Smoothies can be made using different fruit and vegetables which may be useful for those lacking nutrients and vitamins in their diet. Adding a fruit smoothie can also be a great way to give the body naturally occurring sugars like fructose and glucose. However Peter Just, Team Lead Coach Experience at Al-based fitness and lifestyle coaching app Freeletics, has told Express.co.uk there are several things people should look out for when making smoothies.
The expert said: “Smoothies are a nice way to take in good sugars and extra vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately these sugars found in smoothies can rival the quantity found in soft drinks.”
Even though the sugar found in fruit is naturally occurring, too much of it can cause you to gain excess body fat quicker.
Adding sweetened yoghurt and fruit juice into homemade smoothies can increase the sugar content drastically, with some containing more than 30g of sugar.
In comparison, a 330ml can of Coca-Cola original contains 35g of sugar.
“Too much sugar is definitely not a good thing and the body will likely pick up all it needs in the form of carbohydrates found in our solid food.”
Peter also recommends making smoothies homemade as shop bought ones can contain a lot of added sugar.
He says: “Be wary of smoothies you can buy at a supermarket as many of them do not contain whole fruits but mostly fruit juices,
“You may notice that you can drink them more smoothly than at-home blends, but this is because the fibers have been removed to alter the texture of the drink.
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“Sure, the vitamins are still present, but the sugar density is much higher than when eating the actual fruits or blending whole fruits. So, if possible, make your own smoothies and do not add juices.
“Put fruits (including the peel when appropriate to keep the extra fiber) and vegetables (baby spinach, kale leaves) into a blender; add water if needed.”
The expert also warns that smoothies might even make you hungrier.
Peter explains: “Perceived satiety is actually lower when drinking your calories. Chewing food triggers a different perception than drinking it. For this reason, you might find yourself going to the pantry sooner after you thought.”
Therefore smoothies may not be the best option for weight loss and should be only consumed in moderation.
The Freeletics expert continues: “When drinking a smoothie, you consume a whole lot of calories in a short period of time (and your blood glucose levels rise rapidly), while not having the same experience of feeling full. Plus, when going for a calorie deficit, you should prioritise protein – which are rare in a pure fruit/veggie smoothie.”
A calorie deficit is a state that your body needs to be in if you want to lose any amount of weight.
This is when your body is burning more calories than you are consuming, meaning those wanting to lose weight will have to reduce their intake by 500 calories per day to lose the recommended one to two pounds a week.
However, in moderation, smoothies can help add extra vitamins to your diet without you even noticing it.
Peter explains that you can get creative when adding fruits and veg and adding spinach is a great way to add iron into your diet without you even noticing it.
He says: “Some go-to fruits and veggies for smoothies include banana, apples, lemons, blueberries, baby spinach (you don’t really taste it, but get the benefits), kale, flax seeds, chia seeds, spirulina (which is some advanced stuff as the taste is off putting), and avocado.
“Add ice cubes or use frozen fruits if you want a refreshing smoothie on a hot summer day. Enjoy it and get creative. Add a protein powder or nut butter for some extra macronutrients.”
Macronutrients are the nutrients we need in larger quantities that provide us with energy including fat, protein and carbohydrates.
Adding extra protein into your diet including into smoothies can help reduce hunger and increase several satiety hormones. This is one of the main reasons why protein can help you lose weight as it can help you eat fewer calories.
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