Why I Don’t Eat Smoothie Bowls

October 6, 2016

Hey party peeps.  Look I am all for the “All Foods Fit” and “Healthy at Every Size” movements. But I am also for common sense.  As a seasoned RD, smoothie bowls are not the best idea for breakfast everyday for most folks. Yes, I know, you see all the darling, young, millennial dietitians on social media posting pictures of their beautiful smoothie bowls. Oh to be young again! You can consume all the sugar you want (naturally occurring sugar or otherwise!). I miss my 20s….can you tell?

In my 12+ years as a registered dietitian, I have seen a multitude of clients sabotage their weight loss goals with juices and smoothies. People perceive them as healthy, and drink the crap out of them. Most smoothies contain milk or milk alternative (I don’t like calling them milk substitutes as I don’t think they are. Milk and milk alternatives are two totally different beverages. As a nutrition professional, I cannot call almond milk a “milk substitute” as its nutrient profile is NOTHING like milk. Another topic for another time. For the record I love dairy and non-dairy.) I digress. Most smoothies call for ¾-1 cup milk or milk alternative, 1 cup frozen fruit, ½ cup fresh fruit (usually ½ a banana or sliced strawberries) and ice. Right now you are flirting between 200-250 calories. That’s before you add the trendy nut butter or trendy oil or seeds (I’m looking at you chia and hemp). And just like that we are now between 300-400 calories.

Here’s the 411 on smoothie bowls
Smoothie bowls are smoothies with toppings. Because why wouldn’t you add more sugar to sugar? You have just finished blending your smoothie and now it’s time for toppings! Popular toppings:
• Sliced bananas
• Coconut shreds
• Granola
• Honey
You guys. You are easily consuming well over 500 calories. If you add multiple toppings and eat the whole damn thing, you are now at 600+. Oh, and, it’s ALL sugar. Yes, naturally occurring sugar, but sugar nonetheless. So now you have high amounts of sugar in your blood stream, you are tired and you will be hungry in 2 hours. You see why I have a problem here.

I’d much rather you consume 1 apple (80 calories) with 2 Tbsp of peanut butter (200 ish calories). You will be so much fuller longer thanks to the fat and protein in that peanut butter and thanks to the fiber in the skin of your apple. And, all that chewing! We have lots of science that shows satiety when we chew our food (instead of drinking it).

Smoothie bowls are ok on occasion (remember, I like “All Foods Fit). Yes, smoothie bowls are quick, offer variety and are way to sneak fruits and veggies into your kiddo’s diets, but please be mindful of those calories and grams of sugar. And I definitely recommend sharing them with a friend. But if you are struggling to lose weight, take a look at those liquid calories like juices and smoothies. It’s amazing how quickly they can add up.  #followscience #nottrends

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