Lifestyle | Health & Wellness

Beware the Lure of the Smoothie

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Let’s Smooth Things Over

Smoothies might be the world’s most misunderstood food. Something about the word alone conjures an image of health and wellness – things you’re undoubtedly in search of if you’re on the low FODMAP diet.

But smoothies are not always the nutritious drink most people assume them to be.

green smoothie with strawberries

Now, I like drinking smoothies as much as the next person, especially in the summer months when a cool drink tastes extra refreshing. They’re yummy! And they can be a great, more nutritious way to fill a sweet/creamy craving than, say, ice cream.

But there’s a reality check that many of us need when it comes to smoothies. In a word: Portions.

Portion Control Rules

Think about it – if you put the ingredients of any smoothie on a plate and ate them, it would take you a while. Place in mouth, chew, swallow, start again. Whirl those same foods up in the blender, and you gulp them down in no time. As a result, the amount of food you’re taking in can be very misleading.

If you’re on a low FODMAP diet, you know the problem here. Plenty of foods can be OK in small amounts – but you increase the portion size, and you are suddenly in the “red” zone.

What’s more, if you order a nutritious-sounding smoothie on-the-go, you have little control of the ingredients. The banana may be super ripe and in large quantities (a low FODMAP no-no); the yogurt is unlikely to be lactose-free (so also not low FODMAP).

Smoothies can also pose problems for people not on low FODMAP diets, something I see all the time with clients in my nutrition counseling practice. For starters, your brain doesn’t register liquid calories in the same way it does solid ones that require chewing.

So it’s easy to take in excess calories and sugar when you’re sipping a smoothie – and you may not even feel satisfied from them!

Don’t get me wrong – smoothies can be delicious, nutritious, and even fit into a low FODMAP diet (like this yummy fruit & veggie one). But if you’re interested in eating well – and sticking to a low FODMAP diet – it’s crucial for you to know what you’re eating.

Healthy-sounding foods like smoothies are no excuse.

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