Are Smoothies Ruining Your Diet?!

Are Smoothies Ruining Your Diet?!

It seems everywhere I look and every key stroke brings me to an article, a recipe, an enthusiast for 'Smoothie'.

All rights to images reserved  copyrights Alicia Lewis @ KitchenTakeovers

Don't get me wrong I am a huge fan of these thick, yummy, colourful, drinkable meals, especially when I am short on time.  However, I think its high time people wise up to the fact that a smoothie isn't going to cut it for a healthy diet, if you are not mindful with the other aspects of your diet and lifestyle regimen.

I have spoken to far too many individuals who have no idea they are causing more harm than good, in blindly following the crowd.

For starters, because it's a smoothie doesn't make it healthy, hear me out before you jump down my Nutribullet. What is 'healthy' depends very much on your state of health - I have always believed this. And quite frankly a one size fits all approach is rather redundant, perhaps this is why despite all our public health measures to curb the growing epidemic of our obeseogenic nation (with 61.9% adults and 28% of children obese or over weight), we are still failing.

It is still calories you are drinking, however healthy you may believe it to be and if you are not exercising or accounting for said calories; before you have 3 more large meals or smaller calorie dense meals you won't be seeing the results you expect. It is easy to chuck all these great fruits, vegetables, yoghurt or milk into a blender and hey pesto look am among the healthy elite!  the average person going in blindly thinking this - WRONG!! it is the same as taking supplements for the sake of taking something cause it's the new hyped thing to do.

Think logically here, just because you found a recipe on line or in a magazine that looks pleasing to the eye doesn't mean it will be pleasing to your absorption and distribution system. It doesn't matter if you are a diabetic, dieter or just wanting to try something different . Nothing like a fruit packed smoothie to spike your blood glucose levels. And that's before you've hit your pancreas with all the other sugar based food you will no doubt nibble on throughout the day. That glass of juice, the apple for a snack (cause you are being 'good'), the biscuit with cuppa. Well you get my point, it is easy to lose track of the amount of sugar whether refined or natural (am guilty too). After all sugar is in everything! from the humble spud to the milk in your coffee.

No, I am not vilifying sugar, just want to high light the fact that sometimes we can be doing more harm than good, thinking we are being 'healthy'. Continued elevated blood glucose levels can lead to raised triglycerides, and yes we need some for good health but high levels put you at risk of developing metabolic syndrome

Now, I am not saying you shouldn't have fruits! far from it, fruits are an invaluable source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibres and phytonutrients. They form an important part of a healthy varied diet. Just be mindful of how much you are having throughout the day. For example, if you had 2 *portions of fruits in your smoothie (* a portion being 80 g serving of fruit or 250 ml of pure fruit juice) in stead of another piece of fruit as a snack why not have some raw nuts, they have good fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals. Or some vegetable sticks and hummus or nut butter.

And I am not saying smoothies are 'evil' or 'bad' just taking a bit more care with the choices you make in what to add to them, can make a world of difference to your health overall and give you the results you want. 

All rights to images reserved  copyrights Alicia Lewis @ KitchenTakeovers

Here are a few of my tips:

  • Reduce the amount of fruits in your smoothies, don't have all your allowance in one sitting (especially if you are diabetic) spread it out throughout the day. 
  • Have more vegetables, and get to know your green foods; such as chlorella, green tea powder or spirulina, they are a great source of multivitamins and minerals, proteins and antioxidants. 
  • Add some unflavoured protein powder and flax or chia seeds to the mix - the protein, fibre and good fats will slow the uptake of the sugars and keep you fuller for longer too, that way you are not having a spike in blood sugar levels.
  • Use frozen fruit for smoothies, you will use less and get a thicker consistency.
  • Use cold water  or coconut water in place of milk or yoghurt - this will reduce the calories, and the coconut water will give you some electrolytes.
  • Grains are not off limits, to bulk up or thicken a smoothie - add a couple of table spoons of cooked wholegrain e.g. quinoa or barley grain.
  • Aim to have 2-3 servings of fruit daily, fill up on vegetables - which are packed full of nutrients without the high sugar or calorie. especially those growing above ground  
  • Slow down - drink slowing!

All rights to images reserved  copyrights Alicia Lewis @ KitchenTakeovers

And on that note, I will say...

Drink Responsibly! to coin the popular phrase.

***Disclaimer: Any of the information within this blog post and others on this site is for information and educational purposes only and is NOT intended to be taken as diagnosis, treatment, cure or to  prevent any disease. Any reader concerned about his or her health is advised to seek medical advice from their GP or relevant medical professional.***

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