One of the questions we get all the time about our frozen green smoothies is, “Why are the carbs and sugars so high?”
Well, that’s a great question and we have a great answer. When hand crafting our green smoothies, we take a whole food approach. We highly value the whole food ingredients we put into each smoothie pouch from dark leafy greens to fruits to spices. We believe these whole foods are key to nourishing our bodies and that each ingredient is more than just counting towards your carb count. Or, what we like to call green smoothie nutrition.
To cut through the hype when it comes to carbs and sugar, there are a few key concepts to understand, including: added sugar vs. naturally occurring sugar, nutrient density and the relationship between carbs and fiber. Give us a couple minutes of your time and we’ll walk you through all of these concepts.
Added sugar vs. naturally occurring sugar
There’s a big difference when it comes to added sugar and naturally occurring sugar found in whole foods. When looking at our nutrition facts labels, you’ll see naturally occurring sugar. Don’t panic because added sugar is the real problem and that’s what you really want to look for on the ingredient list and avoid.
We rely purely on whole foods to create our frozen green smoothies. Our smoothie pouches contain no added sugar—not even added sugars in disguise, like cane juice or fruit juice concentrate. Instead, our green smoothies are naturally sweetened with whole fruit such as berries, pineapple and even kiwi, which is one reason our sugar content is often lower than pre-made alternative smoothies.
We craft creative green smoothie recipes by building complex flavor profiles that don’t require a lot of sweetness to be delicious. For instance, our top-selling Green Protein layers aromatic spices like cardamom, coriander and cinnamon with nutty pumpkin seeds and creamy hemp seeds to build a rich, flavorful smoothie that’ll delight your senses and keep you satisfied for hours.
The nutrient breakdown shown on the nutrition facts label only tells part of the story. After all, an apple and an 8-ounce can of soda each contain around 25 grams of carbohydrates. It doesn’t take a degree in nutrition to recognize that there’s a big difference between the two.
Whole foods, like an apple, are nutrient-dense meaning you’ll get the most bang for your bite with loads of nutrients compared to empty calories. The apple is rich in fiber and antioxidants and the carbs are a natural part of that total package. The soda on the other hand is nutrient-poor, with carbs provided via corn syrup.
Let’s take a closer look at one of our frozen green smoothies. A 20-ounce serving of our Berry Choco-latte contains 40 grams of carbs, nine grams of fiber and 23 grams of sugar. The naturally occurring sugar comes directly from whole food ingredients like bananas, dates and berries, which also provide lots of beneficial nutrients, including potassium, antioxidants, vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese and magnesium. Talk about the whole food package!
In a NY Times article, Dr. David Ludwig, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital said no matter how much you eat, sugar consumed in fruit is not linked to adverse health effects. Additionally, studies have shown increasing fruit consumption is also tied to lower body weight and risk of obesity. Plus, by adding fruit into your daily diet it can also help you from overeating while making you feel fuller longer, unlike processed foods. Boom.
Carbs and fiber
A whole food approach recognizes that most fresh fruits and vegetables provide energy in the form of carbohydrates. It also recognizes that fruits and veggies are a great source of fiber, which makes up a portion of those carbs. In fact, all carbs come from one of three sources: sugar and fiber (which are listed on nutrition labels) and complex carbs (which are not listed on nutrition labels). Our 20-ounce green smoothies each contain 5-10 grams of fiber—a central component of healthy eating.