to think that smoothies are as good as other kinds of fruit and vegetables

(83 Posts)

...well they can be. I acknowledge that the nutritional value of smoothies can vary wildly.

The NHS doesn't think so

They think you should only count two of your five a day as smoothies.

Why on earth should it matter if it is blended or not?

My smoothies should definitely count. They usually contain plenty of veggies for a start (my kids only figured this out recently after drinking them for a decade or more) carrots, avocado, kale, red cabbage, spinach etc, a mix of frozen berries, mango, peach, peanut butter or yoghurt, citrus including some of the peel for the bioflavonoids (and flavour) sometimes wheat germ, lemon flavoured fish oil or flax if they are replacing a meal. They don't often have banana in them because DS#1 can't cope with much banana. They don't usually have juice in them because we don't often have it in the house. Sometimes I will include olive or sunflower oil in them if they are instead of a meal for the boys and unsweetened cocoa or carob for flavour.

Now admittedly it would be rare to have more than one a day except when I was trying to give DS some extra calories to replace those that were being burned up.

How is a bowl of cooked veg supposedly superior to this? If I blend a veggie smoothie then heat it it is soup, does that now count? By my reckoning it has less nutritional value now.

sparkle12mar08 Sat 27-Apr-13 16:52:27

YABU because the health benefits are about more than the vitamins and minerals - it's also about the fibre, and letting the digestive tract do the work naturally is better for us than simply drinking liquidised product. As for soup, it too is only a maximum of two of the five a day - Any blended product is.

Dr Katz doesn't think so and he has a pretty list of credentials

ParmaViolette Sat 27-Apr-13 16:57:58

Because if they don't say that- you'd get some moron parents letting their kids drink a fuckton of innocent smoothie because it's 'elfy and just fruit'

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 27-Apr-13 16:58:58

I agree OP, think about it a strawberry's and bananas mashed up and drank or strawberrys and bananas ate and your teeth chew it up before it goes down anyway...

the fibre is broken down in smoothies and juices, so you don't get the full benefit of the fruit/veg.

Your smoothies sound fab, but your typical juice and a banana type smoothie is v quick to raise you blood sugar levels as it is so quickly digested. Therefore in general eating the food, plus the fibre in things like oranges is better. But honestly, yours sound mega good for you!

FredFredGeorge Sat 27-Apr-13 17:08:42

It's because "5 a day" has little to nothing to do with actual nutrition, it's all to do with a simple message that might impact people with poor diets.

You don't need 5 a day anyway really, and a not counted potato is superior to many other things nutritionally, but health messages need to be simple nudges in a direction. "Eat less, move more" is a much more appropriate message, but not one that worked too well for most, so now they're trying this 5-a-day stuff, it's not that successful either.

crashdoll Sat 27-Apr-13 17:10:07

InNeedofBrandy Digestive and saliva enzymes play a role. However you want to dress it up, strawberries and bananes are nutritionally far superior in their usual form.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sat 27-Apr-13 17:14:25

YABU. Fruit, being mostly sugar, isn't actually that good for you. It has a few vitamins in it (which are just as easily got from vegetables) and it helps you shit. That's about it.

Blended and liquidised fruit is slightly better for you than Fanta Orange but only slightly.

Well I just made one smile DS got up to late for his saturday morning sport practise so it is an easy on the go breakfast. It had oatmeal, avocado, napa cabbage, an orange including peel, cherries, peach, strawberries, PB, milk and carob in it oh and I dropped a couple of glucosamine/chondroitin tabs in when noone was looking. Got to be a million times better than cocoa pops and milk or toast and jam.

Fredfred, that sounds much more likely.

Crash doll, I still think that a mashed up banana and some strawberries is probably a whole lot better for you than cut up and boiled to death carrots which apparently count just fine with no limit.

ivykaty44 Sat 27-Apr-13 17:23:44

I was under the impression that smoothies have been processed - they go through a process and to some degree get heated by the mechanics of the process - therefore processing the food limits the nutrient content.

Eating a piece of fruit that is whole and the fruit is not a processed food and therefore will hopefully give full nutrient content


frozen food has gone though a process and that may in some cases contain more nutrients than fresh food that is old.

crashdoll Sat 27-Apr-13 17:23:46

But bananas and strawberries are fruit and carrots are vegetables. They are not comparable, mostly because of the fruit in sugar. That's not to say smoothies are bad for you, just need to be part of a balanced diet.

ExcuseTypos Sat 27-Apr-13 17:26:06


If you gave your child an oranges, a banana and some strawberries it would take them a long time to eat them, and they probably wouldnt o it all in one sitting. The body has time to deal with all the sugar which is in the fruit.

If you whizz all that up in a smoothie the child will drink it in less than 5 minutes. The body then has to cope with all that sugar. It isn't healthy to do that on a regular basis.

yes but there are plenty of other things in fruit, antioxidants (mine usually contain blueberries, but I was out), bioflavonoids, lycopene ... plus as I said my smoothies ALWAYS contain vegetables and usually protein and often some complex carbs. In this case a smoothie jug that fed a teen boy and a preteen

Ivykaty, my smoothies are still ice cold and are thick like milkshakes. They have ice in them.

Typos, does that really apply if the smoothie has lots of soluble fiber, fat and protein in it?

"In this case a smoothie jug that fed a teen boy and a preteen "

sorry, lost the end of this sentence, should have said ..."also had a 1/4 of an avocado, 3/4 cup of cabbage, a tablespoon of PB, 1/2 cup of milk and a tablespoon of oatmeal each"

Wishiwasanheiress Sat 27-Apr-13 17:36:00

Smoothies are the worst way nutritionally to consume fruit. It heightens the sugar and removes nutrients. So maybe urs taste great but they are still silly to have often if ur using them to get fruit into ur kids.

Enjoy but don't pretend they are healthy.

ivykaty44 Sat 27-Apr-13 17:37:53

self - thing is your smoothies are far far more advanced than innocent smoothies and tesco own smoothies etc, your dc are getting more goodness in one drink than a lot of children will get in one week.

Parents will look at shop brought smoothies and think oh I shall buy those and that will count as fruit portions, that just isn't the case if you have five shop brought smoothies you will not have reached your five portions of fruit.

my dad makes the most amazing smoothies and I will have one or two a week if I am with him - there is a wealth of fruit and veg that goes into them, I wouldn't though buy a shop made smoothie purely for the fact they wouldn't taste as good.

as for fruit not being that good for you, that statement makes me want to weep in the corner...

Oh and sorry to keep on but Typos, no, it takes about 15 minutes or more for my kids to drink my smoothies, they are thick and yes, my teen boy could very easily down a handful of strawberries, a banana and an orange in that time.

Ok, just heard him finish the last of the smoothie and suck the bottom of the cup dry with his straw. That was over 20 minutes.

Ivy, I live in California, maybe that is the difference. Shop bought ones often contain green tea macha, wheatgrass and soy protein here (although you can get the junky kind too).

MakeHayNotStraw Sat 27-Apr-13 17:40:58

Spoony, I'm with you. I love my green smoothies, they make me feel and look better, and I certainly eat a lot more greens in one of those than I would sitting and eating them au naturale (I get bored....). No one will convince me that they are better than cooked veg. Just nicked my dad's juicer, too....a whole new world!

Yours sound delicious.....

You really are married to these smoothies. grin I'm sure your kids eat other fruit and veg in which means that their 5 a day are going in.

Wishi, how does it increase sugar and remove nutrients? I have this big jug I throw whole fruit (and other stuff) into (including strawberry tops sometimes) and the whole lot comes out, nothing added, nothing lost.

MrsTerry, I just think that NHS leaflet treats us as we're stupid. It is not so much the smoothies, but the fact what they are saying doesn't make much sense.

Yeah my kids eat a ton of veggies, one (my teen) very willingly (he LOVES cucumbers and kale and will eat peapods and carrots for after school snacks... pounds of them) the other less willingly but none the less plenty. We live in the land of plenty and fruit and veggies are very high quality and much cheaper than in the UK.

MakeHayNotStraw Sat 27-Apr-13 17:56:07

My toddler eats no veg. Not even in a pasta sauce. (Or pasta...). Only tomato on hm pizza passes his lips. But today he drank a load of orange, apple, fennel and celery juice. I was over the moon - and he drinks bits of my smoothies too. Got to be better than the alternative.

crashdoll Sat 27-Apr-13 18:01:38

"and the whole lot comes out, nothing added, nothing lost."

You are losing nutrients in the fruit.

This appears to be one of those threads where people will only accept their way or no way. I'm not saying your smoothies are not healthy but that fruit is best eaten in it's natural form.

Wishiwasanheiress Sat 27-Apr-13 18:11:23

The whole fruit has fibre in it and other nutrients. It's the pulverising action that alters the make up of how it all combines. Google it. I'm not saying stop just be careful. It is far better to eat the natural fruit than squash it. Do'nt forget also that each fruit also has a calorie count so ur adding all that together and necking it. You asked if the NHS website was wrong. It isn't. Doesn't mean stop altogether though does it?

If it took 20mins to drink that's also 20mins of exposure to acid and sugar on his teeth. Bye bye tooth enamel. Obviously not all at once but overtime.

Wishi, he has zero cavities at age 17. I think we are doing just fine on tooth enamel.

The Dr I quoted said that he has found zero studies that say that it reduces the fibre and it isn't chemically possible to increase the sugar over what went in.

crashdoll Sat 27-Apr-13 18:18:21

You get all sorts on the internet though, it's basic science that blending fruit alters the make-up. Not sure why you bothered posting in AIBU when you don't want to listen.

topsi Sat 27-Apr-13 18:23:58

I have just started making smoothies and it had increased my fruit and veg intake. My usual is ice, a few strawbwrries, a carrot, big handful of spinach, cashew nuts, yogurt and soya milk. Not sure how that can't be good for you?

ok if it is basic science then find a scientific reference...
that it is any different from the chopping, slicing, masticating, digestive enzymes, action of stomach acids etc.

It isn't that I don't want to listen, I want to debate...

AIBU conversations that go

OP: Am I being unreasonable?
Everyone else: YES!

are pretty boring, don't you think?

ExcuseTypos Sat 27-Apr-13 18:26:15

It doesn't increase the sugar in the product.

As I and others explained, your child wouldn't naturally eat that amount of fruit in the time it takes to neck down a smoothie.

It does increase the amount of sugar your body has to deal with in a short amount of time. It gives the body a sugar spike, which it isn't designed to deal with.

A smoothie is not as healthy as eating its components separately, as nature intended.

crashdoll Sat 27-Apr-13 18:27:57

I'm not sure if I am going to have a reasonable debate with someone who thinks blending is the same action as saliva enzymes. I'm pretty crap at science but I remember this from school.

Some: Yes
Some: No
is normal for AIBU

But it's pretty baffling when people asking if they are being unreasonable when they clearly don't they think they are.

nooka Sat 27-Apr-13 18:28:40

Ha ha at thinking Oprah's doctor is the tops on nutrition and cannot be contradicted. Individual nutritionists have all sorts of theories that they like to peddle. Many of those faddy diets have 'doctors' endorsing or creating them. Doesn't mean they are based on good science.

In any case you can't really compare them to a public health message as these are always broad brush and aimed at the whole populace. Very few people in the UK make or buy smoothies like yours OP. Commercially available smoothies are often not much better than fruit juice, and relying on them for all your fruit/veggie intake would not be a good idea.

My children love smoothies too, and we make them at home from our supply of fruit in the deep freeze (we have lots of fruit trees so I need the fruit to be eaten!). It's still a treat though. Might be a relatively healthy (and delicious) treat, but it's still a form of pudding to me.

nooka Sat 27-Apr-13 18:30:14

Oh and the sugar spike is often the reason I'll get a smoothie when I'm out and about and starting to flake.

I'm guessing you don't have teen boys then. They can suck down vast amounts of food, especially as both my boys are athletes.

Does it give a sugar spike if it also contains lots of fiber, protein and fat?

If it isn't as healthy then can you cite sources that talk about the kind of smoothies I am talking about?

I didn't say he couldn't be contradicted... uh, anywhere?!.. but I did cite his qualifications and linked to a quote where he said he was unable to find studies that backed up that theory. As I am clearly wrong apparently I'm guessing that you have some somewhere.

Crashdoll, I didn't say that blending was the same as saliva. Duh.

crashdoll Sat 27-Apr-13 18:33:49

Self We are talking about the fruit, not vegetables etc. They do not change their natural make-up in the way that fruit does.

crashdoll Sat 27-Apr-13 18:35:30

"that it is any different from the chopping, slicing, masticating, digestive enzymes, action of stomach acids etc."

^ This was where you asked for references that either prove or disprove that blending is any different from......etc

krasnayaploshad Sat 27-Apr-13 18:36:32

The reason smoothies (in general, I can't comment on the merits / disadvantages of yours) are not considered to be as good as eating fruit & veg in their natural form:
-The insoluble fibre is broken down or removed. We need fibre to help us feel fuller for longer & to keep things moving through the digestive system so to speak.
-High calories due to the addition of ingredients such as peanut butter & yoghurt.
-Smoothies make it a lot easier to consume far more sugar than if someone tried ate the equivalent quantity in fruit. They are less likely to be able to eat the equivalent quantity of fruit in one sitting, partly because of reason 1 - insoluble fibre. Therefore, smoothies increase the likelihood of someone exceeding the recommended daily intake of sugar.

Therefore YABU

FoundAChopinLizt Sat 27-Apr-13 18:39:24

The NHS advice is just a guide. Nutrition is not an exact science, it is not possible to do controlled studies on diet over long periods as humans have a tendency to not follow diets strictly over years and there are too many other factors affecting health which are all intertwined and hard to control for.

I wouldn't worry about these guidelines, op, just do what you think is right for your family.

ryanboy Sat 27-Apr-13 18:40:03

I think its a load of bollox.What is the difference between whizzing up and chewing? Where do the nutrients disappear to or sugar come from?
My kids would eat a banana and a handful of strawberries in a few minutes I think.

So if there is less fiber (cellulose, pectin, polysaccharides etc) then a chemical reaction must have taken place (I was good at science, particularly chemistry). If that is to happen in a blender then what are the reactants? Now if you are talking about breaking down cell walls etc, yes that can happen, but so can freezing stuff. Cooking stuff does all sorts of things to the chemical structure of food.

I suspect the real reason the NHS says it (as they refuse to say why) is because commercial ENGLISH smoothies are often little more useful than fruit juice.

ryanboy Sat 27-Apr-13 18:42:19

and the link doesn't work for me either, so can't read the article sad

crashdoll Sat 27-Apr-13 18:45:34

ryanboy The difference between whizzing and chewing is that digestion starts in the mouth and there are enzymes in the saliva. No one is saying smoothies like the OP's are bad but that blended fruit is not as good as whole fruit. Christ on a bike!

SmellsLikeWeenSpirits Sat 27-Apr-13 18:46:35

I'm crap at eating vegetables. Even at my grand old age I just don't like them. I can stomach most raw but the majority of cooked veg leaves me cold. I know the importance of eating veg so eat it. But I don't enjoy it. I very much like the sound of your smoothies Spoony. Can you post some more recipes and nice combos?

I don't much care if the nutritional content is reduced a bit. Has to be better than nothing no? Although I disagree with what you say about the NHS advice, they cater to the lowest common denominator, it's good advice and true.

*"that it is any different from the chopping, slicing, masticating, digestive enzymes, action of stomach acids etc."

^ This was where you asked for references that either prove or disprove that blending is any different from......etc*

Sorry, that was my short hand... I actually have to go in a minute we have a track meet at lunchtime. What I really meant was once the food was either chopped and chewed and reached the stomach/guts was there really any biochemical advantage from one that has been blended first. Our bodies do such a good job of physically and chemically breaking down food into its constituents that I don't think that blending has a big effect and that is what that Dr also said, that he couldn't find any proof of it. I did google it and it is all he said/she said, no science.

Might I also point out that blending said constituents at home also usually guarantees two things don't happen that are known to be damaging to many good for you things.
1) the item isn't cooked or heated
2) it isn't left in water or air after being prepared and chopped. The food is usually consumed immediately.

ryanboy Sat 27-Apr-13 18:49:22

only starch is digested in the mouth

SmellsLikeWeenSpirits Sat 27-Apr-13 18:49:24

Ahem British

and I'm sure as you have 'in the land of plenty' we have a wide variety from awful junk to artisan produced, organic, nutritionally valanced and informed products

Crash, you keep saying that (blended is worse than non blended) but haven't backed it up once.

Smells like, I would be happy to send you some ideas, but I have to go right now, it is almost 11am here! I'll try and come back to it smile

crashdoll Sat 27-Apr-13 18:50:17

But you are ignoring the fact that digestion starts in the mouth. It's laughable that you are taking that "doctor" as face value. I can't do it now but I'll use my university llibrary account to find some peer-reviewed journal articles on the topic.

crashdoll Sat 27-Apr-13 18:51:02

Also, you've not provided any peer-reviewed journal evidence that you are right either.

EllieArroway Sat 27-Apr-13 18:51:10

So to get round the eating too much sugar in one go - could you just drink it slowly?

I have decided to have a smoothie a day to up my fruit and veg. What's your favourite recipe, Spoony. I might have it for breakfast tomorrow in your honour.

Crash, it is impossible to provide studies that don't exist.

If you find some peer reviewed articles in a decent publication I would be happy to read them and concede. How about that for listening.

I still maintain though that the NHS is listing COOKED CHOPPED CARROTS as better than smoothies.

Ellie, I really have to go to a track meet. My kid is going to hurl a javelin. I'll try and come back with ideas.

Really you should all just come holiday here and eat our fresh fruits and veg smile I'll make you a lemon ginger smoothie smile and feed you xylitol candy after and a bunch of kale to keep everyone happy.

DinosaursLoveUnderpants Sat 27-Apr-13 18:55:54

If you aren't in Britain, why are you bothered about what the NHS says about smoothies?
Especially if you have decided that the NHS are referring to commercial British smoothies, which are little better than fruit juice rather than your super-duper, land of plenty healthy smoothies?

EllieArroway Sat 27-Apr-13 18:56:23

Yes...come back later.

My breakfast depends upon it.

FoundAChopinLizt Sat 27-Apr-13 18:56:27

Sounds like I'll need to pack some loperamide after eating all thatgrin

ExcuseTypos Sat 27-Apr-13 18:57:17

OP "Does it give a sugar spike if it also contains lots of fiber, protein and fat?"

Yes it does.

My dentist has been telling my dc for 15 years that smoothies and fruit juices are not great for teeth or your body, so this stuff isn't exactly new.

GogoGobo Sat 27-Apr-13 18:58:30

OP your smoothies sound fab and I happily give innocent smoothies and home made ones to my Toddler. I think some people's views on nutrition sound way over the top. Home blended fruit Smoothie one away from Fanta? Heard it all now! Balance is key, little bit of everything is a healthy attitude to food

krasnayaploshad Sat 27-Apr-13 19:01:49

OP, I too had no cavities at 17. It's a little early to be assuming your son is fine on the tooth enamel!!

ExcuseTypos Sat 27-Apr-13 19:01:50

A Pret freshly squeezed orange juice has the same amount of sugar as 13 hobnobs.

A small bottle of Innocent smoothie has the same amount of sugar as 3.5 donuts!

daily mail link

GogoGobo Sat 27-Apr-13 19:05:30

Thanks excusetypos that just explains why we all enjoy innocent smoothies on a Saturday morning with our pain au chocolate. Little weekend treat.

GogoGobo Sat 27-Apr-13 19:06:28

Ps excusetypos that tink to the daily mail is worse for my well being than smoothies grin

ivykaty44 Sat 27-Apr-13 19:10:16

crashdoll it's basic science that blending fruit alters the make-up.
As it is basic please can you explain how this happens?

ivykaty44 Sat 27-Apr-13 19:15:21

excuseypos - but the oj with = amount to 13 hobnobs in sugar has had the fibre taken out, we all know the fibre isn't in juice and that is why we shouldn't drink it.

whereas the smoothie hasn't had the fibre taken out, in the same way that vegetable soup hasn't had the fibre taken out.

it is the fibre that is important

KingRollo Sat 27-Apr-13 19:17:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ExcuseTypos Sat 27-Apr-13 19:19:18

I was just giving examples from the link ivy in case peopel didn't want to click on the linkwink

But yes it's the Innocent smoothie which is worth 3.5 donuts which is relevant here.

FredFredGeorge Sat 27-Apr-13 19:20:50

The reason smoothies are not recommended is nothing due to any destruction of nutrients (indeed there's little to no chance than anyone is deficient in the nutrients contained in fruit smoothies - Vitamin D particularly which people might be isn't going to have any) Remember more nutrients is not better, you just need enough.

It's simply because the consumption of highly palatable easy to digest high carbohydrate food makes it easier to over-consume calories. And over-consumption of calories is the most significant problem in most peoples diet.

It's the same reason why potatoes are not counted - they contribute too many easy carbohydrates...

Willdoitinaminute Sat 27-Apr-13 19:30:28

The physical act of of chewing is intrinsically important part of our complex digestive system. It initiates the release of enzymes necessary in digestive process both in the mouth and in the rest of the digestive system. The complex feedback mechanism results in the end result that when our bodies have eaten sufficiently our brains tell us we are full.
Recent studies suggest that lack of masticatory activity may well be adding to the increase in obesity. However healthy food is if we eat too much then we get fat. The following links gives the science.

ivykaty44 Sat 27-Apr-13 19:36:55

but excusetpos - a smoothie and three and a half donuts will not be the same because eating three and a half donuts is not going to give you the sugar and the fibre it will only give you the sugar, drinking a smoothie will give you the = on sugar + the fibre and that is why it is not the same.

this man explains it very very well and why eating fibre and sugar in fruit is fine

crashdoll Sat 27-Apr-13 19:38:59

Crash, it is impossible to provide studies that don't exist.

LOL at the irony. I'm on my uni database, so I'll have a lookie.

Oinkypig Sat 27-Apr-13 20:29:19

I think it's to do with the type of sugars so fruit has intrinsic sugar in its natural state, as soon as its processed at all including in smoothies or juice it becoms extrinsic ie. outside of the cells. Once that happens it can cause caries and is effectively like refined sugar. That's why although the amount of sugar is the same it's in a different form. It's not as much of a problem with veg as there generally isn't as much intrinsic sugar anyway. The smoothies the op talks about sound amazing but blending fruit does cause a difference in composition.

SmellsLikeWeenSpirits Sat 27-Apr-13 20:31:37

FredFred, that sounds believable

But surely the sugar in a donut is refined, processed and that in a fruit natural, therefore better in someway?

FredFredGeorge Sat 27-Apr-13 21:46:16

OinkyPig There are way more carbohydrates (which is all sugar is!) in a Potato, there are similar amounts to an apple in most other root veg. So if it was a problem to process fruit, then it would be a problem to process root veg too - but no-one suggests mashed swede or beetroot is bad for you?

Making a smoothie doesn't change the sugars available, they are every bit as available as before. As far as the calories are concerned there's no difference between the sugar in the smoothie or the fruit. All that changes is the amount you consume.

It's pretty similar with the donut too - the difference is in the palatability so you tend to eat more, donuts are fine if you don't overeat - as long as you're getting all your nutrients (and certain fats and protein are more important than the vitamins found in fruit and veg) where the extra calories you need come from doesn't matter much.

Of course as soon as you start over-consuming and become overweight and have various other metabolic disorders what you eat and the timing of when you eat can have a bigger impact. But that's once you're already ill.

Ok home from track meet, a little on the mentally fried side so will reply to what I can.

Cell walls are damaged by cooking and freezing as well as blending. Try freezing a spinach leaf for a few minutes and taking it out again. Chewing can do it too. Apparently snacking is what is really bad for teeth. Xylitol can help with both and eating acidy things early on in the meal. Oh and the darling of nutritionalists, kale, can damage the protective layer on teeth.

Dates have TONS of sugar and the NHS reckon they count and don't include a limit. The three fresh dates on the list have 44g of sugar in them.

Willdoit, I read the blog post and it seems to say that eating slowly, not chewing is the key. My son took 20 minutes which is how long he would take to eat a meal.

Fredfred, I agree they can be very calorific, especially when I start adding PB and avocados and it can easy to over imbibe liquids. I don't drink more than a taster most of the time, just every now and again do I have a proper glassful because I REALLY don't need all that. My kids need the calories though, one is growing, the other does a ton of sports, about two hours a day and burns through calories.

I was under the impression that the sugar spikes depend on what you eat with the sugars and also what the GI is for that food. The berries/cherries/veggies that make up a large part of my smoothies are pretty low GI foods.

Re teeth being fine at 17. Mine were nowhere near fine at 17 sad( neither were my husbands so to have two kids without any cavities is a big achievement for us!

A quote from the daily mail (ugh) article

"But why is orange juice, for example, so bad?
The key issue is a lack of fibre. When we eat fruit, fibre forms a protective layer that acts as a barrier to the intestine.
This slows absorption of sugar, so the liver has a chance to catch up. In fizzy drinks, fruit juices and smoothies, the barrier has gone, which leads to the liver being overloaded."

There is a boatload of fibre in mine. We rarely have juice, I consider it pretty empty nutrition. We have a family birthday tomorrow so we will squeeze fresh juice but even then include plenty of pulp. We will also be having jam and croissants and cake, so really the juice is merely the tip of the iceberg.

Why am I bothered about the NHS. Well I am British and even though I currently live abroad I may come back some other time, or my kids might. Also we have a lot of family and friends there. Also if I wasn't still interested in Britain then I probably wouldn't be on mumsnet, eh?

Recipes... hmm, don't actually follow them. My recipes usually involve digging in fridge and freezer to see what we have.

A typical smoothie would be something like the following.... (note, we have a vitamix so your mileage may vary with a less powerful blender)

half a carrot, rinsed
something green, small handful depending on how many to be served, spinach, kale, cabbage, napa cabbage etc. If the stuff is very green it tends to flavour the smoothie more and you need another flavour to cover it like pb and cocoa. My kids don't seem to notice red cabbage so that is often our choice or baby spinach. Corgettes can be used too or cucumber. They tend to baulk if they see corgettes going in but don't usually taste it once it is in. My kids love mint and lime together.

Something proteiny, almonds are an easy choice here and are mild tasting. Greek yoghurt is good, full fat is lower sugar and I usually add about half a cup per person. Peanut butter is easy, we have powdered that can be added, usually about a tablespoon each if no yoghurt.
I keep frozen fruit in all the time. Blueberries don't blend well without a powerful blender, if you don't mind the skins they are good. Frozen cherries are really good. If organic strawberries are in season I add them, if not I have frozen ones, they make the smoothie thick and milkshakey. Today I added peaches too because I had them. I also added a whole orange with about a third of the pith/peel.

Flavourings. We can get dried green ginger here which my kids like in smoothies, especially when lemon is added. I also add carob powder or unsweetened cocoa if I'm adding strong tasting veggies. Unsweetened cocoa and almonds and an avocado make for a really rich creamy smoothie with lots of 'good' fats. If I add cocoa I usually add vanilla or cinnamon.

I also keep wheat germ and ground flax seed in the freezer and steel cut oatmeal in the cupboard. I often add these to a)bulk it up and b)add some more nutrition. I add about a tablespoon.

Then I add liquid, milk if it is for breakfast or is low in protein or fat, water if not. Also some ice if there are mostly fresh unfrozen ingredients.

Savory ones usually involve rosemary, tomatoes and olive oil. spray on baking spray here is made from lecithin which is an excellent emulsifier. I use a couple of seconds worth of spray so that the olive/coconut oil will mix. I will often add oil to my fruit ones if I don't add some other kind of oil (PB, yoghurt etc) as my kids need the calories.

ParmaViolette Sun 28-Apr-13 02:07:56

Forget the poo troll

We have a smoothie troll

plinkyplonks Sun 28-Apr-13 02:36:07

Aren't a lot of shop bought smoothies pasteurised ? Additionally, I think I read an article about juices and smoothies causing blood sugar spikes that you didn't get when eating fruit.

RhondaJean Sun 28-Apr-13 09:46:42

Self, I think you nailed the reason for the advice up there when you said about commercially produced smoothies being little better than fruit juices.

lozster Sun 28-Apr-13 09:49:53

The reasoning I have heard is that it is to do with the rate at which the food passes through the digestive tract. Liquids pass quickly and solids (even chewed) more slowly. The bod I heard said this was important as vitamins and minerals need to be in the system for different times in order to be absorbed. Hence for a smoothie dome but not all goodness will get out so they are ok as part of a mixed diet. Sounded plausible ?

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