With our busy schedules, shakes and smoothies can seem like a great option for ensuring we get the nutrients we need AND keep ourselves out of the drive-thru lines.
Recently, Fooducate posted an interesting article comparing the benefits of juicing versus blending. It got me thinking about two important points to consider when deciding whether you should reprioritize so you have time to sit down and chew or whether drinking your meal on the go is an actual necessity.
1. Chewing takes time — which means it is an effective limit on how many calories we can consume in a given amount of time. The more **processed a food is, the less chew time it takes. Think about how fast you could consume medium McDonald’s shake (700 calories) versus how long it would take you to consume 700 calories of chicken breast (that’s 15 ounces….almost a pound!) Obviously, the chicken would take much longer to eat.
Drinking your calories makes controlling your portion size all the more important.
2. Blenders and juicers are some of the most contaminated pieces of equipment in American kitchens. As your blending your morning smoothie, are you also drinking high levels of Salmonella, E. coli, yeast and mold?
Make sure you’re following your device manufacturer’s cleaning instructions or click here for some help! It is likely that you’re not doing everything you can to ensure your healthful drinks contain only healthy ingredients!
These two reasons are not enough to say drinkable meals are a bad choice — and quite the opposite in the case of blended fruit/veggie smoothies high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. But you may want to consider balancing out the portability and ease of consumption of your drinkables with salads and lightly prepared foods and making sure you spend some of the time you’re saving my drinking your meal on the go cleaning up the blender you used to prepare that smoothie.
**For this discussion, consider processing anything that happens to the food to move it further from it’s most basic state. Marinating, cooking, blending, and chewing all break down the chemical structure of food to some extent. The completeness of this breakdown will determine how quickly the food enters the blood stream in a form useable by the body as fuel.