Are Fruit Smoothies Healthy?
Bursting with delicious fruit, smoothies are the drink of choice for many health-conscious individuals. These days, even the media tout the benefits. But just like fruit juice, most smoothies taste so good because they’re loaded sugar and, many times, high fructose syrup.
While you may be thinking a fruit smoothie is one of the healthiest snacks out there, the fact is the sugar and health effects you’re consuming can be leading to numerous problems from obesity to tooth decay.
Top Five Reasons Fruit and Sugar in Smoothies are Harmful
Too much fruit is unhealthy.
You probably always thought that fruit is good for you, but this is just another myth perpetuated by the “food” and “health” industry that has unfortunately been waylaying you all of your life. It’s important to realize that fruits aren’t nearly as “good for you” as they’re advertised to be. The food pyramid “experts” tell you to eat three to five pieces of fruit each day. Could it be that they’re just trying to stimulate your appetite to beef up your grocery shopping bills? The truth is, there’s a bad relationship between a fruit’s level of sugar and health effects.
Simply examine an apple. What happens when you peel an apple and don’t eat it right away? It turns brown within a few minutes. Why? The sugar in the apple (called fructose) combines with the oxygen in the air. The skin of the apple contains micronutrients called antioxidants, which protect the apple from oxidative stress. But the rest of the apple is comprised mostly of fructose (fruit sugar). With the skin peeled away, you’re left almost completely with carbs – as well as some fiber. Therefore, it is the skin that contains a majority of the stuff that is “good for you.”
What about the fact that they are high in potassium? While lots of potassium may be okay for you, potassium is the most potent stimulator of your parasympathetic nervous system. Over-stimulation of your PNS can contribute to allergies, fatigue, hypoglycemia, asthma, depression, low blood pressure, and many other symptoms. You must keep in mind that when your PNS is activated, you will get hungry! Perhaps this is why fruit is often used as an “appetizer.”
Sugar is the Anti-Nutrient
While sugar in smoothies does provide metabolic energy and consuming it may provide a quick burst of energy, it’s simply an energy source devoid of nutrition. Sugar (in its unnatural, purified, highly processed state) doesn’t contain vitamins or minerals. Hence, each and every time you consume sugar in smoothies, vitamins and minerals are cannibalized from your vital reserves to facilitate processes required to metabolize this vacuous form of energy. Therefore, the more sugar you consume, the less nutrition you have; hence the term “anti-nutrient.” When you’re thinking are fruit smoothies healthy, just picture the emptiness you’re consuming!
Consider all the negative consequences of excess carbs, especially in the form of sugar and especially in the form of high fructose corn syrup. Sugar isn’t a natural food; it’s actually been extracted and synthesized from cane, corn and other sources. Although highly utilized in your diet, sugar is not something your body can use in a beneficial way. When you eat sugar, you either have to burn it off by doing exercise, work or daily activities, or you have to store it. You can’t use it to repair tissue or develop muscles or hormones, and it actually sucks the minerals and vitamins out of your body.
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is the Frankenstein of Sugars
However detrimental sugar may be, high fructose corn syrup health problems are even worse for you, and many store-bought smoothies are packed with it. HFCS is a cheap, concentrated form of fructose that was introduced in the 1970s. Today HFCS is one of the most common sweeteners used in processed food and sweet beverages because it is so cheap and dissolves easily into water. Scientific studies have shown that high fructose corn syrup health problems include weight gain, high triglycerides, elevated insulin levels and low HDL cholesterol.
Sugar is addictive
Thinking sugar in smoothies is good for you because you crave it? Actually, this craving drives many people to consume sugar every day; for some people almost every single meal is catering to that sugar fix. Almost all people are addicted to it in some way or manner – to the point they don’t even know that it is happening to them. These unsuspecting victims are eating sugar and excess carbs every day with the encouragement and endorsement of the Food and Drug Administration, the American Medical Association, the American Diabetes Association, many nutritional “experts,” and their own doctors.
Fructose Can’t be Directly Burned as Energy
You may be thinking, “OK, but what about the fact the fruit contains fructose? Isn’t fructose the good sugar and really good for you?” Fructose is actually much worse for you than other sugar and health effects because it must be converted into fat in your liver before your body can burn it off as energy. It can’t be used as energy in its original state and is instead stored as fat. Regular table sugar (also known as sucrose) contains both glucose and fructose. Excess glucose can turn into fat as well, but at least it enters your body in a state that can be used for energy and need not be stored as fat prior to its utilization. Consequently, fructose, in any quantity, must be stored as fat (also known as triglycerides), and these triglycerides are the major contributor to a condition called metabolic syndrome – which is the major cause of high blood pressure, diabetes, strokes, heart attacks and obesity. Not only are high fructose corn syrup health problems the culprit, but sugar in smoothies is as well.
Still curious are fruit smoothies healthy?
Today, almost one-third of all people are obese and either diabetic or pre-diabetic. Sadly, this epidemic is so pervasive, even children are now developing “adult onset diabetes.” Does diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure or heart disease “run in your family”? Maybe not. There’s a very good chance they’re a result of sugar in smoothies, fructose and high fructose corn syrup health problems. So next time you’re looking for a healthy snack, skip the fruit smoothie!