Sugar is demonised by a lot of health gurus these days.
There’s no doubt that refined sugars and processed foods aren’t that great for you.
But what about wholefood-based natural sugars, like the ones you find in fruit?
Will chugging down a fruit smoothie a day make you fat?
The answer: probably not.
Unless fruit smoothies are tipping you over your maintenance energy intake, they’re unlikely to lead to weight gain.
For the average person, a smoothie with fruit can be part of a balanced, nutritious meal plan.
What’s great about fruit?
Like any natural wholefood, fruit offers plenty of nutritional benefits.
Different fruits come with different perks, but most fruit is:
- A good source of fibre – particularly berries, apples and pears
- A source of prebiotic fibres that support a healthy, happy gut
- Full of antioxidants – different colours offer different benefits, so a variety of fruit is best!
- A good source of essential vitamins such as vitamin C
- Naturally hydrating, thanks to the high water content
So overall, fruit is pretty nutritious, as well as delicious.
If you do indulge in fruit juice, you do lose some of these benefits though, as the fibre is removed.
If you heat fruit by cooking it, some of the vitamins and antioxidants are also lost through heat damage.
But when you add fruit into a smoothie, it retains all of the benefits of the fruit because nothing is removed.
What does the research say about fruit consumption?
Lucky for you, I’m up to date (fruit pun intended) with the latest findings about fruit consumption and body weight.
A 2019 systematic review looked at over 40 high-quality studies that examined weight, body fat and fruit consumption.
It found that across the studies, a higher fruit intake did NOT lead to weight gain.
In fact, it helped with weight maintenance, and could even help with modest weight loss.
Consuming whole fruit was associated with a lower energy intake overall, particularly if it was consumed prior to a meal, or was replacing energy-dense foods such as chocolate bars or muffins.
The researchers also suggested that the benefits of vitamins, antioxidants and fibre content of fruit more than balanced out the sugar content.
Fruit can increase satiety, keeping you fuller for longer, which might be why it can support and help with weight loss.
So unless you’re adding enough fruit to consistently tip you over your energy intake, fruit is probably not going to make you fat.
If anything, it’s going to keep you feeling full, give you a good dose of fibre and other nutrients, and also, more importantly, satisfy your sweet tooth.
Balance is key with your smoothies
Would I recommend a 5 x daily banana smoothies to the average person?
Just like any of your meals or snacks, you want your smoothies to include low GI carbohydrates along with protein and healthy fats.
If weight loss or maintenance is a goal of yours, you want to ensure you’re getting as much nutrition in without exceeding your maintenance energy intake.
Including nutrient-dense, low-energy foods such as green leafy vegetables in your fruit smoothie is a great way to achieve this.
If you are, by chance looking for the easiest option for a nutrient-dense smoothie?
Super Cubes has you covered and you can find all of the Super Cubes range online or, if you want to buy locally you can find your local supermarket or health food store on the Super Cubes Stockists page.