Home-made smoothies should be preferred over packaged variants.(iStock)
Home-made smoothies should be preferred over packaged variants.(iStock)

The healthy debate: Are smoothies good for your diet? Here’s what experts have to say

Are smoothies really as healthy as they are made out to be? What can be done to improve their nutritional value and cutting down on the sugar content? Here’s the low-down.
By Prerna Gauba | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON FEB 17, 2018 02:36 PM IST

New Delhi

A glassful of health every morning has become a ritual for many. Smoothies are a part of our diets for quite some time now.A drink made from blending fruits, vegetables, and nuts in milk, water or yoghurt, smoothies have been a part of our diets for quiet some time now. They are easy to whip up at home and to have on your way to work. But hey, are they really healthy? Here is the experts’ take:

Packaged vs homemade
There has been debate around this for some time now, and whether what you’re guzzling down in the name of health depends on its sugar content and natural ingredients. Homemade smoothies, apart from being customisable, are free of harmful ingredients like preservatives, canned fruits, syrups and refined sugar that defeat the whole point of having a smoothie. If at all you buy a smoothie, make sure you check for the ingredients.

How to make a healthy smoothie
Smoothies are generally yoghurt or milk-based, but alternatives that are even healthier include almond milk and low-fat coconut milk. Make it nutrient-rich with fresh fruits and berries. If you want a vegetable smoothie, spinach and beetroot are great options. A few options for fruit smoothie combinations include bananas, honey, and water, or bananas, chikoos (naseberry), apples, dates, and water. You can also try adding figs, strawberries, black grapes and honey to water.

The right time to have it
A smoothie made of yoghurt or milk without sugar or any sweetener is great as an evening snack or a pre-workout snack. Make sure the milk is low-fat and no ingredients that may increase the smoothie’s calorie count have been added.

Smoothie vs cooked veggies and fruits
All said and done, having cooked vegetables and raw fruits is definitely a better choice. A whole fruit or vegetable should always be preferred for maximum nutrition. Blending them into a smoothie may result in loss of fibre content.

With inputs by nutritionist and dietician Nmami Agarwal and nutritionist Raheela Hasan .

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