Let me begin by saying that I love a smoothie as much as the next person and my Ninja Blender is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. I’m not personally attacking you or your smoothie.  If you were to tell me that the only way you will consume vegetables is if you hide them in a smoothie then I will be the first one to tell you to blend away. But the truth is smoothies are not the secret to health; in fact, they aren’t even the healthiest way to consume the ingredients you’re putting in them.  Again, I’m not attacking your smoothie and I’m not telling you to stop drinking them but here are a few things I want you to keep in mind when considering drinking your food…

Satiety. If you are drinking smoothies to lose weight this poses a big problem. Say you make a smoothie with all of the healthiest ingredients and it averages around 200 calories, then one hour later you are hungry; so you eat a small snack to try to tide you over (100 calories) but then another hour goes by and you are still hungry… another snack (100 calories). You could have eaten a 400 calorie breakfast, that’s two eggs, spinach, tomatoes, cheese and two pieces of whole wheat toast. You would have been full, energized and would have enjoyed your food. Which brings me to my next point…

Enjoying your food. How have we lost sight of this and why aren’t we doing it more often? I watched my son spend nearly 20 minutes eating a mango. He ‘talked’ to me, smiled, and enjoyed each little piece. Instead of putting my mango in a smoothie I cut it up, I sat down and I talked, smiled and enjoyed each piece with him. In fact, by doing so I ended up eating less than I would have thrown into a smoothie and I ENJOYED THE ACTUAL ACT OF EATING. Ah, enjoying life… who would have thought?!

Speaking of ingredients… A “low fat” (I’ve already covered my distaste for this topic here)  mango smoothie from Panera adds up to 270 calories, 54 grams of sugar (the American Heart Association recommends no more than 30g of sugar A DAY for women and 45 grams A DAY for men) and 2 grams of fiber. 

About that fiber… this is some boring science so I’ll keep it short and sweet. There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. To properly digest fiber and reap its benefits you need these two to work as a pair. If you change the fiber from it’s natural state, say blending it into submission, it is not digested as it should be and can overload your liver with glucose (that’s sugar… all 54 grams of it). 

So I’m not saying to give up your smoothie but what I am saying is this: don’t reach for a smoothie just because it sounds healthy; don’t be afraid to actually eat and enjoy your food, you should feel satisfied and full after each meal; and check the nutrition facts before you buy. I can confidently say that the best way to eat healthy is to eat fruits and vegetables (and all other food) in it’s most natural state. No matter what the newest fad is or how cool is sounds I can confidently say this because this truth has stood the test of time. It’s tough to argue with decades of scientific research… 

To fruits and veggies, cheers! 

Sweat & Smiles, 

Melissa

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