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When I was younger and decided I would start eating well, I immediately began drinking green smoothies every morning. It was also around this time that I developed a severe case of candida that would likely return if I resumed my high carb, low-fat diet of days past.

Because here’s the thing about green smoothies that no one talks about: they’re full of sugar.

The basis of a smoothie is 2 cups greens + 2 cups liquid + 3 cups fruit.

Everyday I’d combine spinach, water and mixed fruit like pineapple, banana, berries, apple, etc. While berries are lower in sugar, majority of fruit is full of sugar. While that sugar is healthier sugar than what is found is soft drinks or beer, it’s still a lot of sugar to be ingesting, especially first thing in the morning!

Take a look at these sugar comparisons:

Product Sugar
Coke 284g 29g
Dr. Pepper 282g 30g
Beer – Miller High Life 0g
Sprite 282g 30g
Root Beer 277g 29g
Apple Juice 12oz 37g
Smoothie made with pineapple 48g
Smoothie made with apple 39g
Smoothie made with banana 84g

Another thing people neglect when it comes to smoothies is the necessary addition of fat. People are still so fat phobic that they don’t realize they aren’t aborbing the fat soluble vitamins: A, E, D and K. If fat is not present in a smoothie, you will not absorb any A, E, D or K. Unfortunately, the green veggie+liquid+fruit combo leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to nutrient density. This type of smoothie is not rich in true vitamin A (retinol) or vitamin D. It lacks healthy fats which is necessary to fuel the body and brain, as well as keep you satiated.

This type of green smoothie is not healthy, it’s not a meal, and it won’t help you lose weight. This type of smoothie is a fad, but that isn’t to say that all smoothies are bad.

A smoothie that has fat, eggs yolks and gelatin is a serious superfood smoothie. It is more nutrient dense than a spinach/water/fruit smoothie and much lower in sugar. Not only that, due to the nutrient profile it’s actually comparable to a meal.

Here is my favorite smoothie recipe:

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend, baby, blend! This smoothie is rich in healthy fats, choline, vitamins A, E, D and K as well as B vitamins.

Green-Fruit-Smoothies-Not-As-Healthy-As-You-Think1

Sources:

http://www.sparkpeople.com/calories-in.asp?food=miller+high+life

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/2019/2

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1809/2

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1846/2

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/foods-from-starbucks/9473/2

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/foods-from-burger-king/6796/2

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/foods-from-aw/7049/2

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/foods-from-del-taco/7796/2

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/foods-from-burger-king/6797/2

 

25 responses on “Green Smoothies: Not As Healthy As You Think

  1. Kaitlin

    Fruit sugar is whole, natural, full of micronutrients and unprocessed, the sugars you refer to in the soda are typically high fructose corn syrup and the like, there is no comparison. With the addition of the fiber in fruit, you don’t get the increase in blood glucose like you would by drinking pure sugar water (soda). Furthermore, your brain doesn’t need fat for fuel, it needs glucose (aka sugar), which it runs on exclusively. The major cause of candida is the presence of too much sugar and fat in the blood stream simultaneously, as I’m sure you know candida thrives in an environment with out oxygen. Fat thickens the blood and does not allow for oxygen nor glucose absorption into the cells, this prolonged situation leads to candida, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and eventually diabetes. If you are going to present your internet research as hard facts, then I suggest you get off of the Paleo websites and look somewhere more credible and neutral on the topic of nutrition.

    1. dani stout Post author

      I clearly stated that fruit sugar is different than the sugar found in soda. That being said, eating 30/40+ grams of sugar in a smoothie is not healthy and will absolutely spike blood sugar. This is common sense. Fruit sugar is also high in fructose, which is toxic to the liver. Fiber does help slow the absorption of glucose but not as effectively as fat. Healthy fat has nothing to do with candida, which is caused by sugar and toxic food. Fat is necessary, over 60% of the brain is fat. Every cell in the body needs fat and fat has little effect on serum cholesterol levels. This is a fact. Fats are some of the healthiest foods we can eat and in no way leads to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome or diabetes. That is not at all factual. These things are caused by the overconsumption of carbs and sugars (like a smoothie with 3 cups of fruit!). I definitely recommend reading up on current nutritional science before making blanket statements that are outdated, invalid and potentially detrimental to peoples’ health.

      1. Bgirl

        So I take you a against the Raw Food Vegan Diet. I just honestly think that there is so much food shamming going on and this is a prime example. What gave you Candida may not for someone else. I know people who only eat fruit. ” Fruititarians” And they thrive. Maybe the high fruit is not for you but comparing Pineapple to Soda is not a good argument.

        1. dani stout Post author

          It’s not food shaming, it’s fact. A fruitarian diet lacks critical fats, nutrients, vitamins, minerals, proteins and amino acids. It’s a starvation diet. It may be fine short-term but it will kill anyone who practices it on a long-term basis.

  2. Joanna B

    Hi Dani,
    So I get your point about the sugar and candida, and I have cut back on my fruit intake in the morning, but I usually only added 1 cup of fruit, now it’s maybe 2 cups fruit, and one of those fruit is an avocado, or only 1 cup fruit: the avocado, so there is my fat 🙂
    I am curious about your recipe, is the egg raw, is that ok? I only buy organic eggs. And the gelatin? Hmm. Might need to research this more.
    Thanks for your info.

    Joanna

    1. dani stout Post author

      Avocado is a low sugar fruit and is great for you! A smoothie with a small amount of fruit is fine, my point was that people overdo it.

      Yep, raw egg yolks are multivitamins! They are so nutrient dense and full of healthy fats. Pastured eggs are ideal, but if you don’t have access to the, organic is fine.

  3. Kaitlin

    First of all, fructose in fruit sugar is far different than the fructose that is made by processing corn. And for a human being to be ingest a high enough dosage of fructose through fruit, as has been fed to lab rats via HFCS which produce the ‘facts’ you so confidently speak of, one would have to each over 300 raisins in one sitting. Not realistic. And I’m sure you pull all of your information from Paleo dogmatic websites seeing as they only agree with your opinions and not challenge it, so the fact that you are so ignorantly misrepresenting the truth is understandable, but as a 5 year educated Nutrition Coach myself, I cannot just sit back and allow misinformation and opinions to be touted as fact with out speaking up. Carbs aka ‘sugar’ have been the staple in every successful civilizations culture since the begging of humanity. Rice for the Asian population, corn for the Incas, wheat and barley for the Romans, and potatoes for the Myans. All of whom had a practically nonexistent level of obesety. That is until carbohydrate went from pure and simple to combined with meat, fat and chemicals which rendered the sugars unable to reach the cells, due to thickening of the blood and insulin receptor sites. Therefor leading to elevated levels of blood sugar for extended periods of time, causing the liver to exude more and more insulin in an attempt to rid the body of this toxic level of blood sugar, and no matter where you look THAT is the definition of the diabetic condition, and insulin resistance. Furthermore, the fat in your brain doesn’t run off of fat, anymore than the fat in your body. Fat doesn’t need fuel, fat is what we burn FOR fuel, what feeds the muscles is glucose. So that brain comment was just nonsense… I read in your ‘About’ section that to this day you still struggle with Candida, if your theories were correct and you were succeeding on this high fat low sugar diet then wouldn’t your condition be alleviated? For your own sake and the sake of the Heath & Fitness community, I highly suggest letting go of your dogmatic ideals and really digging in to adverse opinions as opposed to blowing it off as ridicule and outdated. I used to be just as jaded as you were, which is why I can confidently speak this way. It’s a lot easier to disregard an ‘opinion’ when you feel like your whole knowledge basis is being compromised, but use it as fuel to dig a little deeper into the facts about nutrition. It will only make you better.

    1. dani stout Post author

      It’s ironic that you say you used to be just as jaded as me; I feel like I used to be just as misinformed as you. I eschewed fat, avoided animal products, and focused on whole, unprocessed plant foods. Only after I finally accepted that my body wasn’t thriving off of this diet did I do actual research into nutrition science and not dogmatic information fueled by a vegetarian agenda.

      I’m not talking about corn or high fructose corn syrup, you clearly misunderstood that. I addressed fructose, period. Your 300 raisin analogy is ridiculous. Obviously no one is eating 300 raisins, and dried fruits are higher in fructose. The amount of fructose in that amount of raisins is EXTREMELY high, so to say that it’s only at this level that fructose is damaging is a fallacy. You’re ingesting way more fructose than safe even at 1/4 that amount. Consider that a safe amount of fructose is about 25 grams per day, 15 g if you struggle with metabolic disorders. One slice of pineapple has about 4 grams, 1 cup of blueberries has about 7 grams, 1 banana has about 7 grams as well. So when you’re eating 3 cups of fruit, for ONE meal, you’re eating WAY too much fructose. Over time, that is going to tax the liver. And when you consume fructose in abundance, it turns into free fatty acids and triglycerides.

      I “pull my information” from doctors, from scientists, from anthropologists, from archaeologists. From your critique of what ancient societies ate, it’s clear that you obtain your information from one-sided, half factual entities. You say that carbs have been a part of successful civilizations from the beginning of humanity and this only became a problem when they started also eating meat and fat.

      This is completely invalid for several reasons: people ALWAYS ate meat and fat, it’s not like the basis of everyone’s diet was carbohydrate and then meat was introduced later. It’s actually quite the opposite and you have this completely backward. Prior to 10,000 years ago, these civilizations didn’t even have access to these grains! What do you think they were eating? MEAT AND FAT. Some of these civilizations ate starches from vegetables, but not all civilizations had access to them. PS – you may want to look into the following cultures that thrive off of meat and fat: the Masai, the Eskimo, the Maori, the Neurs, Aborigines, actually you should probably just read this article: http://ancestral-nutrition.com/the-plant-based-culture-myth-and-work-of-weston-a-price/). There is NO civilization that ate only plant based, it does not exist. Ancient cultures have always eaten animal foods and hailed them as sacred. The healthiest civilizations didn’t avoid animals products, they avoided modern day toxic food.

      Furthermore, fat SLOWS the absorption of glucose! This is a fact. So how would eating carbs coupled with fat lead to the overproduction of insulin? That literally makes no sense. A constant stream of elevated blood glucose levels leads to insulin resistance, and this is because of a constant carb intake. Fat is beneficial to diabetics and is why they should eat lower carb and higher fat.

      You’re also missing one big point: I’m not anti-carb. I eat carbs, and most people do well eating a low to moderate amount of them. But I do encourage these carbs to be sourced from safe starches, and to not eat them to excess. Eating three cups of fruit for one meal, is excess.

      You may want to re-read my ‘About’ section because nowhere in it do I say I am suffering from candida. In this post I do address candida because I know that if I return to a low-fat, high carb diet that my body will again suffer from candida.

      You genuinely have a very misguided perspective (yes, perspective) of nutrition. I read anything I can get my hands on when it comes to nutrition, and that isn’t exclusive to paleo. Hell, I’ve read The China Study! But you’re providing your information as fact, and it’s not.

  4. Hannah J

    I only make my smoothies with Kefir. It’s a cultured milk that ends up being 99% lactose free(which is good for me, because I’m very sensitive). I make my smoothies for 2(me and my husband), and we make ours like this: 1/4-1/3 c. Kefir and 1 – 1 1/2 c. fruit. It’s a nice snack for us. That’s what we have if we have a big sweet tooth. It really hits the spot, and it’s better than us drinking a soda or having a piece of cake. I’d advise many people to use Kefir as their liquid in their smoothies. It forces the candida out of your body, and it’s really tasty.

  5. Tiffany Hebb

    Dani, Thank you for your knowledge and your willingness to share even if you get criticism. From everything I have studied you are right on and I agree with your findings.

  6. Katrina

    Wow, you opened up a can of worms, haha. I love making smoothies. I watch the amount of fruit and also add in greens, cucumbers, celery, beets, flax oil, hemp seeds, avocado (sometimes). It’s good to mix it up and make sure there is more ‘green’ than fruits.

    I do think many people get carried away with fruits when they make their smoothies. Maybe it’s to make it taste better for them….drinking greens does take some getting used to.

  7. erin

    I commend you on sharing information you feel will benefit others. But Yikes, I have to agree with the comments that your information is very dogmatic, and feel a need to post because how you present the info is very misleading and very oversimplified. What about all the cultures that thrived WITHOUT meat? You clearly are seeking only the information that supports your dogmatic beliefs. Why are you so defensive in your replies? If you are truly seeking information instead of confirmation of your beliefs, you would have no need for defensiveness. I have read a lot of nutrition info, research, books, opinions, over the years due to my health issues, and have also been battling Candida for years now, and have learned a ton. Good luck in your journey!

    1. dani stout Post author

      There is literally no culture that has thrived without meat.

      I don’t think my replies are dogmatic. When people reply with ignorant, offensive comments, I respond accordingly.

      I’m not seeking information, I’m sharing facts. Please feel free to share any other thoughts. Good luck in your journey as well!

  8. Sheri

    Although I love eggs, raw eggs kinda gross me out… and I’m a slow smoothie drinker. How about organic raw almond butter? Like 1-2 Tbs?

    Thanks for the info.. I agree with you on the sugary smoothies. I have been trying to lose weight and have noticed that the more sugary the smoothie, the less satisfied I feel.

    1. dani stout Post author

      You won’t even know the yolks are in there! Almond butter is high in omega-6 so I wouldn’t recommend it.

        1. dani stout Post author

          Haha, uh, no they’re not. Animals products, particularly the grass-fed/wild options I promote, are extremely high in omega-3, not 6. Same with avocados. Salmon, grass-fed beef, eggs, all omega-3.

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