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Fruit Smoothie = "Bad for You"

After reading the pizza thread, I had to post is. The other day I told a friend of mine that I had a Smoothie for breakfast. She looked at me askance and said "You'll be so disappointed to know how bad that is for you. All that sugar and calories!" I explained that what I had was just fruit blended with ice. No sweetener. She insisted I was wrong. And this comes from a woman who works out regularly and watches her diet carefully.

I did the math and my smoothie was under 300 calories. How could anyone think that was bad for me?

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  1. Tell your friend to go pound salt. She's just plain wrong.
    She may be confusing it with "Juicing" which is not really a particularly healthful thing (since in that process one is separating the sugars from the beneficial fibre found in fruits and veggies).

    But a 300 calorie smoothie made from whole fruits and even some veggies added is most assuredly _not_ a bad thing since you're getting the all of the natural fiber in the drink. It's even better if you add in an appropriate amount of egg white or whey protein to balance things out (experts are now discouraging the use of soy protein due to health concerns attached to soy products). Adding some protein to it practically makes it a meal.
    I like my morning smoothies with strawberries, some blueberries, a handful or two of fresh spinach, and some protein added.

    1 Reply
    1. re: The Professor

      The only thing "bad" for you here is listening to friends like that one. Sugar is not "bad" for you. Calories are not "bad" for you. But remember (if you ARE counting calories) that a 300-calorie smoothie is just that. Just because you drink your calories rather than chew them doesn't give them any less impact on the total number you consume. If those 300 calories for breakfast can get you through to lunch, I think you made a good choice.

    2. She's right about it not being healthy, if it had no protein or fat to sustain a steady level of blood sugar over the course of hours. Adding some protein in the form of powder supplement or Greek yogurt or eggs would make it a healthier meal, if the fruit sugar levels aren't too high. Berries are a great choice. Just fruit and water is kind of a sugar bomb, low calories or not.

      27 Replies
      1. re: mcf

        But not everyone needs protein in the morning. Some people prefer to have it for lunch and dinner. You don't really need protein at every meal unless you have blood sugar issues. And everyone gets enough protein if they're getting enough calories. Inadequate protein is only a problem in those who don't get enough calories, at least in developed nations.

        1. re: Isolda

          We're just working from different information, I guess.

          1. re: mcf

            Actually I'd say you're not working from information at all, but your OWN set of food prejudices. One more time boys and girls: There is no such thing as a food that is innately healthful or not healthful. Not meat. Not salt. Not sugar. Not fat. Not peanuts or seafood or carbs. Eat everything -- -preferably in smaller portions and realizing that if you have the gooey chocolate cake tonight, maybe no dessert tomorrow and a simple salad for lunch.

            Honestly. For this site to have been founded to celebrate good food, there is some borderline food phobia that happens here on a regular basis.

            1. re: jmckee

              I work strictly from peer reviewed, research and personal experience that follows.

          2. re: Isolda

            so if i eat 2000 calories in bagels and apples and dark chocolate today, i'm getting enough protein? your statement, taken at face value, cannot be correct.

            1. re: danna

              It's based on a typical diet. Most people don't eat the diet you just cited, and neither do you. But if you did, you'd last maybe a day or two, then start feeling bad enough to want something healthy, such as meat or cheese.

              I suggest you look up kwashiorkor, or protein-calorie deficiency, for some more info. If you're not too thin, you're getting enough protein.

              Honestly, a lot of these posts entitled "Is _______ unhealthy?" are ridiculous. Why? because nutritionists look at your diet over the course of a week, not a single day, and certainly not a single meal. Everyone has days where their nutrition isn't complete, but if they were to examine it over a 7 day period, would find they had plenty of protein.

              There are plenty of nutrients Americans really are deficient in, such as fiber, but protein is not among them.

              1. re: Isolda

                Actually, if you read the plethora of research cited by Gary Taubes, you find that the most obese folks are often the most malnourished. Obesity or normal weight does not signify adequate nutrition.

                1. re: mcf

                  Correct. But we're talking about one nutrient here, protein. Few people, even fat ones, are defient in that. It's true, though that fat people need more protein than thin ones because they actually have more lean muscle mass to fuel. (Sounds backwards, but they have more mass period.)

                  1. re: Isolda

                    Clearly, we're working from very different information.

                  2. re: mcf

                    I am a great fan of Gary Taubes! His book "Why we get fat" was a eye opener for me. I felt as if the cobwebs of misinformation, growing for decades, just fell away.

                  3. re: Isolda

                    oh yeah, I agree with you as to the typical diet, and the American population as a whole. But on an individual level, there's a lot of middle ground between getting the optimal amount of protein to support healthy muscles, etc. and full blown kwashiorkor!

                    One of the incidents that made me pay attention to this issue, was when one of my friends, who is a very successful athlete, tried to go from "regular vegetarian" (dairy and eggs) to vegan. She had to switch back after 3 weeks, she couldn't support her training...and she's a PhD, so absolutely smart enough to figure out the best way to feed herself. She wasn't too thin...but she also wasn't getting enough protein.

                    1. re: danna

                      I think we've really wandered from the topic. I don't think the OP is facing protein deficiency, but any meal that's metabolically sugar and water causes deleterious effects that make it a not healthful meal due to the influence of protein on healthier metabolism. Fat is important, too.

                      My daughter tried vegetarianism several years ago, supplementing with enough protein powder, tempeh, tofu, beans and eggs to get over 100 grams of protein per day. She became so weak over the course of a month that she had to go back to eating meat. It's not just how much protein, it's quality of source that matters, in terms of how it's used in one's body.

                  4. re: danna

                    Here is some education from a soon to be PhD

                    Smoothies, like the ones homemade (peel and freeze a banana, blend with fresh berries, add unsweetend vanilla almond milk) are fantastic for you!
                    Yes, you are getting sugar, but it a natural sugar one that your body needs and processes properly.
                    Juicing is not bad for you! Yes, you are missing out on some of the fiber and a miniscule percentage of vitamins compared to what you will end up drinking. Add juice as a meal replacement and you will see you will have no problem being regular.
                    In regards to the "2000 calories in bagels and apples and dark chocolate" I don't see any protein in there, just a tone of sugar, and not the good kind, the kind that attached to your belly and hips.
                    After a year out of the military my husband put on thirty pounds so about a month ago I changed up his diet.
                    Either a protein shake or smoothie in the morning
                    3 out of his 5 work days he has to pack a lunch, the other 2 he can hit whatever drive through or restaurant he wants as long as he has no potatoes or corn
                    Finally the only thing he can have after 7pm is juice, that he juices

                    He still gets two full meals and a snack in addition to a smoothie/protein shake and then juice. He spends an hour at the gym every other day, mostly messing around I'm sure and is down 17lbs

                    1. re: chelsearae

                      Sugar is sugar is sugar. Starch is sugar, metabolically. Sugars from juicing are metabolically, about as bad a thing as one can do nutritionally and metabolically.

                      1. re: mcf

                        How shocking that the spike in obesity and diabetes coincides exactly with the rise in consumption of low-fat, high-carb diet foods by the "Health-conscious" sugar obsessed Amerrican public.

                        1. re: mcf

                          Not true. Everything in moderation and how fast it is absorbed by your body. Your body and brain NEED sugar.

                          1. re: blazeaglory

                            The brain has a glucose requirement that is very small when ketones are present, which it prefers. Glucose comes from protein.

                            But in a healthier, gradual release pattern.

                            Even endurance athletes adapt with no loss in performance in 3 weeks on a ketogenic diet.

                      2. re: Isolda

                        He is not saying to eat the protein becuase the person is lacking protein...He is saying to ADD protein to the fruit to allow the sugar to be absorbed more slowy into your body.

                        Eating blended whole fruits breaks down the fiber and allows for the sugar to be absorbed into your liver much more quickly then if you had eaten the fruit whole. Adding protein slows down the digestion of the sugar.

                        1. re: blazeaglory

                          I don't think it slows it down, but it does prevent a glucose spike by eliciting a strong, sustained insulin response instead of a fast gusher followed by a crash.

                      3. re: mcf

                        My deal is that it I try to eat much in the way of protein or fat before I'm vertical for a couple of hours, I end up with an upset stomach the rest of the day. My max limit for breakfast protein is whatever is in a white flour bagel or couple of bread rolls and maybe a tablespoon of spreadable cheese.

                        The idea of protein power, greek yogurt, or eggs going into a perfectly nice all fruit-no added sugar breakfast smoothie makes me want to vomit.

                        1. re: beachmouse

                          Sounds like you may have gastroparesis. A bagel or an all fruit breakfast is a pure sugar meal, basically.

                          1. re: mcf

                            I've always been that way. My childhood breakfasts were mostly a can of Campbell's chicken noodle soup (which maybe had a teaspoon of chicken bits in it) or buttered toast because Mom couldn't get me to eat much else before school.

                            1. re: beachmouse

                              Wow, that's an inauspicious beginning for someone destined to be a chowhound, dontcha think?? ;-)

                              1. re: mcf

                                These days, I'm up to 'artisan' jam and a tiny bit of spreadable brie on my morning breakfast roll, and washing it down with a can of coca cola. The serious fun of eating starts around 11am when my tummy's ready to handle just about anything.

                          2. re: beachmouse

                            Simple solution--don't eat breakfast. I'm never hungry first thing in the morning. If you're not hungry, don't eat.

                            1. re: beachmouse

                              If I ate/drank that smoothie for breakfast without something to balance it I'd be hypoglycemic long before lunch... fruit by itself does not equal a 'meal' to my body.

                          3. It is no less healthy than a piece of fruit. I agree with a previous poster that some protein would make it better, as I would be hungry too soon otherwise, but there is nothing inherently wrong with your smoothie. I would say perhaps your friend was talking about most commercially available smoothies, but you explained otherwise to her.

                            1. It was one meal out of three I had that day. The other two had plenty of protein.

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: mojoeater

                                It's not about protein deficiency overall, it's about the metabolic effects of any meal or snack without protein to balance the effects of sugar.

                                1. re: mcf

                                  When I eat fruit, I don't get any sort of sugar high or crash the way one does when eating a candy bar or cake. One of the reasons I don't like desserts is the crappy sugar feeling. Fruit does not effect me that way. I cannot see where eating a banana requires drinking milk or eating yogurt too.

                                  1. re: mojoeater

                                    I don't want to wander off of chow and into metabolic science and endocrinology here. If you want to, you can look it up, and if you don't, hey, whatever floats yer boat is fine with me.
                                    All of the research I've done, along with my personal experiences says your friend was right, it's not a healthy meal. If you aren't concerned about that, it's fine by me. :-)

                                    1. re: mcf

                                      I'm with mcf. I tend to think most of us just don't listen to our bodies carefully enough to know when our insulin levels are wonky, because most of us aren't diabetic/diagnosed insulin resistant and paying close attention. I am walking the line away from insulin resistance myself, and have done a TON of reading lately, and by all accounts, liquified fruit is not a healthy breakfast option. Fiber or no fiber, it's sugar you can drink. Fruit sugar, milk sugar, brown sugar, whatever, it's all sugar. Try kicking the sugar habit for a couple of months and then drink that fruit smoothie, and tell me you can't feel it.

                                      If you're not so worried about your blood sugar, now or in the future, or how you're teaching your body to burn or store fuel, go crazy. A lot of us are not that fortunate. I've been doing a food diary for a while now, just to get a sense of my macronutrient intake, and know I know that I can carrot and sweet pepper myself right into carb-land. I'd rather save those carbs for ice cream, myself. Mmm, ice cream.

                                    2. re: mojoeater

                                      I think the main difference is that with the fruit you have fibre to offset the sugar. While I am sure some people feel off if they just have fruit, no protein, I agree that I don't get the crash with fruit.

                                      Yet another way one-size-fits-all pretty much never does.

                                      1. re: CanadaGirl

                                        I test my blood sugar after eating meals; I've never found any difference in timing a rise from naturally occurring food fiber in over a decade of testing.

                                        1. re: mcf

                                          So is there no difference in your blood sugar between eating a piece of fruit or a piece of candy or a glass of juice?

                                          1. re: CanadaGirl

                                            I don't drink juice or eat candy, but I eat a lot of things with a lot of fiber and some things with little fiber. My glucose peak is the same time after eating either way.

                                2. People who tell other people that X that they ate is bad for them are not friends.

                                  1. Healthy, or not healthy, aside, my one problem with smoothies is that it is an easier vehicle for people to eat more fruit than they normally would.

                                    The process of chewing and actually swallowing slows us down and signals to our brains that we are reaching a satiety point. With a fruit smoothie, this is more easily bypassed.

                                    Now, I am not saying that eating lots of fruit is bad for you.

                                    But because it is much easier to consume (for example) 4 oranges and 2 apples in a smoothie than it is when eating the fruit whole, as is, smoothies make it easier for people to overeat, and to over consume calories. Not to mention the fiber and vitamins you miss out with the apple skins.

                                    The problem is even worse with juice, even fresh squeezed ones.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      Or, it's a good vehicle for people to get fruit that they may not normally get. I am not a fruit eater but love a good smoothie made with with fruit, yogurt, and juice or milk. Gets me a serving or two of fruit and a balanced meal in the morning when I hate to eat.

                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                        We make a smoothie most mornings WITH THE FRUIT SKINS. I hope this makes a difference. We don't believe in peeling anything that doesn't require peeling.

                                      2. It depends on your definition of healthy, as is pretty clear from the answers you are getting here. You can do better, but you could do much worse. You are getting fiber and nutrients, better than juice or Jamba Juice or most pre-packaged smoothies. Personally, I would throw in some kale, nuts and maybe some protein powder to round it out and carry me through lunch. That, however, boosts calories, so if you're counting, you would need to make adjustments elsewhere.

                                        1. Eat what you know is good for you. You don't have to argue with anyone else about how any food YOU eat is good or bad for YOU; no need to justify your thinking or hers. Your smoothie for breakfast would have been bad for me because there were only 300 calories, I need at least double that and with a lot of protein (eggs, milk, yogurt, smoked fish, even meat sometimes if I'm out of other protein sources).

                                          1. Do you feel energetic, able to do what you need to do before lunch? Are you at what you feel is your natural weight? Do you enjoy your smoothie? If so, what you are doing is probably healthy for YOU.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: magiesmom

                                              I feel awful if I eat too much in the morning. The idea of eating eggs within that first couple hours of waking is nauseating to me. I can handle maybe a smoothie, maybe a granola bar, maybe a banana. I used to just not eat until lunch. Over the last year or so I have been kinda forcing myself to have something, anything in the morning. I still have to wait until about 2 hours after getting up.

                                              1. re: mojoeater

                                                I have learned that i am usually not hungry for a couple of hours in the morning. I eat when I get hungry and I eat what i am hungry for. works for me.

                                                1. re: magiesmom

                                                  I also do not like to eat the first couple of hours. I currently do black coffee from my Moka pot and a light string cheese. I prefer light string cheeses for some reason, the texture is better. It is the only light product I buy though.

                                            2. Even if you only had 8 ounces of Orange Juice, at 122 calories, you'd also be consuming 30.3 grams of carbs, of which 29.5 are sugar.


                                              It takes about five small oranges to make one cup of juice. The fiber consumed by eating that way would be better.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Cathy

                                                A perfect example of the point I was making earlier in the thread!

                                              2. Basically, what you're having for breakfast is 300 calories worth of fruit, plus a drink of water. That doesn't sound too bad to me for a breakfast. A low protein breakfast is not going to break you, if you are getting your protein needs during the rest of the day.

                                                However, fruit smoothies frequently show up in configurations that are a lot less healthy than the people drinking them think. A fruit smoothie made at home, from fruit, milk and a bit of sweetener, can be somewhere around 200-400 calories, not bad for a breakfast. A smoothie from a coffee shop can hit 500-600 calories, which is starting to get pretty high for a breakfast. Assuming a 2000 calorie a day diet that's over 1/4 of your total food intake.

                                                That's assuming a smoothie is a meal. If you're drinking a smoothie as a *beverage*, then you start to get into unexpectedly scary territory. A home-made 300 calorie smoothie as a beverage is more like drinking a large coke, calorie wise. A 500 calorie coffee shop smoothie as a beverage is the kind of thing you do occasionally, rather than a daily thing.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                                  I think you are onto a good point. Commercial fruit smoothies are loaded with sugar and other stuff, but marketed as a "healthy" beverage.

                                                  I have been doing bananas, peanut butter, and almond milk a lot in the mornings when it is hot. Sometimes, I will throw some strawberries in too. Protein, vitamins and a reasonable amount of calories too.

                                                  1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                                    I think the best point you made there is the diff between a smoothie as a beverage vs. a meal replacement. I've had people tell me my PowerBars are too caloric. Well, yeah, if I were eating them for snacks, but as a meal (generally breakfast) their 220 calories w/ 8 grms of complete protein.

                                                    BTW, you mentioned coffee shop smoothies...I find it's the smoothie store ones that are SO high calorie. A Starbucks Vivanno smoothy has 270 cal and 18 grms of protein. Hard to beat, IMO. I had one yesterday when I didn't have time to eat a real meal.

                                                    1. re: danna

                                                      I don't think the Starbucks smoothies are very representative of coffee shop smoothies. Most are not much more than a glorified milkshake.

                                                  2. All things are bad for you, all things are good for you.....common sense, folks.

                                                    1. I make a smoothie for lunch a couple times a week with1/2 of a cup of zero fat yogurt, half a banana, some frozen berries and mango chunks and a quarter of an apple, unpeeled. I don't understand how that could be "bad for me."

                                                      1. I think it was wrong to say it wasn't healthy. It was healthy, just not BALANCED. For many people, a breakfast like that would cause a sugar spike, which you said you don't get, which makes you really, really hungry in like an hour. I put protein powder in my smoothies because otherwise, I'm starving shortly after the full feeling goes away. And any juice/smoothie should not replace more than 1 serving of your fruit per day. If you were having 3 smoothies a day, that would be unhealthy.

                                                        I'm more worried about your calcium here than the protein, if you don't seem to miss it. Nothing here for your bones. Calcium supplement? Fruit alone is just not much of a meal IMO. But it's not unhealthy.

                                                        6 Replies
                                                        1. re: rockandroller1

                                                          If the entire fruit is in the smoothie, why should it matter if all your fruit is in the smoothie? The nutrients don't disappear just because it is all cut up. Why the no more than one serving of fruit in a serving?

                                                          1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                            The nutrients DO disappear if you peel the fruit to put it in the smoothie, which you have to do with, say, an apple. That's a considerable loss of fiber. There's less fiber in orange juice than in an orange - you just can't blend up and eat all that pulp that's in a natural orange. These are just a couple of examples, but I've always heard that it's too much sugar and not enough naturally occurring fiber if you have your fruit from juice for more than 1 of your fruit servings per day. For example:

                                                            1. re: rockandroller1

                                                              But you are talking about juicing, not smoothies. I'll agree that an apple would have to be peeled first and would lose some nutrients, but the fibre would still remain. But most fruit can go in whole. I've added whole oranges to smoothies many times with no problems; in fact, they contribute quite a bit of moisture. As long as the entire fruit goes in, there is nutritionally no difference between the blended fruit and the non-blended fruit.

                                                              1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                Pretty close to agreeing with you, but I think you get more fiber (and burn a few more calories) chewing a food than just pureeing it. And many smoothies require juicing.
                                                                Even if we did agree on that, it's still not nutritionally balanced, that's my point. I agree it's not "bad for you," but it wont' last very long in most people as it's all sugar.

                                                                1. re: rockandroller1

                                                                  We are going to have to agree to disagree on the fibre issue.

                                                                  But I agree that a smoothie of just fruit is not a balanced meal and would bit keep most people, me included, satisfied for long. But, I also do not believe that every meal needs to be nutritionally balanced. As long as you have covered all the bases by the end of the day, I think that's fine.

                                                                  1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                    And on that, we agree as well. I would say we're pretty close to complete agreement! Thx for the discussion!

                                                        2. She sounds like one of those knowitall joykillers who by some twisted, anal-retentive logic probably deprives herself of anything delicious and wants you to jump into her misery pool.

                                                          Ack. Run, don't walk.

                                                          7 Replies
                                                          1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                            OR... you could just not worry about it. Think about how many of your friends give you TERRIBLE advice on restaurants. The world is full of people with crappy taste in food, and apparently is full of people clueless about the nutrition aspects as well. You just have to let it roll off ;-)

                                                            1. re: danna

                                                              I getcher point, danna. But in my experience, there's big difference in the general easy to get along withness of people who enthusiastically talk about food they love, even if it's something I might not like, and the often tiresome type-A, fat/calorie-counting anal retentiveness of people who can't seem to keep their joyless eating practices to themselves.

                                                              Admittedly, they are no more exhausting than the imperious gourmands who think they're the arbiters of good culinary taste and constantly feel the need to insult other peoples' food choices.

                                                              I guess for me a lot depends on whether the OP asked for a nutritional assessment of their smoothie, but it seemed for some reason that they didn't.

                                                              1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                I agree with you. I avoid those people, too, esp people who think you can't have a piece of fruit for breakfast (which is basically what the OP had) because, oh, horrrors! it doesn't contain PROTEIN! Call the diet police!

                                                                Every other sane, rational person is welcome to join me for some avocado on toast or perhaps some melon, which is what I'll be eating in the morning.

                                                                1. re: Isolda

                                                                  The OP said she had under 300 calories.

                                                                  It's not "a" piece of fruit. The OP said she had 'less than 300 calories'.

                                                                  One orange has 60 calories. One Cup of orange juice is 122 calories. (That is juice from at least two large oranges.)

                                                                  Once cup of grapes has 62 calories, but a cup of grape juice has 170 calories. (3 Cups of grapes.)

                                                                  Would the OP eat two oranges and three cups of grapes for breakfast? If so, then the smoothie is the same thing. Otherwise, it is very, very different.

                                                                  1. re: Cathy

                                                                    Good grief. Most of the calories in my smoothies come from bananas. A banana has over 100 calories. Then a handful of strawberries. Let's say 70 calories. Then a couple of slices of papaya and some ice. So I was being safe in saying "under 300 calories."

                                                                    My lunch was a salad with grilled chicken. My dinner involved red meat and more veggies. I ate well that day and probably got most if not all of the nutrients I need in a day.

                                                                    1. re: mojoeater

                                                                      Thank you for finally clarifying. If you had mentioned that at the beginning, half of this thread would not have happened.

                                                                      A "smoothie" made of those few ingredients isn't bad; It's just a small amount of blended fruit. 2 servings of fruit.

                                                                      If your friend did not know these facts either, then she was presuming the way I had.

                                                                      1. re: Cathy

                                                                        My OP clearly stated it was just fruit blended with ice. How was that not clear?

                                                          2. healthy versus unhealthy is something I have learned to keep to myself, lol

                                                            1. if you put yogurt in the smoothie it has protein and calcium

                                                              1. many people opine on things about which they have no knowledge or are sadly misinformed -- or worse, brainwashed. and these things are not limited to food opinions. LOL. or cry out loud.

                                                                in brief, to answer your question "How could anyone think that was bad for me?": they are dummies!

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. I think a homemade smoothie is a great breakfast. I make mine with whole fruits (if I add apple, I don't peel), ice, and plain full fat yogurt (about 1/4 cup). No sugar or any other sweetener. If I'm too busy for that, I eat some yogurt, and then some fruit, and then lunch.

                                                                  When I stick to that breakfast routine, it really helps me lose weight and stay full enough in the morning. The only other (what I consider very healthy and filling...I also love pancakes, waffles, all american breakfasts except eggs. no eggs for me.) breakfast for me is black beans and rice, a bit of bacon, and some fresh fruit. This is for super active days (4 hours of early morning surfing, 100mi bike ride, etc).

                                                                  I think whatever your body likes is good for you. No-one has the perfect answer for nutrition. Everyone is different. If you feel good, resting and active, then your diet is fine.

                                                                  1. I just want to know what she would have said if you said, "I had fruit x, y and z." I think she's just a know-it-all.

                                                                    The only way I can say that something is "bad for you" is if, and only if, I have a good idea of your entire diet and level of activity. Without that, which is "seeing the entire picture," it's impossible to make a proper critique. You say, "I don't eat breakfast." Maybe you ate a big dinner or whatever. If you're not tired and the rest works out, good for you. You say, "I ate this, that, some more of this and some more of that for a 1k+ breakfast." Maybe you workout in morning and eat a early and lite dinner. If it balances out and it works for you, good for you.

                                                                    Your entire lifestyle matters. The fact that she doesn't realize this simple fact, and yet is so willing to proclaim what she "knows," just reflects her level of understanding.

                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                    1. re: ediblover

                                                                      But would you ever actually tell someone their diet was unhealthy, even if you did have the whole picture? I knew a few obese people, and their diet/exercise pattern is obviously bad, but I'd never dream of telling them so.

                                                                      1. re: Isolda

                                                                        Unsolicited? Never. I don't even tell smokers to quit. It's your life; if it makes you happy, good for you. Unless it directly affects me (please don't smoke around me), it's not my place. If it's a discussion and opinions/feedbacks are solicited... Well, that's a tough one. To me, just saying, "Oh, you should eat this and do that and..." is just garbage, because it's more about making yourself feel better than helping someone. Going shopping with them, being in the kitchen with them, working out with them, actually helping them is the thing to do. But, am I willing to put in all that time and energy into being their health buddy? Sometimes I am, other times I am not.

                                                                        But, I rarely get into health conversations in life. It's funny, because sometimes I actually cause silence on the topic. I'm fit. I walk into a place in workout clothing. There's the usual health nonsense/banter going on. I order something perceived as being unhealthy. Silence.

                                                                        Back on the topic, outside of knowing a person's lifestyle, the only way you can say something is unhealthy is if you make a generalization/assumption of the 2k calorie intake. That is, going by assumption that the average person needs about 2k calories a day. So, you assume 3 meals a day. Going by that, a meal that has more than 1/3 the calories you need in a day can qualify as being unhealthy, because of the assumption that the person will over-consume. Less than that, not really. You can always, quite easily, eat more later on. Eating less or using up the excess calories are the hard part.

                                                                        1. re: Isolda

                                                                          WHY NOT? How about hey, you're killing yourself? Oh wait, that got me fired from my serving job when I was a sophomore in college. To be fair no one needs to eat that much Chili's...

                                                                          1. re: chelsearae

                                                                            You're lucky you were fired and not just killed on the spot. ;-)

                                                                          2. re: Isolda

                                                                            I know a LOT of obese people who eat low carb, low calorie, clean diets and gain weight from exercise. Cushing's syndrome. It's extreme, but hypothyroid, HGH deficient folks also may have very healthy diets yet be clinically obese through no fault of their own. Being labeled as lazy/gluttonous/weak, etc... It's not so obvious from their appearance how good their diet/exercise habits are.

                                                                        2. Imbalanced meals are bad for you. Period. You may not notice the sugar spike and crash now but as you age it will become more apparent. And we don't bounce back the same as we age. It's important to balance carbs, fat and protein in proper proportions, regardless of caloric intake. Calories from fruit are good but require the fat/protein balance if you want your body to work optimally. Obviously we're all different and have different goals and caloric intake but there are generalities that you can start from to find your own optimal.

                                                                          Relative to fast food, sure Sidekicks are better but not good. So, yes, relative to a PopTart, your fruit smoothie was better. If I had a fruit only smoothie or a poptart for breakfast I'd go into a diabetic coma before 10am... So it ain't good at all fo' me ;)

                                                                          I don't peel anything that goes in my smoothies, except yams and stuff that'd get peeled anyway. Nuts/seeds or yogurt can add the fat and protein that would balance your sugar beverage and gain your friend's approval.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Weheartfood

                                                                            As long as my diet is balanced throughout the rest of the day, a smoothie is just fine. I'm over 40 and don't get a sugar rush from fruit. I also don't eat a lot of high fat foods or sweets. I have no interest in gaining anyone's approval.

                                                                          2. So it sounds like most of the responses are based on personal opinion here and not fact. If you are diabetic. Then it could be bad as it will mess with your blood sugar levels depending on your daily numbers, for example one cup of apple juice has 110 calories and 26 grams of sugar. Drinking straight up grape juice has been linked to a precursor to insallin deficiency. A can of pop holds just as much sugar. What you have to keep. In mind is anything over done is bad for you regardless. So my motto. Is go ahead and enjoy what you like as long as it is natural and not man made like sucrose. And have it in moderation with a balanced diet. I am not talking out of my butt here there is plenty of research to support my claim. I should also know because I dodged the diabetic bullet researching this question of fruit versus other drinks.

                                                                            11 Replies
                                                                            1. re: AnonomousChef

                                                                              You are somewhat correct but the OP never stated he was diabetic or mentioned anything about diabetes. Also, drinking soda is bad for you for the very reason I mention above. The sugar, or fructose, will hit your liver and absorb into you body all at once as compared to eating a whole fruit and letting it absorb slowly an, preferable, at lower amounts. The soda will also not fill you up as fast as whole fruit so you can drink more of them faster. It is fact, look it up

                                                                              I am a nutritionist who has helped many many people lose weight and maintain a BMI healthy for my height by eating fruits and veggies in whole and smoothie while also eating fat and meat. I speak from fact.

                                                                              1. re: blazeaglory

                                                                                You're a nutritionist and you believe our bodies and brains need fructose????!?!!

                                                                                For reals?

                                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                                  So you advise leaving out fruis completely? Now I get why I never bother doing any research on these diet fads. Even the pros disagree on the key things, I don't know what to believe in.

                                                                                  1. re: pearlyriver

                                                                                    I don't speak for mcf, but there is a big difference between pointing out that fructose is not in any way an essential part of the diet (which is true - if you eat zero protein or zero fat, you will die; if you eat zero fructose, nothing happens) and saying that fresh fruit in reasonable quantities is bad for you.

                                                                                    1. re: pearlyriver

                                                                                      No, I just know that fruits are not required. I eat small amounts of berries in season or a bite sized piece or two of other fruits.

                                                                                      1. re: pearlyriver

                                                                                        Believe in your body---not what people tell you. When my husband, a Type II diabetic was leaving the hospital after a stroke (he had undiagnosed afib), he had mandatory visits from nutritionists who urged that he eat breakfasts of pancakes with sugar-free syrup, oatmeal, and whole-grain cereals. To say that these breakfasts would hurt him would be an understatement.

                                                                                        While for some people, what blazeaglory suggests is true---it's better to eat bunch of grapes and an apple than to drink a glass of fruit juice--my husband's body reacts in the *same way* to the sugars in both forms.

                                                                                        For my husband, leaving out most fruits from his diets (except small citrus, berries, and some melon) is advisable. For you, maybe not. But it's not a fad for us--its a lifestyle we live to keep him healthy.

                                                                                    2. re: blazeaglory

                                                                                      I am not sure of the exact numbers estimated in fact it depends on the web site you go to but there are a significant number of people who have type 1 and type 2 without even knowing it. According to http://www.diabetes.org/ fruits can be part of your diet but without knowing if you have diabetes you have to be careful which fruits you eat to avoid raising your blood glucose levels. If you are positive you do not have diabetes then you may not have to worry as much but as you get older the risks get higher or easier to become diabetic. That was the point I was making. As for your BMI the latest research choose that this is now becoming a misnomer. There is research in Europe and the US that has shown the old school of thinking where height and mass are measured and thus divided to get your ideal weight numbers has become unrealistic. This now known as the Individual's ideal body weight which takes into account other measurements that the BMI chart does not therefore become a realistic weight expectation when those factors are taken into consideration. I m an example of this, I have been told that my height of 5.11" with my present weight of 220lbs makes me overweight on the BMI chart, but I went to a sports clinic used by a professional NHL Team and they told me based on their Individual Ideal Body Weight Chart was 220lbs so I am at my ideal weight. This was also proven as we worked together to set up an exercise program with a daily diet menu. If I need to explain this further for you then you should go back to school. I have been in the Food and Beverage Industry for 30 years, I have helped Cancer patients with controlled dietary programs that have helped them prolong their quality of life.

                                                                                      1. re: AnonomousChef

                                                                                        Fruit should not be a significant or frequent part of any diabetic's diet. Much better to find non industry funded sources for diabetic info, the ADA and AHA are knee deep in bad advice and corporate money, just like the dietetics assn.

                                                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                                                          Not sure what you are saying here as I read my research from http://www.diabetes.org/ and various other well renowned web sites. Also I have relatives with Diabetes and have helped them live healthy for the past 30 years. Fruits are a part of the diet but some fruits are higher in fructose then others and are best avoided. This comment is based on a Diabetic who avoids daily insulin shots as a result of a good diet.

                                                                                          1. re: AnonomousChef

                                                                                            I have controlled my diabetes in very low normal numbers since 1998 or so with diet alone. Reversed long standing kidney and nerve damage. No meds, rarely above 110-120 an hour after eating, down to 100 at two hours.

                                                                                            I don't read predigested advice, I read and analyze the original research, first on my own.

                                                                                            This is the single tool I believe any diabetic needs in order to reach optimal control and health using their own highly individual results:


                                                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                                                              I think we talk the same language. My Father - in - law and I both control Diabetes with diet, no pills etc. At the end of the day listen to your body!

                                                                                  2. Quantity is also relevant. I often make smoothies for me and my kids in the AM: Whole milk kefir, a frozen banana, and a handful of mixed berries, plus a sprinkle of cinnamon. Split 3 ways, it is about 6-8 ounces per person and is served with scrambled eggs.

                                                                                    I'd ignore the friend's comments.

                                                                                    1. Fruit smoothie is not bad for you. But it would be better for you if you added a hint of protein.

                                                                                      1. fiber, vitamins, and unprocessed natural sugars + hydration as fruit are mostly water... anybody who tells you this is "bad" for you reads too much and thinks too little about nutrition and human health.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: JTPhilly

                                                                                          All the calories come from sugar.

                                                                                        2. I had a friend who, after her husband died suddenly, couldn't keep anything down for two months but smoothies made out of yogurt and fresh fruit and she survived and did not appear to be malnourished.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: Querencia

                                                                                            Yogurt has protein; when I made smoothies, Greek yogurt was the basis of mine, with small amounts of frozen fruit and water.

                                                                                          2. "And this comes from a woman who works out regularly and watches her diet carefully."

                                                                                            And is obviously obsessed with food as a "bad for you" item.

                                                                                            1. I posted this link earlier from a famous endocrinologist/author in reply to a post about HFCS. it is a link to an interview he did on NPR last year. In it he talks about fiber being pulverized in a juicer ans losing most of its beneficial properties. Maybe it the same in a blender? This is the first time I've ever heard of this theory. I'm always suspicious of experts with an agenda like selling a book.


                                                                                              1. That smoothie could be a lot healthier if you popped in some baby spinach and ground flax seeds, but to her point all sugar isn't the same, at least from what I've read.

                                                                                                Fructose in fruit isn't as bad as sucrose, plus you're getting tons of antioxidants and most of the fiber if you're not juicing and rather using a blender which is much better.

                                                                                                Finally, there is one watch out, you don't want to go bananas (no pun intended) with smoothies. Your jaw needs exercise and smoothies for every meal for too long could be bad for your teeth especially if you sip them and slosh them around a bit. ;)

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: dndicicco

                                                                                                  Isolated, the fructose in fruit is worse for you, metabolically speaking, than glucose is. Sucrose (table sugar) is a disaccharide made of glucose and fructose joined by a weak bond that typically breaks early in the digestive process. It should be noted that most fruit contains sugars besides fructose anyway.

                                                                                                  Fruit isn't better for you than pure table sugar because fructose is better for you than sucrose - that's both misleading (for the reasons stated above) and incorrect given current research into the metabolism of different sugars. Rather, whole fruit is better for you than pure table sugar because fruit contains a number of other substances that are quite beneficial, whereas sugar is just sugar.

                                                                                                  1. re: dndicicco

                                                                                                    Fructose is worse for you than sucrose because it promotes insulin resistance more strongly than sucrose. It elevates triglycerides more, too, the single lipid found most related to heart disease. It's used to induce diabetes in experimental rats instead of sucrose for that reason.