Reaching for a smoothie rather than a soft drink has long been the kind of conscious choice that makes us all feel a little bit better inside. According to scientists however, those of us doing so could have being doing ourselves a pretty big disservice due to the hidden dangers in these seemingly innocent wonder-drinks.
It all comes down to the amount of sugar our everyday drinks contain and the detrimental habit of thinking that all-fruit means all-healthy, which it doesn’t. The dangers of excessive smoothie consumption has been highlighted by the very same individuals that brought to the world’s attention the risks associated with high fructose corn syrup quite some time ago – this time they have every other kind od sugar in their crosshairs.
As far as George Bray and Barry Popkin are concerned, now that the major soft drink brands have got their hands on smoothie companies it’s all becoming a bit of a blur in terms of what is and isn’t a wise choice for the consumer.
“Smoothies and fruit juice are the new danger,” the pair told reporters from British newspaper The Guardian.
“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.”
Their concern is that the average buyer is to some extend being duped into thinking that these often premium-prices fruit drinks are 100% beneficial to their health and represent massively better alternatives to standard sodas. They market the drinks as ideal ways to take in the recommended daily quota of fruits and vegetables, while failing to clearly highlight the downside.
“Think of eating one orange or two and getting filled,” the scientists said.
“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. So 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 is deceiving.”
His intention is to bring to light the fact that it isn’t just a single type of the sugar that the world should be declaring its enemy, but rather any and every sugar that’s ingested in heavy volumes.
“The most important issue about added sugar is that everybody thinks it’s cane sugar or maybe beet sugar or HFC syrup or all the other syrups but globally the cheapest thing on the market almost is fruit juice concentrate coming out of China,”
“It has created an overwhelming supply of apple juice concentrate. It is being used everywhere and it also gets around the sugar quotas that lots of countries have,”
“But all the long term studies on fruit juice in anything show the same kind of effect whether it’s a smoothie or natural juice and whether it’s a diabetes or weight gain effect.”