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Shopping traps: Smoothies

A smoothie can make a delicious light meal on the go, but there are some traps we can fall into if we’re unaware.

Trap 1: A drink… or a meal?

The kilojoules in some smoothies put them firmly in the meal category.

  • A 250ml flat white has around 330kJ-460kJ, depending on your milk choice, but a 250ml smoothie can be nearer 900kJ. Bigger options will get closer to the energy of a meal.
  • If you choose a larger, well-balanced smoothie (with a range of fruit, veges and calcium-rich milk) think of it as a quick meal replacement for when you’re on the go.
  • And remember, while there’s some fibre in smoothies it’s not the same as eating fresh fruit or vegetables, so you’re more likely to feel hungry sooner than if you’d had a salad and protein.

Trap 2: Skimping on the nutrition

A smoothie made with a milk-alternative is lower in protein and can be low in calcium.

  • Cows’ milk or yoghurt has protein to help fill you up and is a good source of calcium.
  • Using a milk alternative? Make sure it’s calcium fortified (it still won’t fill you up as much though).

Choosing a smoothie made with just one type of fruit or vegetable? And that’s your usual?

  • Every fruit and vegetable contains a different range of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, so choosing a smoothie with a range of fruit or veges is a better idea.

Trap 3: how much fruit And veg?

Making your own smoothie means you can really pile in the fruit and veges. But ask yourself, would you normally sit down and eat 2-3 pieces of fruit at once?

  • Having too much fruit at one time could risk an upset tummy — bloating and diarrhoea, because of the fruit sugars.
  • For some, a daily fruit-and vege-packed homemade smoothie can trigger irritable bowel syndrome-like symptoms.
  • Think about balancing your smoothie or just eating whole fruits and vegetables.

Saved: go to meal plans