Juices, smoothies, detox drinks; are they making you fat?
Smoothies, juices, and detox drinks are available in various sexy packaging such as; "green goodness for energy", "add protein for muscle tone"; "full of antioxidants to fight those free radicals"; and they are often consumed as part of an effort to lose body fat. Rarely are they enjoyed as an occasional (I will define that as maximum once a week) beverage to have with a chewable/solid meal or simply as a snack if necessary to get you through to dinner. (Even as a snack, a banana in its wholefood form is more advisable then a banana smoothie).
Let’s get to the evidence of why these fruit and vegetable smoothies are best left to consume occasionally (once a week) and in moderation (do you really need three carrots in there?):
*Juices are full of sugar. As we are becoming more aware of the damages of too much sugar in our diets, here is a reminder of some of its ill effects: tooth decay, weight gain, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
*If consumed as meal replacements and at 1000 calories or less per day, this has major adverse health implications (including but not limited to heart murmurs, kidney issues and digestive concerns).
*There is no fibre (or very little if the skin of the fruit and vegetables don’t make it into the mixture). Fibre is the indigestible carbohydrate that helps the digestive tract along and has many other health benefits and can help prevent diabetes, weight gain, some cancers and heart disease.
*You are not chewing when drinking liquids! Chewing is one of the most important parts of the digestive process that helps to increase the surface area of foods on which saliva can start acting to break down the larger food molecules. Chewing also slows down your eating and therefore you are likely to consume less by feeling fuller faster.
*Retired Senior Vice President of Kraft, John Ruff, admits to avoiding his own company’s products based on new research relating to calories consumed in liquid form. “Ruff knew about the emerging research in nutrition that found that the body’s weight control systems were much less adept at handling liquid calories than solid foods.” (Salt Sugar Fat, 2013).
In summary it is best to eat your fruit and vegetable in their whole food format (one orange, 1 carrot, 2 celery sticks, half a red pepper, half a mango for example). It is also advisable to limit your fruit intake to two to three whole fruits per day and make up any more fruit cravings with a small pack of blueberries, raspberries or melons!