Why smoothies are unhealthy

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Whether you’re on a liquid diet, grabbing breakfast on the go or just want to enjoy a tasty treat, discover why smoothies are not always the healthier option.

The first, and most obvious, reason a smoothie will be unhealthy is the inclusion of unhealthy ingredients. Most commercial smoothies will contain unholy amounts of sugar, far more than you might expect from the taste. Some will also contain high-fat yoghurt or ice-cream, making your smoothie about as healthy as a box of iced doughnuts.

The second, and mostly unavoidable, problem with smoothies is in their very nature. When a smoothie, or any kind of fruit juice, is made, the juice is squeezed from the fruit. What is left behind is the pulp or fiber content. This means that when you drink a smoothie, you could be drinking the sugary equivalent of four or five oranges, a whole pineapple or three apples, without any of the healthy fiber. Consuming fiber is an important part of good gut health, and drinking a smoothie means you are consuming all the calories of the fruit without adding to your necessary daily fiber intake.

So what can you do to make your smoothies healthier? Start by making them yourself, at home in the blender. This way you can control exactly what is going into them, and avoid adding unnecessary ingredients such as sugar. Second, try opting for a vegetable smoothie. Vegetables have a much lower sugar content than fruits, so you will be getting that vitamin kick without the high calorie count.

Are you a smoothie junkie? Share your favourite healthy smoothie recipe below.

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23 Comments

Total Comments: 23
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    I make a smoothie with frozen mixed berries, hi-lo milk, low fat greek yogurt, honey to taste, I also add some LSA (linseed, sesame and almond) and chia seeds. It is really tasty and cold due to the frozen fruit.

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    More Americanisation – for us its FIBRE not fiber – unless this was lifted straight from an American article, in which case the original authors should be named/acknowledged.

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      Totally agree with you. I was going to write the same (and thought the same). Another bugbear of mine is “cookies”

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      Go Tango! Hate the way our journos pick up these articles from America and parrot them without even bothering to check the spelling. And I hate ‘cookies’ too. And ‘cup cakes’ – what was wrong with patty cakes?

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    Rachel Tyler Jones for your information full fat sugar free natural yoghurt is far healthier to add to homemade smoothies than low-fat yoghurt laced with sugar to give it some flavour. Natural fat is NOT the enemy!!!! Refined sugar being added to so called ‘healthy food’ IS the enemy. Our brains consist of 80% fat according to my doctor who practises what he preaches by eating a high fat (NOT manmade) diet with plenty of protein and vegetables. Like me he does not add refined sugar to anything.

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      I agree Penqueen1949. Less sugar and carbs and more fat!

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      Thanks Jaypm55, my doc is 64, slim, fit and runs his beef cattle property as well as working as a doctor full time. He has a tin of sardines on his desk to illustrate the importance of protein in the diet and lots of photos on his phone of the raw salads that he eats daily. He willingly draws diagrams for his patients so we understand what he is saying and have something to refer to afterwards. This man practises what he peaches and is a wealth of knowledge.

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      It’s great that you have a dr that is helping you with proper nutrition advise. They are hard to come by so I don’t go to the dr unless it’s absolutely necessary.

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    Yeah – A vegie smoothy. Lovely – but somehow, I can’t really see me belting down a cabbage and cucumber smoothy – YUK!

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    I have one each morning – banana, muesli, natural yoghurt, nuts, seeds, few cranberries and almond milk – can’t see any problem with that??

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    Penqueen you are so right, there are healthy fats and good fats eg cold pressed oil, full cream milk preferably not homogenised, we need good oils in our diet. Have folks not noticed Americans eat a low fat diet and it sure as hell hasn’t done anything for their weight issues, we are fast following.When you take out fat you actually have to add more sugar for taste and mouth feel. Also I can think of far worse drinks to buy eg soft drinks, which can be never healthy for you. Actually when you make a smoothie you normally put in the whole fruit,hence why it is so thick……………. Ductape you maybe pleasantly surprised, you cant even taste a lot of greens put in smoothies if made correctly, such as if you add English spinach to a banana smoothie, you wouldn’t even detect it. Nor if you put in half an avocado with banana, mango, yoghurt, cacao (raw chocolate) and coconut cream/milk or fresh coconut pulp. For the record good coconut milk/cream or fresh pulp are medium chain fatty acids and extremely good for you there is plenty of recent research to back all this up……………..Tango is right, the author should have quoted her sources. Even if she wrote them in her own words, its always good to reference your writing especially this type of writing on nutrition…………………. Although frankly i wouldn’t get hung up on American spelling. If you look at medieval spelling it actually looked more like how the Americans spell now anyway.Those that could write spelt phonologically, have you ever read any of Shakespeare’s original writings. English grammar laws were only introduced as we know them in the 18th and 19th century, earlier writing used Latin grammar. As english is a living language it will always change, otherwise we would still be thee and thouing

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      Yep. I make a smoothie daily with half a banana, half an apple, 6 or 8 strawberries, a few grapes a cup of milk, a tablespoon of sugar, & a couple of cream.

      Delicious. & at well over 70, having always eaten this way, my cholesterol is very low, particular the so called bad one, but that is down to being active.

      My father’s breakfast was usually 3 sausages, 3 chops, 3 or 4 eggs, cereal with milk sugar & cream, washed down by a mug of tea. Dinner would be at least twice this. He was always slim, fit & healthy, well into his 80s, because he worked enough physically to use up all this nutrient.

      It is not what you eat that counts, but what you burn up that dictates your health.

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      Hasbeen i would have to disagree with you re “It is not what you eat that counts, but what you burn up that dictates your health”, while exercise is important you cant eat nutrient poor, chemically added food constantly with no consequences. Thats like saying its OK to put 2 stroke petrol in a 4 cylinder, it will still go but certainly not well. Your father would have eaten whole foods in his era, free range eggs, cream that was not pasteurised or homogenised, meat and other foods with few/no additives, colour, preservatives etc. Local whole foods in season, as a rule are healthy and how generations have eaten. Although with the advent of pesticides, polluted waterways, crops that no longer rest the soil you need to be careful where you source your whole food. Processed oils and margarine are not whole foods either. The chemistry and biology involved in enzyme interactions and fuel burning in our body are quite amazing, but we need the correct fuels for all these things to happen and maintain health.

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    Hi! Tango & Halona.
    Just wanted you to know that I had gotten my fiber fix this morning.
    Rotten “gotten” !!

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      Don’t object to the use of gotten as much because this is just a case of the spoken language changing over time – after all we still use forgotten. However in the sentence you used to stir the pot, gotten is completely superfluous!

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    I make my own smothies and theyar healthy.

    made with skim milk n yoghurt, which i make myself.

    and i put in berries which are either fresh or frozen.
    it is all in the preparation…………….

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    A smoothie is not the same as a juice. Your last paragraph is correct, make your own, but use full fat milk, yoghurts or your own homemade almond milk, add some mint or ginger to get a nice flavour and add some virgin coconut oil. LCHF – low carbs and high fats are the way to go. It’s time to change that low fat, high sugar mindset we’ve all been talked into.

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    6:30am each morning: 6 x dessert spoons of oats, 1 x dessert spoon of wheat germ, 2 x teaspoons of flax seed, 1 x banana, 2 x dessert spoons of low, low fat yogurt, 1 x leaf (including stork) of kale or 2 x pieces of brocchilli and about 2 x glasses of light milk. 30 secs in the blender and the day begins!

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      Check your labels to see the sugar content of low fat yoghurt. Go for full fat. Do some research and you’ll see low-fat is not good for you. Never has, never will.

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