by Sarah Phillips, CEO and founder, Ugly Produce is Beautiful
Fruit smoothies and juices seem to be the rage - I see lots of photos of them from accounts that I follow on my @UglyProduceIsBeautiful Instagram feed.
I even have a Blueberry Acai Smoothie Bowl With Grilled Peaches recipe using ugly produce posted. Smoothies and juices are for sale all over the place.
But I often ask myself - how healthy are they and what do they contain?
When fruit juice is made, the pulp is removed and the juice remains. The result is that the sugar is more concentrated and the juice contains little if any fiber, and food waste is created from the fruit pulp. When smoothies, on the other hand, are made, the whole fruit is used, so they maintain their fiber, even though it has been pulverized. This fiber helps slow down the absorption of fructose, the main sugar in fruit.
But Robin Foroutan, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a trade group representing nutrition professionals. recommends that having that having the whole fruit is best - because it contains plenty of fiber with juice.
“Juice would cause the biggest spike in blood sugar,” Ms. Foroutan said. “An all-fruit smoothie would also cause a spike in blood sugar, though probably not as much. Eating the fruit whole would have the most gentle effect.”
But comparing juices to smoothies as far as calories and sugars go are pretty much neck and neck: "It’s hard to make comparisons when it comes to juice and smoothies, but an eight-ounce cup of unsweetened apple juice or orange juice contains at least 22 grams of sugar (equivalent to about five and a half teaspoons of sugar), and both contain less than a gram of fiber. A smoothie made from a banana and a cup of frozen raspberries has only slightly less sugar – about 20 grams -- but 12 grams of fiber (three grams in the banana, and nine grams in the raspberries)."
And some smoothies are found to contain as many calories as the common milkshake. So don't be fooled!
Source: "Are Smoothies Better for You Than Juices?" Well Blogs, New York Times, by Roni Caryn Rabin, August 5, 2016; Aug 6 9am
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