You may think that drinking a smoothie is a good way to get your daily dose of fruit but a group of US researchers claim that fruit smoothies are the “new health danger.”
According to Barry Popkin, a professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina, fruit smoothies are loaded with fructose sugar and could lead to health problems.
Popkin said: “Smoothies and fruit juice are the new danger.”
Popkin said that he was concerned about the beverage industries claim that fruit smoothies are a good way to get a daily dose of fruits and vegetables. Popkin said that smoothies actually contain much more sugar than we need.
Popkin said: “Pulped-up smoothies do nothing good for us but do give us the same amount of sugar as four to six oranges or a large coke… It’s kind of the next step in the evolution of the battle. And it’s a really big part of it because in every country they’ve been replacing soft drinks with fruit juice and smoothies as the new healthy beverage. So you will find that Coke and Pepsi have bought dozens [of fruit juice companies] around the globe.”
The Guardian notes that Coca-Cola owns Innocent Smoothies in the UK and PepsiCo owns Tropicana. When Peopsi launched Tropicana Smoothies in 2008 the company claimed that “smoothies are one of the easiest ways to boost daily fruit intake as each 250ml portion contains the equivalent of 2 fruit portions.”
But Popkin claims that eating fruit and drinking a smoothie aren’t equatable. The researcher argues that smoothies don’t fill people up the way a piece of fruit does so people end up eating just as much as they normal would in addition to the fruit smoothie.
Popkin said: “Think of eating one orange or two and getting filled… Now think of drinking a smoothie with six oranges and two hours later it does not affect how much you eat. The entire literature shows that we feel full from drinking beverages like smoothies but it does not affect our overall food intake, whereas eating an orange does.”
Popkin believes that fruit smoothies can lead to an increase risk of diabetes and obesity.