The Latest Green Smoothie Debate: Part 1 of 3
Somebody on the internet says they don’t recommend green smoothies because apparently the fiber is too broken down. And the fruit causes blood sugar to spike. Please prove them wrong so I can keep enjoying them.
Answer: We have gotten this question several times this week, via email, but with at least three different sources saying that. The three sources are Caldwell Esselstyn (one of my heroes), a nutritionist, and a new diet plan.
Every time something becomes wildly popular, like green smoothies have, there is eventually a backlash. This happens with everything, from science to religion to pop culture. Critics spring up and evaluate the original claims of a new product, trend, or habit. And through the free flow of information, the truth emerges, although many people are frustrated and become disillusioned before that occurs.
An example is that this week, Matthew forwarded me a link to a five-page New York Times article, as he often does, regarding the dangers of yoga, the serious injuries that can result. (My take-away, by the way, is not to push yourself in yoga class for the sake of your ego, or hold poses for long periods of time or do the uber-daring ones that push limits. I personally like to warm my muscles up with a little cardio before yoga, too.)
GSG reader Carly asked me to prove her source wrong saying that green smoothies are bad. I’m more likely to be able to do that than the doubters are, as I’ve not seen any data to support the idea that blending greens is not helpful—or even harmful.
My research with 175 green smoothie drinkers, published in The Green Smoothies Diet, shows 95.4% stating there was a noticeably positive impact on their health or quality of life, simply from drinking green smoothies regularly.
The top three health benefits reported were more energy (85%), improved digestion (79.5%), fewer cravings for sweets and processed foods (65%), more positive/stable mood (54%), weight loss (50%), and improvement in skin tone (50%).
If someone has real data on how fiber is “destroyed” in green smoothies, please point me to it. Matter can be neither created nor destroyed. The fiber didn’t go anywhere. The soluble fiber still turns to gel during digestion and slows digestion and impact on the blood sugar of the fruit (or other sugars you may eat with the meal). That soluble fiber binds to bile and removes it.
Insoluble fiber is blended, and could possibly be less effective at sweeping the GI tract, but it is still there, binding to bile increasing stool bulk.
More on this tomorrow.