Nutrition News: Smoothie Calories, Menu Transparency Delay and a Healthy Trend in High School Sports

Blueberry smoothie

Blueberry smoothie

Photo by: DIANA VYSHNIAKOVA

DIANA VYSHNIAKOVA

Smoothie operators

“Do I absorb more sugar and calories when I drink fruits and vegetables in a smoothie as opposed to just eating them whole?” The question was put to The New York Times’ Well blog, which consulted a dietitian representing the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and returned with an answer: Yes, “very likely.”

Basically, the issue is one of “quantity,” the Times was told. You may well consume a lot in a short time when you drink a smoothie, without even realizing it. Plus, you may feel hungrier more quickly after you drink a smoothie than you would after eating whole fruit, because fiber, which slows down the sugar-to-blood-sugar conversion process, gets pulverized when the fruit is blended for smoothie consumption.

That’s just talking about smoothies you make at home, the Times notes. Store-bought smoothies often pack a big caloric punch along with added sugar, honey or other sweeteners — and may not even contain whole fruit at all.

Woman eating at a restaurant

Woman eating at a restaurant

Menu mysteries

You know those rules requiring restaurants nationwide to post on menu boards the calorie counts of the foods they sell? The national calorie disclosure regulation, which aims to help consumers be more aware of the calories they consume away from home (on average, about one-third of our overall calorie intake), was supposed to go into effect in December 2016, but now it’s been pushed back until May 5, 2017.

It will affect restaurants and other retail food establishments with at least 20 locations, many of which, by now, after repeated delays, are already in compliance with the bill. Others have opposed it. One proponent told Reuters she hopes the new date “will stick.”

Good sports? Good diet

Here’s a hopeful sign for young athletes today: High school sports programs are increasingly emphasizing a healthy, nutritionally balanced diet as a way of enhancing athletic performance. The New York Times calls the integration of nutritional guidance into high school sports — “long a standard part of professional and college programs,” it notes — a growing “trend.”

“Schools are starting to bring in dietitians to discuss the importance of nutrition with young athletes to complete the circle,” Molly Wong Vega, a Houston dietitian who works with several schools, told the Times. “Suggesting a snack of bell peppers with hummus may be a way to help increase vitamin A and C intake and give a little zinc as well,” which may aid muscle and tissue repair, she said. That’s something to cheer about.

Amy Reiter is a writer and editor based in New York. A regular contributor to The Los Angeles Times, she has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Glamour, Marie Claire, The Daily Beast and Wine Spectator, among others, as well as for Salon, where she was a longtime editor and senior writer.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Nutrition News: Time to Freeze Fish, Fruit and Veggie Fail, Calorie-Count Label Delay

NYC rules for raw-fish freeze, Americans fail to eat their fruits and vegetables, FDA extends calorie-label deadline.

Nutrition News: The Full-Fat Trend, Healthy Office Snacks, Coke Spending

Full-fat foods are finding favor, office snacks to keep on hand. Plus: Coca-Cola reveals scope of funding.

Nutrition News: Healthier School Lunches, Coconut Oil, Juice Cleanse Details

Healthy school lunch changes pay off, clearing up the murkiness around coconut oil, and things to know before attempting a juice cleanse.

Nutrition News: Defining "Natural," Healthy Kids' Meals, Calorie Counts in Question, and a Coconut Oil Warning

Michael Pollan mulls the meaning of "natural," a menu switcheroo helps kids eat healthier, nut calorie counts are not all they’re cracked up to be, and coconut oil is not heart-healthy.

High Calorie Restaurant-Menu Shockers

Find out which high-calorie menu items to skip when you're dining at Chili's, Olive Garden, Dunkin' Donuts and Cheesecake Factory.

Burning Off High-Calorie Foods: Water Sports Edition

Find out what it takes to burn off high-calorie foods with water sports.

Sports Nutrition Tips for the School-Aged Athlete

Back to school also means back to sports. From elementary age to college-bound, these tips will help any athlete P.E.R.F.O.R.M their best.

Nutrition News: Fast Health, Fat-Fueled Sports and Another Reason to Drink Coffee

A study finds benefits in intermittent fasting; a high-fat diet may be good for athletes, but not everyone; and if you drink coffee, your arteries may be spick-and-span.

On TV

Food Network Apps

In the Kitchen

Get over 70,000 FN recipes on all your mobile devices.

Facebook Messenger

Ask our bot for recipes, meal ideas and daily food trivia.

Amazon Echo

Just say "Alexa, enable Food Network skill" to get started.