Innocent smoothies are made entirely from fruit and vegetables, most containing sugar produced naturally by the ‘wholesome’ food. They offer vegan-friendly and dairy-free ranges of smoothies ostensibly offering high nutritional value, meeting your five-a-day requirements in one drink and providing essential vitamins and minerals.
A quick breakfast or a meal replacement, there is no doubt that almost everyone loves the five-a-day smoothies that promise nutritional boosts and energy. Innocent smoothies are portrayed as a ‘super health kick’ in a bottle, providing all your essential fruits and veggies… but what they don’t tell you is that they also provide three (yes THREE!) full days of sugar intake. There’s no nutritional need nor benefit from consuming sugar, it will not only send you to your dentist more often but also, put you at risk for developing diabetes type 2, heart disease, cancer and even dementia.
Dr Nigel Carter of the Oral Health Foundation states: “There is a lack of awareness in being able to recognise when there are hidden sugars in drinks often marketed as “healthy”, especially smoothies and fruit juices.”
Here are 4 key reasons why “Innocent” smoothies may not be as “innocent” as you’ve been led to believe!
Concerned about obesity, the government introduced a sugar tax to influence big corporations to cut back on added sugar in their products. This has worked in some ways and failed in others.
Although Innocent smoothies do not contain any *added sugars they do contain a ton of natural sugars. With all the fruits and vegetables packed into the drink, the sugar content is extremely high, which overrides any of the claimed health benefits, especially if consumed frequently.
So far as our bodies are concerned, “natural” sugar is just like any other sugar and will raise our blood sugar levels significantly. The moral here is “eat your fruit DON’T drink it!
Calorie requirements depend on many factors, including age, metabolism, level of physical activity, etc. While fruit and vegetables are low in both fat and contain relatively few calories, when it comes to Innocent Smoothies the calories you’re consuming are ‘empty’ calories.
Smoothies and Super Smoothies come are calorie-laden with 1anything from 112 calories per 250ml in the Recharge Smoothie to as much as 216 calories per 360ml bottle in the Berry Protein Super Smoothie.
Containing very high levels of sugar and more calories than you might think, a smoothie is certainly quick and easy but doesn’t contain all the fibre of whole fruit. This will not aid in weight loss it would. Eat whole fruits instead.
According to the NHS ‘Eat Well plate’ eating five fruit or vegetables a day has multiple health benefits, like lowering the risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke.
While fruit (we recommend dark berries) and vegetables (we recommend above-ground veggies) can contribute to a healthy diet, it does not mean anything if paired with unhealthy foods. Whether it’s fresh, canned, juiced, frozen, or dried; all fruit and veggies count towards your five-a-day. So no, chocolate covered strawberries are do not count towards your five-a-day!
So, do Innocent Smoothies count towards your five-a-day? Well not really! To meet the guidelines would you be happy to drink five smoothies. Thought not! It would be a ton of sugar and a bunch of empty calories. IT would be better to eat some fruit or veg.
To find out more about real food and calorie deficits, watch this video!
Loss of Fiber
The presence of fiber aids satiety (a sense of fullness after eating), which is important for maintaining a healthy weight and preventing certain chronic diseases.
Dietary fiber in fruits and vegetables can help maintain a healthy gut, prevent constipation, and prevent digestive problems. Fiber-rich diets are associated with a reduced risk of bowel cancer.
But fruits, when blended, do not possess the same nutritional value as the same fruit eaten whole. Though some properties remain, including soluble fibres, blending causes insoluble fibers to degrade.
Normally when food is blended and strained, the pulpy bit is disposed of. This is the part that contains many of the valuable nutrients and offers you satiety. When we ingest soluble and insoluble fibers, they work to help us slowly absorb sugars and nutrients; which bulks our stools and avoids blood sugars… and fees the microbiome. They are quite essential and hard to replicate.
Fruit smoothies have high sugar content, so it’s always best to read the nutritional information first to determine if the drink truly is healthy for you.
Having a great taste, being packed with fruit, and containing no concentrates are a few of the reasons why Innocent smoothies are so popular. Most of the flavours are delightful as an occasional treat While they are sugar-rich and contain sugary carbs, they can also contain some of the vitamins and minerals that your body needs.
Still not convinced? See this recent newspaper article “The 15 Worst Sugary Drinks in Britain”
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Graham Phillips, our founder of ProLongevity, is a registered pharmacist, Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the owner of iHeart Pharmacy Group, a multi-award-winning community pharmacy group based in Hertfordshire and Kent.
ProLongevity was founded in 2017 with a lofty aim: to help people all over the world to live longer, healthier, happier lives. Since then, we’ve helped hundreds of people to transform their health through simple yet powerful lifestyle changes.
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