Food & nutrition

The real reason fruit juices and smoothies have SmartPoints®

Love a healthy smoothie in the morning or a juice in the afternoon? You'll need to track it as part of your daily SmartPoints Budget.
When I add fruit to the smoothie recipes I create, it counts SmartPoints® values for it. I thought fruit was zero!
On the WW programme, many fruits and vegetables are ZeroPoint™ foods - when you eat them. But once they become part of a smoothie, the experience of consuming them changes.
Research shows that liquids don’t promote the same feeling of fullness as solid foods do.¹ When you drink something, it eliminates the act of chewing, which may impact the signals between the belly and brain.² This means that the smoothie or juice you’re drinking will not promote the same amount of fullness between meals as eating the fruit might.
Take a look at the diagram below. It’ll take some time to eat all of the fruit on the left-hand side and afterwards, you’ll probably feel like you ate a full meal. But this smoothie will be gone in a few sips. The result: you may get hungry sooner and be more likely to eat more later.


So, what’s the bottom line?  If it’s something you’ll drink, like a juice or fruit smoothie, the nutritional data for fruit counts towards the total SmartPoints value. If it’s something you’ll eat, like a salsa, sauce, stew or soup, most fresh fruits and vegetables have a 0 SmartPoints value.


Are there other times when I need to count the SmartPoints for fruit and vegetables?


The WW programme encourages you to eat fresh fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet. Studies have shown that about 70% of Brits do not eat enough fruits and vegetables.³ That’s why most fruits and vegetables are ZeroPoint foods, whether they're fresh, unsweetened, frozen or canned in their own juice and drained.

When a fruit has added sugar, such as fruit in syrup or its own juice, or when there’s less water content (for example, dried fruit) the SmartPoints values will count.


Can I eat too much fruit?


We encourage you to eat fruits and vegetables because they are nutritious, satisfying and tasty.

ZeroPoint foods don’t need to be measured or tracked, but that doesn’t mean they’re all-you-can-eat. Fruits and vegetables aren’t calorie-free just because many of them are ZeroPoint foods!

Eating any food, even ZeroPoint foods, to extremes could make you gain weight.

If you’re eating more fruits and vegetables than you used to, and you’re using them for healthy snacks, to bulk up your meals, or as a tide-me-over when you’re down to the last few SmartPoints values for the day or week, then great.

If you’re overeating fruit because it’s “free” you might want to pull back a bit. Like everything, it’s about balance and becoming mindful of what you’re eating. Let your hunger, and your weight loss, be your guide.

How to tell if you're actually hungry


¹Cassady BA, Considine RV, Mattes RD. Beverage consumption, appetite, and energy intake: what did you expect? Am J Clin Nutr 2012;95:587-93.

²Migquel-Kergoat S, Axais-Braesco V, Burton-Freeman B, Hetherington MM. Effects of chewing on appetite, food intake and gut hormones: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Physiol Behav 2015;151:88-96.

³Public Health England, (2014). National Diet and Nutrition Survey: results from Years 1 to 4 (combined) of the rolling programme for 2008 and 2009 to 2011 and 2012. National Diet and Nutrition Survey:. [online] Public Health England, p.10.