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Think Twice Before Drinking That Protein Smoothie

Alright here’s the storyline. You make a decision to get healthier and lose some¬†weight so you quit the Egg McMuffin at Mickey-D’s and start¬†making protein fruit smoothies for breakfast.

It’s got to be better for you right? Seems like common sense but you need to take a closer look.

I wanted to do a post and video lesson on this as there’s a lot of misconception about these smoothies. Sure they can be beneficial but it’s all depends on the ingredients and amounts. You need to do a little¬†math before you start downing these smoothies on a daily basis or you may be sorry.

What triggered this post was an interesting article I read yesterday in our local Charleston newspaper, The Post & Courier. The title was “Give the day a smooth start with a blend of fruit and yogurt.” It was written by Daniel Pelegreen, a¬†”nutrition expert” who claimed protein smoothies were a great breakfast option.

No arguments with that in general. If you’ve followed my material I advocate the same thing. The only difference is my protein smoothie recommendation is much different. Now I’m not trying to bash my peers who are simply trying to help others get¬†healthy¬†with the best of intentions.

The thing is, as professionals we need to be mindful of also teaching food awareness or good intentions can produce bad results.

What really blew me away was the nutrition totals that were included in this article. I’m going to give you “word for word” the ingredients in the recipe they provided then let you see what I’m talking about.

Protein Smoothie Ingredients:

1/2 to 1 cup fruit juice of choice
1 cup frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
1 banana
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 scoop whey protein or other powdered protein of choice

There was some additional instruction about how to make the smoothie in the blender then the “approximate” values per serving which read…

199.5 calories, 2 g fat, 16 mg cholesterol, 15.5 g protein, 32 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber.

My B.S. meter went off when I read the part about 32 g of carbohydrate! Come on now, you’ve got to be kidding me.

Now I know a lot of the nutritional¬†values for foods in my head because I work with it on a daily basis, but the average person wouldn’t think twice about this.

Here’s the thing,¬†the banana alone contains 27 grams of carbohydrate but yet somehow this drink only contains 32 grams of carbs total. What about the fruit juice, the frozen berries, and the¬†yogurt? These are all carbs but where did they go?

We’ll I¬†took the liberty of doing the real math for you and included the totals in my video. Check it out and you’ll get the rest of the story.

The lesson is all of this is¬†you should practice some basic food awareness and dont’¬†hesitate to question everything you read!

I highly recommend on-line¬†resources¬†like Lance Armstrong’s When in doubt look it up yourself and do the math to see what’s really up.

It’s dead simple to look up nutrition information on just about any food¬†you can think of in a matter of seconds. I use this tool all the time and it’s probably the best¬†resource of its kind on the web.

There are also¬†some really cool applications available on this site for¬†logging food journals, exercise, and even some¬†i-phone app’s. Even the paid services are relatively inexpensive and provide a ton of value. Check it out for yourself. I don’t get any¬†kick-back for promoting this¬†site and just wanted to share the info.

Ok, that’s all I’ve got for today. I hope you found this¬†post and video¬†to be helpful and it opened your eyes to how even seemingly healthy foods can go overboard.

Shane Doll is a certified Charleston personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts Personal Training Studios. You can receive a FREE no-obligations trial of his Charleston personal training programs and experience the Shaping Concepts difference for yourself.

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Category: Nutrition.