Green smoothies are all the rage right now and for good reason! They are pack a powerful blend of vitamins, minerals and fiber.
However, if you want ge the most nutrition out of your Green Smoothie then you have to make sure you include this one very important ingredient – fat.
Isn’t Fat Unhealthy?
Certain types of fats are unhealthy like fats from industrial see oils (corn, cottonseed, safflower, soybean, etc.) but fats from whole foods like Avocados and Coconut are the exception and can do wonders for our health.
Doesn’t Fat Make You Fat?
There are essentially two leading theories on what stimulates the body to store fat – we’ll call them the Calories In/Calories Out theory and the other we’ll call the Excess Sugar theory.
Calories In/Calories Out is the idea that excess calories get stored as fat. So if we eat 2,000 calories in a day and we only burn 1,500 calories in a day, those excess calories get turned into body fat.
The Excess Sugar Theory is the belief that too much sugar in the blood stream causes insulin to spike and when insulin spikes, our body stores the extra sugar as fat.
There is a lot of debate about which of these two theories is correct but it seems that both are correct to an extent.
So, does Fat make us Fat?
No. Either way you look at it, either excess calories or excess sugar or both are the primary drivers of fat storage.
Fat doesn’t just automatically get converted to fat in the body. That’s not the way it works. Fat is essential for the body. It’s used as fuel for energy. It helps to repair cells and do wonderful things for our bodies especially our brains.
Why Is Fat So Important In Green Smoothies?
Reason #1: Fat Soluble Vitamins
The number one reason why it’s so important to have some fat in a Green Smoothie is because there are a lot of fat soluble vitamins in Green Smoothies.
If a nutrient is “Fat Soluble” that means Fat is necessary in order to assimilate or use that nutrient.
For example, Kale and Spinach both have lots of Vitamin A, E and K1 which are Fat Soluble Vitamins.
Vitamin A is important for healthy eyes, bones, hair, skin and nails. Vitamin E is an important anti-oxidant that protects our cells from free radical damage and is very important in helping maintain the strength of the immune system and Vitamin K1 is important for healthy bones and healthy blood clotting.
So if we want to take advantage of these wonderful Fat Soluble Vitamins in our Green Smoothies, we better have some fat in there so our bodies can use them!
Reason #2: Hunger
Adding fat to Green Smoothies helps to slow the digestion process and therefore, helps us feel full for a longer period of time.
Reason #3: Sugar
Most Green Smoothie recipes call for quite a bit of fruit and fruit is mostly carbohydrate which gets converted to sugar in the body.
However, because the fat in the smoothie slows down the digestive process, it can slow down the release of the sugar into the bloodstream. The slower release of sugar into the bloodstream means less chance that the sugar from the fruit will get converted to body fat.
What Fats Are Good For Green Smoothies?
The first place to start is to look at our options for healthy fats. For an in-depth look at what particular fats are healthy and unhealthy, check out Part 3 of Chris Kresser’s Beyond Paleo Series. Chris is a New York Time Best Sellling Author and a globally recognized leader in the fields of ancestral health, Paleo nutrition, and functional and integrative medicine.
My favorite healthy fats for Green Smoothies are:
- Coconut Milk
- Coconut Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Almond Milk
- Olive Oil
- Grass-Fed Butter
Fats Make Green Smoothies Smooooooth
One of the biggest problems I had when I first started making Green Smoothies without Fat was the separation that occurs.
It doesn’t matter how much you blend the smoothie, the ingredients quickly begin to separate and make the shake more of a “chunky” than a “smoothie.”
The Key was to add Fat to my Green Smoothies. Fats helps to bind the ingredients together to make a nice smooth, creamy texture.
Ready to make a Green Smoothie with some healthy fat? Here are a few recipes to get your started! Give them a try and let me know what you think.
1. Pina Colada Kale Power Shake
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