Smoothies VS Salads

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How to Really Benefit from a Smoothie and Avoid the Hidden Harms

by Maria Dimitrova | Jan 22, 2019 | Body

We love smoothies. They are tasty, easy to make, convenient to take with us wherever we go and rich in nutrients. Unlike juices, smoothies have the healthy fibers in themselves. So why are there doubts about their healthiness? On the battlefield there are two teams of opponents – the supporters of smoothies and the experts who are against them. Where is the truth?

The experts who are against this delicious drinkable food have several important points to state:

  • Research has shown that if you take exactly the same energy in the form of a liquid instead of a solid, you will consume more calories later because the liquefied food doesn’t provide you with the same feeling of satiety that a solid food does.
  • Although the smoothies contain the juice as well as the fiber, “the blades destroy the insoluble fiber, which means that the ‘gel’ that forms on the inside of the intestine has no structure”, says Robert Lustig, MD, professor of pediatrics at University of California, San Francisco. “The sugar is absorbed at a maximal rate, overwhelming the liver’s capacity to metabolize the sugar, and the excess sugar is turned into liver fat which is the precursor to metabolic syndrome.” Considering this, people who are trying to lose weight, have diabetes, or have high triglycerides should be very cautious with the smoothie consumption.  

The supporters of smoothies state that:

  • Without smoothies a vast majority of people wouldn’t get the necessary daily amount of vitamins, minerals and healthy sources of fat and protein.

Victoria Boutenko, a raw food expert and nutrition writer, suggested looking at the chimpanzees’ diet to discover why their immune system was so powerful that they had a strong resistance against the diseases which scientists tried to infect them with for medical research. What she found out was that chimps live on huge quantities of greens. With our human teeth, we aren’t designed to break down the quantity of greens that chimps consume and for this reason Boutenko decided to use a blender to break them down and added fruit to make the mixture tasty. This is how the green smoothie was invented.

  • “When we chew a salad, we often don’t do an efficient job of crushing every cell; about 70-90 percent of the cells are not broken open and as a result, most of the valuable nutrients contained within those cells never enter our bloodstream and are lost”, says Joel Fuhrman, MD in his book “Eat for Health, Vol. 1.” He suggests that we make green smoothies or “blended salads” as a way to “pump up your consumption of greens.” 

So what should we do? Who should we listen to? If we take a balanced approach to the matter, which is always the best approach, we can suggest that:

  • Surely, smoothies are a much, much better option for a meal on the go than most of the other snacks we can find in supermarkets, vending machines and convenience stores.
  • However, we should remember that our bodies were designed to eat the food, not drink it. So in most cases we should opt for eating a salad or a whole piece of fruit rather than making a smoothie. Even if we do not crush all the cells of vegetables and fruit while chewing them, the nutrients we do get from the healthy solid foods we chew are digested in the best possible way. It’s essential to follow the principles of eating the natural way and respect our bodies’ design.
  • When making a smoothie, be careful with your choice of ingredients – they should be natural, and pay attention to the amounts and the serving sizes.
  • Picking fruit with a low glycemic index is recommendable. Bananas are a suitable option: they have a good deal of fiber and a relatively low sugar content. Bear in mind that except choosing natural ingredients, another significant factor for preparing a healthy smoothie is the proper combination of foods. Read more about the subject here.
  • Including a bit of fat in your smoothie (an avocado or nuts) will make the vitamins in the vegetables more accessible by your body. This will also boost the level of satiation so that you feel full for longer.
  • Do not blend the ingredients for too long so that they do not become a puree. Try to “chew” your smoothie and consume it slowly, giving enough time to the digestive enzymes in your saliva to do their job.

For more information about food combinations, click here.



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