While common wisdom suggests that any meal packed with fresh fruit or vegetables is inherently healthy, experts suggest that's not always the case. Smoothies are often touted as the ideal nutritious breakfast on the go, but as PopSugar points out, if made incorrectly, one single serving could contain hundreds of unnecessary calories.
Author Jenny Sugar explains that she started questioning her go-to smoothie recipe when she started gaining weight. "Smoothies for weight loss was the newest miracle thing, right? But why then was I not losing a single pound?"
When Sugar tallied the calories from every ingredient in her homemade smoothies, she discovered that a single glass contained 835 calories—more than half her daily recommended intake.
Fruit is the culprit. Laura Jeffers, a registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic, tells Time that too much of a good thing isn't ideal. "Calories from fruit can add up quickly, so it's good to add protein and veggies," she says, recommending a ratio of 70% vegetables to 30% fruit.
Consuming fruit in liquid form can also cause you to overindulge. "Because they are a beverage, smoothies may have weaker satiety value than a solid food of similar energy," says Richard Mattes, Ph.D., professor of foods and nutrition at Purdue University. His research found that people consume 12% more calories when they drink the beverage form of a carb-rich food.
The take-home? Follow a nutritionist-approved smoothie recipe that contains more vegetables than fruit. And if in doubt, add nutrients to your diet the way nature intended—by eating the whole fruit.