30 Bananas a Day!

From happyherbivore.com

"When I was at HTLA, delicious green smoothie in my hand, Dr. T. Colin Campbell told me not to drink them. I was crushed, heart-broken

Of course I wanted to know why --- why shouldn't I drink them? Aren't they super healthy?

Turns out they're not.

Dr. Campbell explained it to me very scientifically, and truth be told, a lot of it went over my head, but what I did pick up was I needed to chew my food and eat it whole -- that smoothies, and juices, ruined the nutritive properties and it was far better for me to chew my spinach then pulverize and drink it.

I'd heard this all before -- from Dr. Essy,butafter hearingit from bothof them, I finally accepted what I didn't want to believe: green smoothies were out.

Quoting Dr. Essy: "Avoid smoothies. The fiber is so finely pureed that its helpful properties are destroyed. The sugar is stripped from the fruit, bypasses salivary digestion and results in a surge of glucose and the accompanying fructose contributes to inflammation and hypertension."

Similarly, here are his thoughts on juices: "Do not juice. You lose all the fiber and benefits." With respect to fruit juice, "Drinking fruit juice is like pouring the sugar bowl down your throat. It is fine to eat the whole fruit. Do not drink the juice."

After I succumbed to this realization, I called a friend of mine who promotes green smoothies as her job, to get her take. Truthfully, I think I was hoping she'd tell me the doctors werewrong,and that it was okay to still drink them, but I was surprised when she agreed with them whole heartedly. She also told me that smoothies are 100 calories more than if I had eaten the fruit and greens whole. This I couldn't believe -- HOW is that even possible?! but she explained it to me: I'd burn 100 calories chewingthe food (and then the digestive process of chewed food vs. predigested food), and since the blender chewed for me, I needed to increase 100 calories.

This got me thinking and I started taking a look at the smoothies I'd been drinking. They were all full of healthy, nutritious foods -- like kale or spinach, mango or apples, dates and water... but they were easily 400 to 800 calories a pop... and I could suck them down so fast -- I could never physically eat 400 or 800 calories of whole food like that, and if I did, I'd be stuffed, and while smoothies left me feeling full, it wasn't to the same level as a salad. I started to believe what the doctors had told me....

So that's when I put my blender away and stopped drinking smoothies. At first I missed them, but I've found that I feel fuller, and more energetic if I just eat the greens and bananas whole. I also used to have a mild sugar crash if my smoothie was really fruit heavy, and that doesn't happen when I eat the fruit by itself.

All and all I feel like a smoothie once in a while as a treat is probably fine; and I do think that if the choice is a green smoothie, or no greens at all, it's better to go for the smoothie, but my plan is to eat my greens and fruits whole, whenever possible.

Note: In addition to Dr. Campbell & Dr. Essy, Dr. McDougall, Dr. Klapper, Dr. Sultana, Dr. Lederman (FOK), Dr. Goldhammer and Jeff Novick are also in agreement here about smoothies. See Natala's comment below for a very detailed explanation (she is a member of the Essy team/E2 Team), as well as links to studies and articles. (Thx N!)

Note: a lot of people have asked aboutsoups and hummus; Dr. Essy graciously responded on his Facebook page (I'm paraphrasing here) "The main difference is people are not drinking hummus and they are not consuming nearly the amount of calories at once; with soups, they are eating it slow, with a spoon and generally while also eating something else) and soups tend to be vegetable-based without fruit (unlike smoothies). Work on eliminating liquid calories for juices and smoothies and if you are still concerned, work on other things like soups, but smoothies/juices cause the most damage, so start there."

Links to forums/discussion/evidence, etc. on this topic: here, here, here and also here (<- Dr. Essy's page"

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I found this extremely interesting thank you for sharing.

Its sounds to me like the biggest problem comes from the issue of not CHEWING your liquids.

You can't CHEW liquid.  You can swill it about in your mouth, you can drink it slowly rather than quickly, but you cannot CHEW it, whatever some people in the raw food world would have you believe! 

I've heard Freelee suggest chewing your smoothies.  I also like to eat some whole foods with my smoothies.  So if I have a green smoothie I will also eat a few whole bananas along with it.

all you need to do is massage your saliva glands to get those carb enzymes flowing.

you can do this by pretending to chew your smoothies or you can use your fingers by rubbingon the outside in the areas show in this photo.

I think that the points are probably true and of value, however, since I dont have time to chew 2500-3000 calories of fruit every day while being a student, wife, worker and taking care of my needs (exercise sleep blah blah) so smoothies for a big part of calories is a compromise I make. If you have the time and dedication to do all the chewing, sounds good, but unless someone has serious underlying issues with blood sugar or something, I dont think it matters that much in the great scheme of things.


Once I am able to become my own boss and work out of my home, I can dispense with all the smoothies and eat when I want. It is tough when you work somewhere, have to be there at a certain time, and work without a lunch break. Also, I don't think I would have been able to fill up on 5000 cals today to fuel the 25 mile bike ride without the blender unless I was perfectly organized. Last year in Ecuador, I didn't have a blender and ate huge fruit meals whenever I wanted; but I also wasn't working 9-5. 

Fruit meals need to be made more convenient for some of us!


I completely agree with your statement. Chewing 3000 calories can take up a lot of time! I'd much rather drink it for convenience. 

you need a lunch break man!  that is insane not to be able to stop and eat

Have to agree with Lea, you don't burn 100 cal by chewing. The average person burns 100 kcal's by running 1 mile. It would take some serious chewing to equal that kind of energy expenditure.

In the article it mentions the digestion process would be easier on blended food. Perhaps more energy is required to break down chewed food over food that has been blended into smitherines

"and then the digestive process of chewed food vs. predigested food"

I can't validate that statement, just saying it could be higher...

Let's pretend for a second that the 100 cal statement is true (which I don't think it is). Isn't that a good thing for us? Doesn't that mean it would make it EASIER to get enough calories every day if we made smoothies?

Considering that the Happy Herbivore promotes 1200 calorie meal plans, it doesn't surprise me that she worries about the calories burned while chewing a salad instead of drinking it.



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