How healthy are smoothies?

The drinks from fruit and vegetables are considered healthy. But they often contain a lot of sugar. Why it should be seen as a snack rather than a means of quenching the thirst.

They promise health “to go”. Smoothies and wellness drinks are designed to improve digestion, help with weight loss, strengthen your defenses. They are pureed all-rounders – believe the advertising. The trendy drinks conquer the refrigerated shelves.

But they can’t keep up with fresh fruit and vegetables, especially the industrially produced ones. “There are no specific food regulations for the composition of the products,” says Yvonne Knips, a nutrition expert from the Consumer Centre North Rhine-Westphalia.

Exoticism for more revenue

Sometimes they consist of only 100 percent juice concentrate, instead of pureed fruit and vegetables they sometimes contained only pieces of pulp. However, the proportion of whole fruit or vegetables should be at least 50 percent.

“To boost the sale of smoothies, manufacturers like to print exotic fruit names on the bottle, but sometimes less than five percent of the product,” says Knips. If you rely on green smoothies, it’s even harder to keep track.

60 percent should already be

Green smoothies often contain leaf salads or other green vegetables. The green plant substance is intended to prevent cancer, but is not convincing in terms of taste. “Many green smoothies are often based on more than a third of fruits or fruit juices,” says Dr. Stefanie Gerlach of the German Diabetes Aid.

The expert considers a vegetable content of at least 60 percent to be desirable. It is usually difficult to understand how much vegetables are actually behind the percentages on the packaging. Few manufacturers give an exact amount.

“Wellness drinks are not medicines”

A look at the contents is always worthwhile: “The addition of nutrients or additives is critical to evaluate,” says Janina Willers from the Lower Saxony Consumer Centre. Basically, fingers off when sugar is added! Due to the low vegetable content, colouring plant extracts would sometimes be added. “These coloring extracts suggest a higher quality.”

Matcha, Acerola, ginseng or activated charcoal: Many manufacturers often also rely on the wellness track and advertise with superfoods and medicinal herbs with added health benefits. “Wellness drinks are not medicines,” explains Stefanie Gerlach.

More sugar than in Cola

Green puree juices are also often sugar traps. “The higher the juice content, the more natural sugar a smoothie contains,” says Antje Gahl of the German Society for Nutrition (DGE). Often, cheaper apple juice or banana paste is used. Both contain fructose, which is particularly unhealthy in larger quantities.

In 2016, British scientists tested different smoothies, with a devastating result: they found an average of 13 grams of sugar per 100 milliliters of drink. The same amount of cola contains 10.6 grams of sweetness.

“However, how much a smoothie affects blood sugar also depends on how much fiber it contains through its vegetable and fruit content,” says Gahl. A high fiber content is favorable for blood sugar levels and keeps it at bay. The addition of oatmeal, chia seeds or ground nuts increases the fiber content, the feeling of satiety is increased.

Fresh food is the better choice

A home-made smoothie can add variety to the menu and occasionally replace fruit or vegetables. But for the experts it is clear: fresh fruit and vegetables as raw food on the plate is clearly the better choice.

“Smoothies are not only more expensive, they often contain less fiber, physany and vitamins, as the fruit and vegetables are often processed peeled,” says Antje Gahl of the DGE. Chewing fresh fruit and vegetables also results in a better satiety effect, and the mouth and chewing muscles are strengthened. If you have an app idea that you want to be developed, head to mobile app developer.