The Smoothie Lowdown

Strawberry smoothies

 

On my fitness journey the past few years I’ve had the opportunity to see, or should I say, observe a lot of food trends, diets and otherwise various health fads and foods.

There was the era of everything being “fat-free”. Fat was demonized and no one wanted it to cross their lips.  There was no teaching or awareness of “good” fats and how they are essential to your body. Nor, was anyone realizing that in removing the fat lots of extra sugar was put in to keep it from tasting like a piece of… well… your coffee table.

Then there were all the “sugar-free” options. These might serve a small market of people who need a different alternative but again, people jumped on the wagon riding along  munching their sugar free treats while the manufactures happily went to the bank on consumers ignorance and lack of knowledge.

What no one stopped to ponder was the fact these products did say…maybe perhaps in tiny  print somewhere on the bottom …. “not a calorie free food” or “not a low calorie food”

As people happily consumed their fat free cookies, maybe a bit more in excess because they were you know, fat free, they never lost weight. I’m beating up on cookies here but the fat free thing was on almost every product you put your hands on several years back.

And I mean everything. It was the newest marketing food gimmick.

I’ll tell you this… now with what I know.. I’d rather have a little bit of the real honest thing than something manipulated and over processed that doesn’t satisfy me anyway.

Well there’s a new food trend in town and it’s been around for awhile and it seems like all the cool kids are trying it…again there’s a big focus on how healthy it is…

Know what it is?

Smoothies.

Now… hold on… I have no intention of ruffling feathers or stomping toes here… it’s ok if you love smoothies.. really.

My point is to educate. I’m blown away that so many people buy them but are clueless to how calorie laden they are and they genuinely think they are making a good choice.

Now if you’re whipping them up at home you know exactly what you’re tossing in and have control over sugars and contents of your final product.  And there’s nothing wrong with a cool fruity drink you’ve put together with love 😉

We had a new place show up in town that people are excited over that just make smoothies. I hadn’t been in yet and my son asked me to stop one day and grab him one to bring over to work.

A perfect field trip for me to gain some first hand info on topic…so I picked up their drink menu which features sizes and calories per each size.

As I scanned it I was …shocked… that the one I was purchasing for him… in a medium size….which  I think was 32oz. packed a whopping almost 1500 calories… and I coughed up almost 9.00 for it too.

The first ingredient listed… was ice cream 😛

Of course, I shared all this with him and he was horrified…

It should be noted that some smoothies were listed as “meal replacements” although I find 1400-1500 calories or more a pretty hefty meal “replacement”.

Now on the menu there are options that are “lighter” in calories. They offer 25 that are under 300 calories… not bad if you’re wanting a cool, healthy on the go drink.

You just need to have an awareness of what goes into it and know what you’re consuming. If you’re concerned about calories and working to lose weight not knowing what you’re consuming can subtly sabatoge your weight loss efforts.

As I read through menu almost all of them contained “turbinado” which is a fancy word for natural, raw sugar, but sugar none the less.  They give you the option to not have it used which saves you around… 100 calories… in your smoothie.

Of course there are also “add ins” and these are called enhancers which are supposed to give an extra nutritional kick to your smoothie.  The fine print at the bottom lets you know the statements for enhancers have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  The small print also tells you that the  nutritional and caloric info largely depends on the ingredients you choose to put into it.

The bottom line on your bottom line? Know the contents of your smoothies… be educated.

Don’t just assume because it sports the name “smoothie” it’s a low calorie, off the charts healthy drink for you.

Depending on what’s in it…. you could eat a nice meal for the calories.

And keep in mind as well, liquids calories are mentally easy to dismiss, but do add up if a consistent habit.

With an awareness you can enjoy a healthy and flavorful smoothie that won’t destroy your efforts to getting lean.

Do you make smoothies? Buy them? What is your favorite?