Today’s contribution is from Good Measure Meals’ Kathryn Shubert RDN, LD
Smoothies can be a quick and easy way to incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet or to make a speedy breakfast. Smoothies and juices have also been widely chosen as meal replacements and to help shed unwanted weight. Are smoothies really part of your recipe for success during FitTrip? Ingredient ChecklistSmoothies can be really well balanced, but unless you are making them yourself, you may not know exactly what is going into them. Is your smoothie all fruit? How many servings of fruit are included? Did the shop use fresh fruit or fruit drenched in heavy syrup? Is your fruit balanced with any protein? If it is protein powder, what exactly is in that protein powder? The Art of ChewingWe register the calories or energy from the food that we chew differently than the liquids that we drink. Since we can slurp down a smoothie in a fraction of the time it takes to chew a full meal, we typically consume the calories faster. Liquids also move out of our stomach faster than foods we chew, so our body doesn’t have the time to experience that physical feeling of fullness or satisfaction in the same way we might from a meal. A smoothie as a meal may only lead to cravings in the following couple of hours. The RecommendationSmoothies can be an excellent part of a well-balanced diet, so if you do opt for smoothies, be strategic about what you are making (or purchasing). A well balanced smoothie needs to include fiber rich carbohydrates (like fruits and vegetables), a protein source (like Greek yogurt or soy milk), and no added sugars (use the naturally occurring sugar from fruit for sweetness). Per serving, a smoothie does not need more than 1-1.5 cups of fruit (which is all you need for the day). If you do choose a smoothie as a meal, monitor your satisfaction level. If you are starving in 2 hours, that smoothie might not be the best meal replacement for you.