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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.

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

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