Smoothies are refreshing, tasty and convenient — but are they really good for you?
According to one registered nutritionist, the drink could actually make a person gain weight — and she advises her clients trying to lose weight to avoid them.
Angela Clucas, who is based in the UK and posts on her Instagram account @nextlevelnutritioniom, told Business Insider that blending and drinking your food makes it more difficult to stick to the calorie deficit needed to lose weight.
A calorie deficit is when you eat fewer calories than you’re burning, a method typically used to lose weight and maintain weight loss, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
“It’s really easy to blend and drink far more than you would eat,” Clucas said in explaining the primary issue.
While smoothies aren’t intrinsically fattening and can be a great asset for athletes or those looking to gain muscle, people often are unaware of how calorie-dense they are due to their “health halo” — when food appears healthier than it really is.
However, Clucas said that if drinking a smoothie is the only way to get fruits and veggies into your diet, it’s better than not consuming any at all.
“If you want to blend loads of vegetables and drink that because you don’t really like vegetables, great,” Clucas told Business Insider. “Don’t juice them because you’ll lose the fiber.”
So how can you make a smoothie that’s good for you?
Clucas advises those who are trying to lose weight to put all the ingredients for their smoothie on a plate and ask themselves if they would eat it all in one sitting before blending.
“If it’s half a large tub of yogurt, a banana, an apple, half a pineapple and a big spoonful of peanut butter and you think, ‘Oh, God no, I’d be stuffed by eating that,’ then don’t drink it,” Clucas said.
Crystal Scott, M.S., RD, LDN, a dietitian in Las Vegas, previously told EatingWell that, depending on what’s in the smoothie, calories can add up quickly — and many of those could come from added sugars.
Scott pointed out that a smoothie might leave you feeling hungry shortly after drinking it if it doesn’t have enough protein, fiber and healthy fat — leading you to overeat.
It’s vital to measure out proportions prior to putting the ingredients into the blender to ensure there aren’t too many servings.