Carbs & Sugars in Smoothies
Wondering about carbs and sugars in our frozen green smoothies? We take a whole food approach, so we place a high value on the whole food ingredients we put in each Frozen Garden pouch. We believe these whole foods are key to nourishing our bodies, and that each ingredient is more than just carb count.
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.
Added sugar vs. naturally occurring sugar
There’s a big difference between added sugar and naturally occurring sugar found in whole foods. You’ll see naturally occurring sugar on our nutrition facts label, but don’t panic — added sugar is the real problem, and that’s something you look for in the ingredient list. (You won’t find it on ours!)
We rely purely on whole foods to create Frozen Garden 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 lightly sweetened with whole fruit.
We also craft creative green smoothie recipes, building complex flavor profiles that don’t require lots of sweetness to be delicious. For instance, our top-selling Green Protein layers aromatic spices like cardamom and cinnamon with nutty pumpkin seeds and creamy hemp seeds to build a rich, flavorful smoothie.
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… and it doesn’t take a degree in nutrition to recognize that there’s a big difference between the two!
Whole foods are nutrient-dense — meaning that they give you the most bang for your bite, with loads of nutrients compared to calories. That’s why the 25-carb apple is a great way to nourish your body, while the 25-carb soda is not. 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 big 20-ounce serving of our Berry Choco-latte contains 43 grams of carbs, including 9 grams of fiber and 28 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. That’s the whole food package!
Nutrition experts interviewed by the New York Times agree that whole fruit is an important source of nutrients. When we view fruit as simply a source of sugar or carbs to be avoided, we miss the big picture. One explained, “sugar consumed in fruit is not linked to any adverse health effects, no matter how much you eat…increased fruit consumption is tied to lower body weight and a lower risk of obesity-associated diseases.”
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 smoothies each contain 5-10 grams of fiber — a central component of healthy eating.
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