Why do fruit and vegetables 'count' in smoothies and juices?
Why do fruit and vegetables ‘count’ in smoothies and juices?
Fruit and most vegetables are zero Points® foods when you eat them. But once they become part of a smoothie, the experience of eating them changes. Research shows that liquids don’t promote the same feeling of fullness as solid foods do. When you drink something, it eliminates the act of chewing which may impact the signals between your belly and your brain. This means that the smoothie or juice you’re drinking will not promote the same feelings of fullness between meals, as eating the fruit or vegetable might.
On the left: It would take a while to eat all the ingredients on the left of the image above. Afterwards, you’d probably feel quite full, like you’ve eaten a main meal.
On the right: It's possible to consume the same amount of fruit in just a few sips, as a smoothie. The result: you may feel hungry again sooner, and be more likely to eat more later, as a result.
So what's the bottom line?
If it’s something you’ll drink, like a juice or smoothie, the nutrition data for fruits and vegetables counts towards the total SmartPoints® value of the drink. If it’s something you’ll eat, like a salsa, sauce, stew, or soup, fresh fruits and most vegetables are zero Points foods, in those recipes.
Are there other situations when I need to count the SmartPoints values for fruit or vegetables?
The WW Your Way+ program encourages you to eat fresh fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet. Statistics show that only seven per cent of Australians eat enough vegetables and only one in two eat enough fruit. Similarly, only one in three NZ women and one in five NZ men eat the recommended daily serves of fruit and vegetables. That’s why all fruit and most vegetables are zero Points foods, whether it's fresh, unsweetened frozen, or canned in its own juice and drained.
When a fruit has added sugar, such as fruit canned in syrup or in its own juice but with extra sugar added, or when there’s less water content, as with dried fruit, the SmartPoints values count.
Can I eat too much fruit?
We encourage you to eat two serves of fruit and at least five serves of vegetables daily because they are nutritious, satisfying and tasty.
If you’re eating more fruits and vegetables than you used to, and you’re using them as snacks, to bulk up your meals, or as a tide-me-over when you’re down to the last few SmartPoints for the day or week, then great! If you’re eating more than two serves of fruit every day, purely because it’s a zero Points food, you might want to pull back a little. Let your hunger, and your weight loss, guide you.