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Solo Health

Smoothies not so nutritious?

smoothiesIf the boom years saw us drink cappuccinos, lattes and mochas like there was no tomorrow, they also saw us embrace the concept of the smoothie as more and more people chose to drink these rather than simply eating fresh fruit. Now it turns out that some three in four people overestimate the nutritional benefit of smoothies.
According to a new report from safeood, 74 per cent of Irish people overestimate the nutritional benefit of these drinks and assume that they contribute more than one portion of fruit and vegetables per day. “Vegetable or fruit smoothies only count as one portion a day, regardless of how many you drink,” said safefood’s Dr Cliodhna Foley-Nolan. “This is because smoothie ingredients contain less fibre than their whole fruit or vegetable equivalents,”
Just three per cent of consumers correctly identified smoothies as providing just one portion of fruit and vegetables, while ten per cent estimated two portions and 26 per cent estimated three portions. Meanwhile, 17 per cent estimated four portions, 14 per cent estimated five portions, and seven per cent estimated five or more portions of fruit per smoothie.
“Consumers should try to include a wide variety of fruit and vegetables in their daily diet, in addition to smoothies,” said Dr Foley-Nolan. “Those smoothie varieties made with milk and yogurt can also contribute to daily dairy intake.”
The report also revealed that smoothies are popular, with almost one-third of smoothie-drinkers consuming them between two and five times a week. Consumption is highest among students (64 per cent) and those aged under 35 (49 per cent) – considering that smoothies often cost approximately €4, you have to wonder where these people are getting all their money.
Overall, 68 per cent of people believed that smoothies were a healthy drink, however the report also found that a significant number of people were unaware that smoothie ingredients can often include sweetened fruit juice, concentrate, fruit syrups and preservatives. Over 40 per cent of those surveyed believe that smoothies are low in calories, although safefood advises that consumers should compare brands and labels, as added ingredients can add to the fat, sugar and calorie content of ready-made smoothies.

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