Smoothies - Good or bad?

Hello everyone! First post as I'm trying to lose a bit of weight :) I've read a lot online about smoothies. Some of them saying they're great, and others bashing them. Most mornings in the week I'll have a smoothie, 1/4 Coconut Milk, 1 banana, 1 orange, 1 Low fat yogurt & spinach. Is this a healthy breakky? Looking to do this maybe 3/4 times a week then have egg& toast the rest.


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30 Replies

  • im pregnant

  • Congratulations. Now you eat for two!

  • Hi, it certainly sounds healthy to me. Have you done a calorie count as I think bananas are quite calorific. Well done you.

  • Treat soothies as a treat not as a routine food. They are concentrated food which has not been eaten as food should be. Why were you given teeth? Ha, Ha! Try to eat food which is slow release, smoothies are not. A good breakfast will include real wholemeal bread (not supermarket) a five cereal muesli and an egg in some form, boiled, poached or scrambled. I have fruit juice on my muesli but if you prefer milk make sure it is full cream, not homogenised and unpasteurised if possible. There are those in the medical profession who consider homogenised milk to be dangerous; it's easily recognised as there will be no cream settling out at the top of the bottle.

  • Awesome thank you very much for your response. I think I'll start having a good cereal/egg & bread for breakfast. Then switch to a smaller smoothie as maybe a snack. Not really clued up with the healthy eating and that's helped me a lot!

  • Avoid snacking, have a good meal and feel satisfied. Enjoy eating don't just have a meal as a necessity of life, give it time. If you eat proper wholemeal bread you will find that it lasts; it's a slow release food. Have a look at: I make all the bread in the house. I bake two loaves at a time and put one into a plastic bag in the freezer. Given 4 to 6 hours to thaw, you'll not know the difference. For anyone who is a one person household they can cut the loaves in half and freeze the pieces so that they always have fresh bread available. Another trick is to slice it before you freeze it.

  • Snacking is bad for the digestion process as it never gets a rest and the chance to complete a task. Ancient man would have eaten complete meals and nothing in between. If folk have lived by snacking it suggests that the food they are eating is empty and also lacking in bulk which in itself will cause an eventual degerative disease. Also smoothies represent concentrated food which is not good for the digestive system; they are fine as a treat but not as an every day food source.

    The message is so simple, eat a wide range of different foods as near to the point of production without unecessary processing and you will benefit from all the nutrients necessary while also providing the digestive system with all the bulk it needs. Low bulk, low fibre foods spell trouble in later life. That means including animal fats and not highly processed vegetable oils and hydogenated fats with all the attendant chemicals.

    A well respected physician, Surgeon Captain T.L. Cleave FRCS had it right, he said "Don't tamper with food".

  • I'm a fan of snacking, & only have one medium or large meal a day. My digestion gets a good rest for the 16 hours I don't eat as restrctive eating times suit me, too.

    Smoothies can be healthy or not depending entirely what on what goes into them. 250mls of kefir, & a handful of berries is tasty, a banana makes it more filling, but they're low on my fruit list.

    I know some people who like everything ground up in a £400 blender "to release the nutrients & enzymes". I wonder if their teeth will fall out from drinking all their food. One person then binges on chips, so healthwise it's counterproductive.

    Someone else I know, who cycles >40 miles a day, eats a huge cooked breakfast plus a smoothie of soya milk, banana, malt extract, & peanut butter which I'd class as very unhealthy & toxic FOR ME, but he needs a breakfast totalling my entire daily calorie intake to get to work.

    What's healthy depends on a person's genes & lifestyle. Eating most things fresh, raw or cooked from scratch, with no industrial processing, or added chemicals is healthy.

    If you like smoothies, eat them.

  • My two favourite breakfasts are Bran Flakes or Porridge with Raisin and followed by wholemeal toast !!!

  • Porridge yes, but it would do you less harm to chop up the packet and eat it than to have the bran flakes; I quote a doctor giving a talk. If you like porridge try muesli without added sugar.

  • Here's my formulae

    muesli = porridge + bran flakes + raisins

    Something to chew on <smiley face>

  • I buy a five cereal muesli loose. Barley, Wheat, Rice, Rye and Oats to which I add raisins. Bran flakes are processed, manufactured food.

  • Wholemeal bread isn't slow release; it has a Gi higher than table sugar.

  • You are a bit misguided, are you suggesting that sugar is better than wholemeal bread? You are comparing a whole food with 100% refined crystaline sugar which is not necessary in our diet. Proper wholemeal bread is nothing more that 100% wholemeal flour - stone-ground if possible, yeast, salt and water; nothing more. It is high in fibre, full of all the nutrients and minerals the body requires inclued in a large amount of naturel fibre. It is the fibre that makes it a slow release food. It is not to be compared with the manufactured rubbish made by Allied Bakeries and sold by many of the supermarkets.

  • I'm not suggesting anything. It's a fact that most wholemeal bread is converted to blood glucose faster than table sugar by the body, though stoneground is better. Pulverising the flour speeds up digestion whether there is fibre present or not; other examples include wheat biscuits and wheat that is shredded. It isn't a whole food since it doesn't grow like that in a field, would be difficult to eat without processing, and it doesn't provide all the nutrients and minerals the body requires; even in its most natural state the fibre that slows digestion tends to lock-in nutrients; one theory is that grains are the seeds of plants that don't want to be eaten.

    Don't get me wrong; sucrose is much worse for our health, it's just that wholemeal bread isn't as good as we're led to believe.

  • Hello Concerned. Can you give me the reference for the fact you are quoting please?

  • The New Glucose Revolution -The Authoritative Guide to the Glycemic Index, 2005

    Brand-Miller, J et al.

  • Thank you very much for that, I shall make a point of looking it up. I still cannot understand how a carbohydrate in wholemeal bread which needs digesting can be absorbed into the blood stream as quickly as pure christaline sugar which we know can go directly into the blood stream.

  • Starch is a string of glucose molecules. The mouth has enzymes to start breaking it down as soon as we introduce the food.

    Sucrose comprises two sugars; fructose and glucose. The glucose is absorbed into the blood stream directly, but the fructose has to be processed by the liver. That doesn't make it healthy either though, in fact quite the contrary; fructose glycosylates haemoglobin seven times as much as glucose.

  • Your statement that wholemeal bread has a higher glycemic index (GI) than sugar is really splitting hairs; the former being 70 while the latter is 68. The real factor that counts is the Glysemic Load (GL) which is related directly to the quantity of the food eaten. Only two teaspoons of sugar have the same GL as a single serving of wholemeal bread. White French bread has a GL of over four times that of wholemeal.

    We are in danger of throwing the baby out with the bath water with this discussion if we think we should reduce the amount of wholemeal bread eaten thus missing out on the important minerals and vitamins contained in that bread.

    You don't need a degree in food science in order to shop and eat sensible but simply to adopt the principal of a wide a range of whole foods as possible taking advantage of fruit and vegetables while in season.

    Any further discuussion along these lines will only serve to confuse other contributors and achieve very little.

  • The problem with looking at the GI index of wholemeal bread is you don't know what is being tested. My guess is that is mass produced bread. If so with all the pre-processing in the factory before baking then it is no wonder that it is a high GI index. I would be interested to know the GI Index of homemade wholemeal bread using stoneground flour with over 10% fibre ? I expect the GI to be lower.

    The point is that using quality fresh ingredients with as little processing as possible is better for you.

  • Interesting discussion . I make my own bread often, it is a Jamie Oliver recipe, 250g organic stoneground wholemeal flour, 100g rye flour, 50g porridge oats, tub of buttermilk, 1 tsp bicarb, an egg and pinch of salt. I wonder what the GI or GL of that would be? It certainly keeps me fuller for longer than sliced supermarket wholemeal in a bag.


  • You probably don't need to know as your body has already given you the answer.

  • Agreed Tibblington. I think people can make a much better informed decision from that.

  • You may wish to look at this website for scientific testing of GI and GL values.

  • What do you think of sprouted grain flour?

    I read about it last week, & thought about trying it for baking sourdough.

  • Smoothies are lovely and can be very good for you, but beware! When you blend fruit up you release all the simple sugars (fructose) in a very different way to when you eat the fruit. You REALLY need to clean your teeth afterwards. Eating the fruit doesn't have the same concentrating effect.

    Also be aware that for an adult about 150ml a day is a reasonable amount but nearly everyone makes at least double this.

    My 15 year old son has noticed me changing over to healthy eating and has started to drink lots of smoothies. I'm letting him get on with it at the moment as I'd rather he drinks smoothies than eat processed snack foods that are rammed with sugar. In due course ill encourage him to reduce the volume and include more veg and less fruit.

    In a nutshell, enjoy your smoothies but be aware that fruit is full of sugar and too much sugar in any form is not a good thing. Use the fruit to add sweetness to a smoothie with lots of other goodness in it. enjoy!

  • Or make one of the fruits avocado, to reduce sugar and add healthy mono-unsaturated natural fat.

  • Teeth are best cleaned before eating fruit, then mouthwash used afterwards.

    The acids in the fruit make the enamel more prone to abrasion by brushing.

    Be glad your son is consuming fruit rather than soft drinks. I know there's just as much sugar, but whole fruit has fibre & vitamins.

  • A smoothie can be a great way to start the day but try to ensure that there are more vegetables in fruits in your smoothie - this will ensure that your smoothie isn't full of sugar giving you a blood sugar spike and making you hungry quicker! Also you should aim to add in some oats and maybe a protein source? This will also keep you fuller for longer and help stabilise your blood sugar levels. Eggs are a great breakfast because they're full of protein.

    what are you doing for your dinners/lunches? If you are looking for an easy way to stay healthy you should check out Mindful Chef - all their meals are nutritionally balanced plus they're dairy and gluten free and really healthy -

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