may not be as healthy as we once thought. Great traditional milk alternatives include soy milk, rice milk, hemp milk, almond milk and oat milk.
For your liquid you also might want to choose orange, apple, grape or pomegranate juice. Just be sure to select sugar-free, healthy varieties, going organic whenever you can.
Breakfast Smoothie Step 4 – Mix! This is the easy part. Pour a cup or 2 of your liquid with 2 ice cubes into your blender and mix. Start slowly adding your protein source and vegetables. Add liquid as needed, and experiment with different combinations.