Russell, the only thing that I put in my smoothie is frozen berries and soy milk. Sometimes there is yogurt involved, but not always.
My typical smoothie is 3/4C frozen blackberries (I pick and freeze them myself in the summer) and 3/4C soy milk. That is 132 calories and 26 carbs. The cool, smooth, shake-like taste is a satisfying treat. For me, plain fruit juice is not much more satisfying than a glass of herbal tea and it isn't filling at all.
Yes, a smoothie is a bit of a carb splurge, but since I eat 100-125 G/day, I can often work this into my diet if I have planned well for the day. Plus it has a lot of fiber (the seeds do not break up in the blender), a bit of protein and lots of antioxidants. Overall, it is a pretty good nutritional deal. It can work as a snack, but it is also a nice breakfast.
These days my fasting blood sugar is 80 and my A1C is 5.1 I can have a smoothie once or twice a week and not do myself any damage at all, especially since I tend to burn 700-800 calories a day in exercise, pretty much every day of the week. I also tend not to eat any other fruit on days when I have smoothies--vegetables only. For a brittle diabetic, yes, too many smoothies could be a problem, especially if they were made with sugar or with higher-carb fruits. Certainly not all smoothies are healthy, but mine are fine for me.
For most people who are dieting who are not diabetic, smoothies can be healthy if done right. If making yourself a smoothie with berries and milk keeps you from splurging on something worse at home, or if it keeps you from going out and buying a chocolate milkshake--well, in that case the humble smoothie becomes a legitimate hero.
Azul - I agree with everything you said except for smoothies. I think that smoothies are unhealthy for the same reason that fruit juice is. You are taking sugar, and making it easier to digest. Yes, fruit is sugar. fructose. In small quantities, many fruits can be healthy, but many spike blood sugars.
A smoothie will spike blood sugars, whereas a cup of raspberries, which have a lot of fiber won't. I know everyone says.. but the fiber is still in the smoothie, right? It doesn't work that way though, and while it may sound good, just like fruit juice, smoothies cause glucose levels to climb, and Insulin to be released, which is not a good thing for you.
I think that cheese and some raspberries, or an apple, and some cheese or nuts can be healthy, but I think that our belief in things like smoothies being healthy, is a reason why we have so many diabetics.
Everything you would put in a smoothie, can be eaten in its natural state, and will not spike blood sugars as much. Smoothies are just another way that we take healthy food, and make it unhealthy, the same as fruit juice.
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