Q. Are raw-food smoothies beneficial for weight loss and overall health?
A. Jennie Chen, a dietetic intern at Tufts' Frances Stern Nutrition Center, answers: "To have healthy and safe weight loss, the goal is to maintain satiety (feeling full after eating) and prevent loss of muscle while maximizing fat loss. Satiety can be achieved by consumption of proteins and high-fiber and high-volume foods. Raw food smoothies can be a great way to increase satiety by boosting fiber intake and can be a wonderful substitution for highly processed carbohydrates. Nevertheless, watch out for sugar content, because these smoothies can be high in sugar due to the large amounts of fruit. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines recommends two cup-equivalents of fruit per day; you could easily exceed that recommendation, depending on the recipe."
Smoothies also contribute calories without much protein (unless made with yogurt), Chen notes. "To minimize muscle loss in weight loss, we need to maintain indispensable protein intake at a sufficient level to meet metabolic needs while decreasing total calorie intake."