Food

Smoothies 101

How much is too much? We've got the answers.

Why do fruits and vegetables count in beverage recipes? Are there other times I need to count it? And how much is too much? Don’t worry — we’ve got some answers for you. 

When I add fruit to the smoothies I create, it counts SmartPoints values for it. I thought fruit was zero!

Fruit and most vegetables are zero 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. 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.

fruit

It’ll take some time to eat all this and afterwards, you’ll probably feel like you ate a full meal.

smoothie

But this 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 smoothie, the nutrition facts for zero SmartPoints value fresh fruits and vegetables count towards the total. If it’s something you’ll eat, like a salsa, sauce, stew, or soup, fresh fruits and most vegetables remain zero SmartPoints values in those recipes.

Are there other situations when I need to count the SmartPoints values for fruit or vegetables?

The SmartPoints plan encourages the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy pattern of eating. Studies have shown that about 75% of Americans do not eat enough fruits and vegetables.3 That’s why all fruit and most vegetables are zero SmartPoints values whether it's fresh, unsweetened frozen, or canned in its 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, as with dried fruit, the SmartPoints values will count.

Can I eat too much fruit?

Fruits and vegetables aren’t magically calorie-free just because most of them are zero SmartPoints values. We encourage you to eat fruits and vegetables because they are nutritious, satisfying, and tasty.

If you’re eating more fruits and vegetables than you used to, but 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 bananas because they’re “free,” you might want to pull back a bit. Nutshell: Let your hunger, and your weight loss, be your guide.

 

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

2.Migquel-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.

3.U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition. December 2015. Available at http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/.