Eat more whole food, drink less smoothies

13 May

Smoothies are an easy and good way to obtain nutrients from vegetables and fruits. However, we should not consume all the fruit and vegetables in smoothies, but ensure that most of their intake is from whole food. When a person consumes fruits, vegetables, and other high-fiber foods in a smoothie, it will be less satisfying and more likely to lead to a blood sugar spike.


A good nutrient balanced smoothie should include fruits and a healthful fat, such as peanut butter, chia seeds, and a healthy protein. Smoothies made with fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds can be a good source of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that the body needs. 20190509_182005


Here are some ideas to remember when preparing a smoothie at home or when you order a smoothie at your preferred store:


• Include a healthy fat such as almond or peanut butter, chia seeds, avocado or raw pecans and raw walnuts. Fats may help slow down the speed at which sugar enters the blood and leaves the person feeling satisfied for longer period of time. Besides, fat helps the body absorb important nutrients.


• Add protein by using plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt, almonds, whey protein or low-fat milk. Protein is an essential nutrient, meaning you have to obtain it from foods.  Do not use raw eggs in the smoothies since this can cause foodborne illness. Protein supplies many nutrients such as B vitamins (niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and B6), vitamin E, iron, zinc, and magnesium.


• Put in fiber from leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, and from fruits such as berries and oranges. Fiber can leave a person feeling fuller and for longer. Fiber may also lower your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, improve the health of your skin, and help you lose weight.


• Do not add sugar to your smoothie since most of the fruits, vegetables, yogurt and milk that you used already have added natural and healthy sugar to it. Use instead herbs such as mint, basil, or coriander or spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, or turmeric.


Enjoy smoothies as treats since they can offer a complete meal, containing enough protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and fat to keep a person satisfied for some time. However, do not consume all your fruit and vegetables in smoothies, but ensure that most of their intake is from whole food. Here are some good recipes you can try at home:


Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Shake

Recipe provided by Jennifer Meyer, RD, LMNT, Director of Nutrition Education, American Dairy Association and Dairy Council of Nebraska. Makes 1 serving

  • 1 cup fat free or low fat milk
  • 1/2 cup frozen banana slices
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sweet cocoa powder (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into a tall glass and garnish with a sprinkle of cocoa powder, if desired.

Nutritional Facts Per Serving for individual food recipe: Calories: 270; Total Fat: 9 g; Saturated Fat: 2 g; Cholesterol: 5 mg; Sodium: 220 mg; Calcium: 35% Daily Value; Protein: 15 g; Carbohydrates: 35 g; Dietary Fiber: 3 g

The Cooking for a Lifetime: Healthy Eating to Reduce Cancer Risk cook book, has few recipes for smoothies here are some for you to try at home:

Fruit Smoothie

  • 1 large banana, frozen
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1 small carton vanilla yogurt
  • ½ cup orange juice

Puree all ingredients in a blender and serve immediately is stemmed glasses. Makes 2 servings.

Nutrient Analysis: 207 calories, 42 g. carbohydrates, 8 g. protein, 2 g. fat, 6 mg. cholesterol, 3g. fiber, 83 mg. sodium

Fruity Breakfast Slush

  • 4 cups cranberry drink
  • 2 cups frozen unsweetened strawberries
  • 2 medium size bananas

O low speed in a blender blend half of all ingredients until mixture is smooth and frothy. Pour into a pitcher. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Stir before serving. Serve immediately. Best served in a frosty glass! Makes 6 servings

Nutrient Analysis per serving: 150 calories, 38 g. carbohydrates, <1 g. protein, <1g. fat, o mg. cholesterol, 2 g. fiber, 5 mg. sodium




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