I am currently in the middle of a video where Dr. Esselstyn is giving a presentation. The was posted Jan 26 of this year, so I would assume this is fairly recent. In the time span of about 42:00-45:00, he mentions that people should avoid things such as orange juice and apple juice because of the fructose. He also said that he didn't like smoothies because it separates the sugar from the fiber and then you drink it and your blood sugar spikes.
What do you think of this?
I am a big fan of smoothies and like them just as much as whole fruit. Can they really be bad?
Here is the video
WOW! This is loaded with questions asked and unasked and I will try to address some concerns here.
I cannot comment on the teachings of Esselstyn. I just look at facts and science.
First of all, many of the studies showing "fructose" is bad are actually focusing on high fructose corn syrup of which is a more complex sugar and affects the body differently, more like starchy food metabolic disorders and weight gain. High fructose corn syrup is a sugar and calorie dense product with not nutritional value. Empty calories.
I do agree that juices and juicing are bad, and I only promote smoothies for newbies who are having a hard time eating enough calories, otherwise, it is better to train the body to digest and assimilate the fruits and greens from the beginning.
I quote from the banana wagon tour:
Juicing Not Recommended
Some of our members have had troubles with juicing such as indigestion, sour and or acidic stomach, acid reflux, blood sugar spikes, dizziness and brain fog, diarrhea, blood in feces, constipation, and inability to absorb and assimilate calories, vitamins and minerals in spite of high calorie count. The high sugar and acid content of some juices may give some people teeth pain and issues.
Juicing removes the fiber from the fruits n veggies.
Importance of Fiber on Any Diet
The soluble fiber in fruit and some vegetables may gel up inside the intestine. This fiber slows down digestion and regulates assimilation of nutrients as well as water absorption.
Diets high in animal products may have little or no fiber, and diets high in grain products that have insoluble fiber actually may scrape and irritate the intestines like shards of glass and do not digest well.
Fruits are high in soluble fiber which also causes easy elimination of feces just like toothpaste being squeezed from a tube. This soluble fiber attracts water and turns to gel in the intestines. (Ref: Soluble vs Insoluble Fiber, Soluble and Insoluble Fiber)
Without this fiber, nutrients, calories, and carbohydrates can pass right through the system without being digested and assimilated and possibly lead to unwanted weight loss and or malnutrition.
It is better to train the digestive system right from the beginning to properly chew, digest, and assimilate fruits and leafy greens. If you are having a difficult time with calories, then smoothies might be a compromise. With smoothies, the whole fruits and greens are blended and some of the fiber is still intact.
There may be other benefits of eating whole fruits and greens of which include using our senses to know what is good and bad. For example, kale may have a tart or bitter taste to some people, and it is actually high in oxalate and not a recommended food for long term health. Blending kale in a smoothie may mask these natural taste aversions we have.
Tender lettuce greens like iceberg might be more easy to chew and taste better. Benefits of Lettuce Greens
There are also other benefits of completely chewing fruit and greens that include cleaning the teeth, remineralizing the teeth, alkalizing the mouth, and promotion of digestive enzyme production.
Now about fructose itself. Fructose is a simple sugar of which is very easy for the body to digest and assimilate. Starchy carbohydrates are difficult for the body to break down and can only be broken down into glucose. If a lot of starchy foods are eaten, there is a steady stream of glucose entering the blood stream which also promotes chronic elevated levels of insulin thus promoting weight gain especially in the belly area and or metabolic disorders.
Fructose when eaten in a whole fruit from does not stimulate insulin production, and when fruit is eaten, only a little insulin will be used to transport the glucose in the fruit into cells. Fructose can be used for energy as well as other things. Fructose can be broken down in the liver into other metabolites as needed by the body.
So, as our 12k members can tell you, eating whole raw fruits and lettuce greens containing fructose do not cause problems.