Sunday, February 09, 2014

FRUIT JUICES AND SMOOTHIES

Are you sweet enough?


It's not uncommon to see celebrities and fashion bloggers carrying their designer piece, be it a Chanel Boy or a Celine tote, in one hand and a so-called super-food smoothie concoction in the other. Fresh juices and smoothies have been recognised as the healthy, ‘fashionable’ beverage to drink, next to a Starbucks coffee, and I’m sure you haven’t failed to notice the increase in the number of retail establishments that are popping up and selling juices and smoothies which claim to re-energise you and fight off disease, and the number of juicer products and blenders being marketed and sold; the juice industry has long enjoyed a healthy image, however there has been some recent debate in the field of nutrition about how healthy these smoothies and fruit juices actually are.

You're all probably aware of the controversies surrounding the use of sugar, and in particular, high-fructose corn syrup, in sodas/fizzy drinks and other foods and its link with the paired epidemics of obesity and diabetes, but there is a new controversy about fruit juices and smoothies with some claiming that they are as bad for you as Coca-Cola.

The current UK government recommendation is that one 150ml glass of unsweetened fruit juice can count as one of your 5-A-Day of fruit and vegetables (note, juice counts as a maximum of one portion a day, even if you have more than one glass) and a smoothie containing all of the edible pulped fruit/vegetable may count as two of your 5-A-Day depending on how it is made, however Dr Susan Jebb, a key figure in the nutrition field, suggests that this recommendation should be changed and the public should be encouraged to stop drinking juice. She warns that the sugars in fruit juice, albeit natural sugars rather than added sugars, are absorbed very quickly and that by the time it gets to your stomach your body cannot tell the difference between ‘healthy’ fruit juice and ‘unhealthy’ Coca-Cola and thus fruit juices and smoothies have the same effect on the body as fizzy drinks/sodas. Of course this has implications for the NutriBullet smoothie-maker gadget I have just bought!

I have always had a glass of fruit juice with breakfast and I am not about to change that or start demonising juices and smoothies just yet. The problem with these drinks is that during the blending/juicing process, the healthy fibre component is broken down in to simple sugars but unlike Coca-Cola and other sodas, fruit juices and smoothies retain a lot of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C. So am I going to stop using my Nutri Bullet? The answer is no! Instead, my focus for myself and my clients is to continue recommending what I have always suggested if you want to drink juices/smoothies:

1. Control the portion size – fruit juices and smoothies have always been considered as healthy and consequently people often think this is a licence to drink as much as they like. As I’ve said before, healthy food and drink still have calories and therefore can still be fattening if consumed in large quantities. I’d recommend no more than 150mls a day.

2. Reduce the frequency -  following on from my point above, you should avoid using fruit juices and smoothies as your main drink with and in between meals. Instead, if you are going to drink juices and smoothies, limit it to one portion a day (perhaps with breakfast as the vitamin C will help you absorb the iron from your breakfast cereals or toast) and the rest of the day drink water.

3. If you are going to drink a glass of fruit juice/smoothie, try and drink it with a meal so your blood sugars do not spike too quickly. I tend to have mine with breakfast and then drink water for the rest of the day

4. Don’t see juices/smoothies as an alternative to eating the whole fruit/vegetable; you must aim to eat at least 4 or 5 portions of the intact whole fruit/vegetable so that you consume the all-important fibre component, which research shows can reduce disease risk, and you are likely to consume less calories -  imagine how many oranges you would have to squeeze to get a small glass of juice.

So here’s my latest NutriBullet smoothie; would I go back to shop-bought juices and smoothies? Not if I can help it!







The brown sludge caused by the omega-3 fat boosting chia seeds tastes much better than it looks - trust me!

Later x

40 comments:

  1. Hi Colleen! Actually, I have no idea about it, always thought that fresh smoothies and juices in general are very healthy and good for the body. Unfortunately, still have them very few..especially in summer when I need something fresh but most of the time Im lazy to do them and prefer to eat the whole fruit. But I think will include them in my diet following your tip, the right portion size, especially at breakfast. Your new NutriBullet smoothie maker is very cool, the one you prepared sound so healthy. Happy Sunday dear! Kisses! xo

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    1. It's definitely better to eat the whole fruit x

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  2. Dear Colleen. I like Smoothies too and i always make my smoothies self. So i know exactly what is in.
    For a time i try tp take a smoothie for a breakfast, but after a short time i was hungry again. I need more
    carbohydrates in the morning. Now i take a smoothie as a snake.
    Have a nice sunday

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    1. I wouldn't recommend a fruit smoothie alone for a breakfast for the exact reason you said: the likelihood is you will feel hungry quite quickly because it causes a spike in blood sugars followed by a sharp drop. Id recommend a more hearty breakfast with protein, wholegrain carbs and healthy fats.

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  3. It's funny because I am also dubious about smoothies - but your one looks healthy with the seeds etc. Otherwise for me it seems to give me more cravings and to be honest I don't like the glugginess of seeds. I prefer steamed veggies with oil and salt. But I do like fresh cocnut water but that is hard to find here and if they do it is super expensive whiile it is fifty pence in asia...one would see me with a coffee cup lately my caffeine intake has been off the chart!! xx

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    1. Yes the cravings are usually as a result of the effect on your blood sugars - rapid rise followed by a rapid drop. I don't recommend it for a meal or a snack really - eating the whole fruit/vegetable is better because the fibre fills you up more. It's better to have a smoothie or juice with a meal which is what I tend to do. I drink coconut water and you are right about the expense! Hope you still sleep well with all that coffee xx

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  4. Interesting. Smoothies and juices are a pet hate of mine. I work at a Uni where there's a lot of research going on into Diabetes and Obesity (we've just opened a huge new research centre), and a lot of the evidence seems to suggest that one cause is that people drink their calories AND eat them these days.
    You'd know this already, but having a juice doesn't fill you up, so effectively people are drinking sugary, calorie-laden drinks and eating a full meal too. This can only lead to weight gain.
    Moderation is the key, of course. It does make me very angry, though, that companies market their drinks as 'healthy'.

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    1. Thanks Ruth - the research centre sounds amazing. Absolutely, a lot of people do drink their calories and often people think only sodas contain the calories. Unfortunately because juices and smoothies are seen as healthy, people feel they can drink more of it. Eating the whole fruit with its fibre is more likely to fill you up.

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  5. I love the banana slice on the rim, very classy.:) I'm all for juices and juicing and all that good stuff, but I still prefer to eat the whole fruit/vegetable. Apparently that's a good thing.:) I like to drink freshly made juices when I go out for a drink in summer, I like those better than the ones that come in a carton, those are just to frigging sweet, they make my teeth hurt basically.:D But I do think it's funny, how these smoothies became the it fashion accessory. Better than Starbucks coffee though...

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    1. Don't let the banana deceive you lol!

      It certainly is a good thing to eat the whole fruit. I agree, I hate coffee, Starbucks or otherwise!

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  6. This is such an interesting and informative article which came just at the right time for me. We have had a juicer for a while but having watched a couple of demonstrations we have been considering buying one of the heavy duty ones which gets out every last bit of juice. I would like to use more vegetables and be generally more adventurous. I'm sure your smoothie was tasty as well as being healthy too.

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    1. Blenders are better than juicers because they retain more of the pulp. I have a juicer too, but I never use it. I prefer the consistency of a smoothie

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  7. Yum! That blender is super cute. I need to try this colleen,I love chia seed they so great on salad and apple vinegar.
    http://rock4less.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. never tried it on apple vinegar.......

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    2. Thanks babes for checking on me, have been down with flu coughing. My bones ache so bad,right now am coughing so bad. I hope you are getting better? Braggs apple vinegar is so great with chia seeds,check review online and maybe YouTube. I use it when am suffering with hayfever,it's good for all sorts. You take care babes,kisses...

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  8. oooh.. Colleen.. every time you post food snaps I began to get hungry! and to think that's a healthy fruit fruit juices and smoothies!!! it looks yummy! and your new NutriBullet smoothie maker is so cute! like a great accessory:)

    I'm actually not a juice person, unfortunately a diet coke addicted:D

    Have a fabulous week babes,

    http://rosdays.blogspot.co.il/

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    1. ha ha, it is sitting in the kitchen as a nice little accessory actually, next to all the other kitchen gadgets. eeeek, diet coke addict, well at least it doesn't have the calories!

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    2. Just wanted to stop by and say hope you'll feel better soon:) looking for a new post babe!

      http://rosdays.blogspot.co.il/

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  9. Fortunately there is no danger that I consume too much smoothies as they aren´t offered here on the Bavarian country side :) But I would prefer to drink your smoothie, there is only the disadvantage that I´m mostly to lazy to mix such a drink by my own ... You are absolutely right with your words and I fear not everybody knows about the disadvantages of smoothies! Thanks for sharing this.

    Hope you had a great week so far.

    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

    www.dressedwithsoul.blogspot.de

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  10. I indulge in smoothies and juice only very rarely - caffeine is my vice more than sugar, which I'm sure is just as bad in its own way. I'll always go for tea over juice, no matter what time of day :) This was a very interesting post to read, though. It certainly confirmed many things I've long suspected!
    xox,
    Cee

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  11. Oh Lawd!
    I doubt I can ever get that down my throat.
    Loll
    I intend to start eating healthy but there are soooo many tins to do!
    Wheewww!

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  12. Hi Colleen! Im so sorry you still are very poorly, take care and hope you get well soon! Kisses! xo

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  13. Thanks for your kind and interesting comment, dear Colleen, I hope you feel better now!

    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

    www.dressedwithsoul.blogspot.de

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  14. Hi. Your smoothies look amazing, I love them.....have a great weekend...

    http://lttreasure.blogspot.co.uk/

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  15. Thank you for popping over to my blog today and leaving a lovely comment. I always appreciate your visits and I enjoy reading your opinion. I noticed last week that you hadn't written a new post. Hope you are well.

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    1. I am thanks hun. Just a bit pre-occupied at present but thank you x

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  16. Hey sweets I hope you are feeling better now. Have a beautiful weekend kisses..
    http://rock4less.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. I'm feeling 100% now. Just a bit pre-occupied with life at mo, but thank you x

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  17. oooh.. Colleen,I hope you're feeling well and everything is o.k, I've read about the break your are taking.. hope that you'll be back soon and hoping to keep in touch:)

    kisses,
    http://rosdays.blogspot.co.il/

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    1. Thanks Rosita. I am absolutely well, just a bit pre-occupied with a few things at the moment x

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  18. I always have a glass of juice with my breakfast and I´m not changing that anytime soon... but it´s good to know all this! Although I don´t think a juice is as bad as a glass of Coca-Cola, it´s all natural and God knows what Coca-Cola has!!

    Great post!
    Kisses
    Marina
    http://www.sharpenstyle.com/

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  19. Hi dear Colleen, thanks for leaving me such a kind message. I wish you only the best but I know for sure I will miss you although I understand your :)

    Kisses and hugs from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

    www.dressedwithsoul.blogspot.de

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  20. Hey babes, What's up? Not seen any post yet. I hope everything is fine with you, Are you okay? Hope you feeling better, I wish I could speak to you.
    Blowing you kisses.. Have a perfect weekend.
    http://rock4less.blogspot.co.uk

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  21. Hi Colleen! I also wait a new post from u, hope all is fine and life isnt too much busy :) I enjoyed your comment and I also love that effect from a mascara. I suggest you all the Maybelline ones, I usually find them so good and the most useful to recreate the "bold" effect!:) Hope you have a nice evening dear, kisses xo

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  22. Great smoothie, thanks for sharing.
    effortlesslady.blogspot.ca

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  23. I like Smoothies and natural fruit juices. I always prefer to make my smoothies and fruit juices self. It is taste and also good for health. Many fruits are also used to cure different diseases.


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  24. This is truly an interesting post on fruit juices and Green drink. I loved reading it and recipes that you have shared are quite simple. Trust me, I can’t wait for trying these recipes at home and will do it over next weekend.

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  25. Green juice is a symbol of health. One should have fruit and vegetable juices every day. These are super healthy! Sugary drinks not only increases your chances of catching diseases but also slows your performance down. Great article! Keep writing.

    Regards,
    Mantis
    Pure Noni Juice

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  26. so nice to read this good information check this blenders

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  27. Nice blog..! I really loved reading through this article... Thanks for sharing such an amazing post with us and keep blogging...
    buy soft drinks online

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Hey....I'd love to see your comments, and given one of my pastimes is reading other people's blogs, I'd love for you to leave your URL if you have one too. Later xx