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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Just for the record, Dr. Campbell is NOT against green smoothies. I asked him and he said he was misunderstood by the blogger (Lindsay@happyherbivore.com) who said otherwise. He clarified that he was suggesting to her that it's not a good idea to have a diet that is ONLY green smoothies! He elaborated that as few people would only consume green smoothies and nothing else, the subject really isn't an issue for most people.  He believes that chewing your food is important to increase enzyme production. In general, he is fine with green smoothies, as long as the diet also includes other foods that are being consumed by chewing. He confirmed this with me last night at the University of Pennsylvania, prior to a lecture he gave at the Irvine Auditoreum. He also confirmed that Dr. Esselstyn is more rigid on this subject and does think that green smoothies is a bad idea. Having spoken to Dr. Esselstyn in the past, I do know that he is much more hardcore and rigid on the subject of diet. I love the guy, but there is a difference between him and Campbell in terms of flexibility.  I love them both, but as Campbell remarked during his lecture last night, no two people will agree on everything.

interesting to note though, both of them also drink! :O ~ as he said and you've reiterated, "no two people will agree on everything."

great add to the thread. thank you :)

Welcome!  As for "both of them also drink", are you referring to alcohol?


Campbell did say that the biggest argument against green smoothies is that chewing is required (or helpful?) in the production of enzymes. By drinking, rather than chewing, the foods don't have a long enough time interacting with one's own saliva.

Yeah -- as a Mama of a busy two year old I must drink smoothies.

I tried to eat and chew the food. I ended up under carbed and grumpy.

Also, our main goal is to eat a lot. They seem worried about drinking too many of their calories. If I can get in 800 calories quickly I am having a good day.


Chew your juice and drink your food is an old saying, you can chew juice but careful with your teeth, the chewing action promotes the secretion of saliva therefore helps digestion, peronally I do not agree with mechanical juicing as this takes out the essential fibre, and blending is not as bad as the fibre remains- a better way to get your calories in on a busy day.

I agree with the idea of chewing your smoothie, all day long. The idea being that if you chug it, you are missing out on all kinds of minerals, vitamins, etc., but that if you swish it around in your mouth till it's room temperature, kinda warm in your mouth, then it's ready to be swallowed and is easily digested, in my experience! I love smoothies, my juicer sits unused as I am too on the fence about whether it is such a good idea to juice. However, I wonder if it would be good for my meat and potatoes ( though green smoothie-lovin) hysband would benefit from juicing? It seems, with regards to health, it's all kind of relative- how could fresh-squeezed oj or a fresh-squeeezed green juice be bad for him? Hmmmm..



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