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

(95 Posts)
SelfconfessedSpoonyFucker Sat 27-Apr-13 16:46:15

...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.

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.

SelfconfessedSpoonyFucker Sun 28-Apr-13 00:55:40

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?

SelfconfessedSpoonyFucker Sun 28-Apr-13 01:16:59

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

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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 ?

AmyRowsmumma Thu 23-Nov-17 07:59:10

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kmc1111 Thu 23-Nov-17 08:20:57

It's just one of those things where you have to use a little common sense. For most people a smoothie is packed with the most sugary fruits, milk, and maybe even some more sugar in the form of honey or dates. It's practically dessert, but a lot of people genuinely think it's a healthy choice, so the NHS tries to discourage that line of thinking. You have to look at the guidelines while keeping in mind they aren't really made with very healthy eaters who get their 10 a day in mind.

If you make green smoothies, packed with veg and maybe protein and a minimal amount of really sugary fruit, they're great. Not quite as great as a salad with the same stuff in it, but not so much worse that say, 5 serves are only worth 2.

WildBluebelles Thu 23-Nov-17 10:05:53

You should be fine, OP. It's some juices that are bad, not smoothies. I have a nutribullet and it keeps the fibre (where else would it go???). Pretty sure a nutribullet smoothie of spinach, kale, half a banana, avocado and lemon with a handful of almonds isn't going to do me or my body any harm whatsoever.
I think they say stuff like that so that people don't go out and buy Innocent smoothies, which are full of apple juice and are pasteurised as well. A lot of what the NHS says about nutrition is shite anyway- they recommend artificial sweeteners and low fat spread for children. I would ignore it and continue drinking your healthy smoothies.

Lallypopstick Thu 23-Nov-17 10:15:55

This thread is old and was reboosted by a spammer.

WildBluebelles Thu 23-Nov-17 10:17:55

Ugh how annoying. MNHQ can you please prevent posting on threads older than say 3 months?

AmyRowsmumma Thu 23-Nov-17 10:21:46

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ByThePowerOfRa Thu 23-Nov-17 10:22:19

This thread has cheered me up as my dd is fussy about eating fruit and veg, but loves smoothies! I usually give her one a day to boost her 5 a day. Otherwise I think we’d only ever manage three a day, (and that includes things like pulses and dried fruit).

I always heard smoothies = lower quality nutritionally and never questioned if it was true! I definitely see the point about cooking damaging nutrition. Why are boiled peas ok but not smoothies?

IceFall Thu 23-Nov-17 10:33:10


revived by an advertising / spam post by @AmyRowsmumma

ByThePowerOfRa Thu 23-Nov-17 10:39:19

Ugh annoying! I don’t usually fall for ZOMBIE THREADS.

MaidOfStars Thu 23-Nov-17 10:44:09

If I were to stereotype a Californian... wink

And to reiterate, you know we have fresh fruit and veg here, yes? You haven’t mentioned anything you can’t pull off supermarket shelves.

niccyb Fri 24-Nov-17 21:33:51

Smoothies have already been broken down so that your body doesn’t need to do this. It is similar to that of having a glass of lucozade or cola. The carbohydrate content is higher in smoothies than whole fruit as the skin and fibre needs to be broken down and digested in the body and therefore it also lower GI than a smoothie.

idfwu Fri 24-Nov-17 21:41:55

No one cares

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