Candace’s Corner: Busting the Smoothie Health Myth
- Posted on: May 23 2016
Smoothies seem like the best option when you want to add better nutrition to your life in a practical, consistent way. They can be whipped up on the go and knock out at least half a day’s worth of your required fruits and vegetables in half the time it takes to plan, cook and even eat meals that pack the same nutritional punch.
But just because you can stuff a few handfuls of spinach and strawberries in the blender doesn’t mean your smoothie is accomplishing everything you’re giving it credit for, especially if you’re buying it instead of making it.
As NDDA’s integrative nutritionist, I tell clients to keep an eye on what else goes into your smoothie – besides fruits and vegetables. To avoid smoothie pitfalls, establish a routine you’re comfortable with to avoid the temptation of taking less nutritious shortcuts if you’re in a rush. Follow this guide I’ve put together for clients, and watch the video below to make sure your smoothies are as fast and healthy as they can be!
Smoothie Lesson Number 1: Avoid the Sugar
A recent story in the New York Times reported that most smoothie-drinking Americans are actually taking in more sugar and calories than they would if they ate whole fruits and vegetables.
The main problem, according to the story, is unsurprisingly the sweeteners and calorie-laden additions like milk products and yogurts, not to mention protein powders that make them taste better but sneak in the calories and sugar.
And those problems can crop up in your own kitchen if you don’t follow some basic smoothie-making rules at home. One common mistake is to use milk, yogurt, or even ice cream as a “base,” and eliminating these is a great place to start.
Instead, you might consider using non-dairy alternatives like almond, coconut, rice or hemp milk. But be sure to skip the soy milk. It’s been shown to mimic estrogen and cause hormone imbalances.
Meanwhile, any high-sugar additives like syrups or artificial sweeteners should be off the table. Instead, use bananas to make smoothies creamy and offset the bitterness of greens. I recommend keeping the sweet fruits to a minimum and only adding what is absolutely necessary to make the smoothie taste good. Dates and apples are great sweeteners.
Got smoothie questions? Call NDDA at 214-301-5078 to schedule your 30-minute complimentary consultation with North Dallas Dermatology Associates health consultant Candace Stone!
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