Is that take-out smoothie too sweet to be healthy?

Is that take-out smoothie too sweet to be healthy?

If you have tried to buy a smoothie from a health food store lately then you know that finding a healthy pre-made version can be quite a challenge. Sometimes a smoothie sold in a bottle can have as much as 38 grams of cane sugar in it, which is as much as a can of regular coke. The same is true of many of the smoothies that many people buy at kiosks in malls all over North America. Many use a base that contains soy or whey powder that causes bloating and other digestive issues. However, the most pervasive issue with regards to store-bought smoothies is that they are created from bases made from extremely sweet fruit juices such as orange, pineapple or apple juice. The high sugar content in these supposedly healthy smoothies causes all kinds of issues, from fatigue to glycemic reactions to joint pain.

Even if you are making your smoothies at home it is quite easy to accidentally include an ingredient that might transform that delicious concoction from being a healthy smoothie to an unhealthy one.

Here is a look at some of the ingredients that people add to their smoothies that might be more harmful than helpful.

Fruit juices – If you are going to add a fruit juice, like orange juice to a smoothie just add a splash of it to avoid turning your smoothie into one big glycemic trigger. Just one cup of orange juice has 25 grams of natural sugar in it

Sweet fruits and vegetables – Grapes, mangos, pineapples, kiwis and oranges will raise the sugar content of your smoothie as will adding raw or cooked beets.

Canned or frozen fruit in syrup – If the fruit is preserved or sold in syrups, which are mostly corn syrup or sugarcane-based then it is a good idea to leave it out of your smoothie.

Flavored and Sweetened Milks – Flavored or sweetened milk as they are often loaded with at least ten grams of sugar per cup. Avoid chocolate milk, especially brands processed by a dairy as they usually contain all kinds of chemicals and waxes and over 30 grams of sugar. If you are craving chocolate add a scoop of unsweetened cocoa that is over 70% pure to your smoothie.

Artificial sweeteners – Artificial sweeteners of all kinds, such as aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose not only increase your cravings for sugar, they have been found to cause cancer.

The bottom line is that if your homemade or store-bought smoothie tastes too delicious, like a milkshake from a fast-food outlet, then it is probably not that healthy for you. Before you buy a pre-made smoothie from a health food store or grocery store, be sure to read the label carefully to make sure it is not loaded with cane sugar or sodium. The same goes for smoothies that are purchased from a mall kiosk; be sure to ask what the ingredients in the base for the smoothie are before you buy!

For more information about safe and wholesome nutrition, Toronto weight loss or to book a consultation about anti-aging, naturopathic testing, weight loss programs or any health issue you may be experiencing, visit the Pinewood Natural Healthcare Centre website that has a list of full services and products at http://www.pinewoodhealth.caor call our Toronto Office at (416)-656- 8100. We also have an office in Pickering, Ontario at (905)-427-0057. You can also email us at and we would be happy to answer any question that you have about any of the many services that we offer including weight loss homeopathy, and naturopathic services.



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