Love smoothies? Do you have them on a regular basis? Smoothies certainly pack in a punch. Depending on their ingredients they can give you protein, fiber, nutrients, vitamins and minerals our bodies need.
Many smoothies are loaded with fruit, sometimes with some vegetables and even at times with dairy like milk or yoghurt, sweeteners etc. There are so many variations of smoothie recipes that they seem to outnumber the different flavors of ice cream out there.
But how good and healthy is your smoothie?
Many recipes are based on fruit. There are smoothies made out of banana, pineapple, mango, melon, peach, apple and almost any fruit you can think of. That is a lot of fructose -- a lot of sugar.
According to a study conducted by Dr. Parks, fructose turns into fat after 4 hours. She cautions however that people trying to lose weight shouldn't eliminate fruit from their diets. Fruits do contain antioxidants, vitamins and fiber that are all good for us. Fruits like strawberries, mango and pineapple for example contain vitamin C, which is needed to make a protein called collagen that helps form our skin and ligaments. She goes on to say, "We're overeating all sugars." It's all about portion control. So the question really is, how much sugar is in your smoothie?
Not all fruits are created equal. One mango has on average about 30 grams of fructose while a cup of blueberries has about half of that with just 14 grams of fructose. Raspberries have 6 grams of fructose and strawberries 8 grams per cup.
For those of you who stick to mainly green drinks the same may also apply to you. Have you checked the label and seen how much sugar there is per serving? The FDA 's recommendation is 50 g of sugar per day. One serving of a V8 Peach Mango smoothie already has 18 g of sugar while some green drinks may have up to 24 g or even more. With a green drink the downside is even worse as there is usually no fiber to buffer the absorption of sugar causing the spike and crash that accompanies it.
If you're sitting at the office most of the day and get little to no exercise there's a good chance that sugar is turning into fat more readily if your body is not using it for fuel. Like having smoothies late in the day or at night? If it's within that 4-hour window before bedtime chances are then too that your body will be storing the unused fructose into fat while you are catching up on your zzzs.
The best way to enjoy a smoothie? Make your own and get the right balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates along with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Here is a free smoothie recipe that gives you a boost of energy and helps you focus throughout the day. It's packed with good fats like omega 3s, protein, vitamin C and many other great antioxidants. Get it right here.