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Green drinks have been popularized because they make it easier to load up on greens, the most nutrient-dense foods available to man. I learned while working directly with 12 weight-loss clients, that green drinks that contain too many calories per serving have a negative effect on health and slow-down weight-loss rather than help it along. Let's look at why this is true and how you can create green drinks that enhance health, rather than detract from it.
Green drinks that include too many easily absorbed calories cause blood-sugar levels to spike dangerously high. Why? Individually each fruit chewed and eaten in its whole and natural state requires two to three hours to fully absorb into the bloodstream. But when blended, the same calories will fully enter the bloodstream in about 15 to 20 minutes. The same principle holds true for greens, vegetables, and every other food type.
When blended to micro-sized particles, whatever calories exist enter the bloodstream very rapidly. The key to drinking green drinks in a manner that will help to enable your best health is to limit their total calories per cup of drink. According to glycemic research, a carb-load of 10 grams or less per per serving does will not spike blood-sugar levels.
Blending too many easily absorbed calories will cause your blood-sugar levels to spike, leading to the release of insulin into the bloodstream and to the storing of otherwise healthful foods as fat.
The following ingredients will give you one-half gallon of green drink that contains high-nutrient density with just 247 calories. Split that drink up into 8 servings of 8 oz glasses of green drink throughout the day and each glass of drink will contain a total carb load per 8 oz serving that is less than 7 grams per cup of green drink, which is well within the safe limites. To make a highly nutritious and satisfying hydrating green drink, do as follows:
2 to 4 cups cups mixed baby spinach, kale, and collard greens
3 cups water for blending ingredients
1 apple (or another seasonal fruit (75 to 100 calories), sliced
1 cap of vanilla
2 Tbsp chia seed
1 teaspoon of cinnamon, to taste.
Add water, apple, cinnamon, vanilla, and chia seed and blend until smooth. Then add greens and blend greens until smooth. Place contents into a half-gallon container, and then finish filling the container with water. Shake or stir well before pouring yourself a glass of water.
Weight-Loss Note: Creating a gallon of this drink and drinking slowly from morning until evening is a good basis for weight-loss
Some have expressed that they did not know that green drinks could spike blood-sugar levels. I did not know until a diabetic client alerted me to this fact. If the calories are high because of sweeteners and fruits included in the green drink, then because the drink absorbs so quickly into the body it causes a rapid spike in blood-sugar levels. My client's blood sugars skyrocketed to read 600 mg/dl on her blood-sugar reader. They remained there for over four hours. 600 mg/dl is the highest reading for blood-sugar readings, which means her blood-sugar count was actually much higher than this.
In the example green drink above, there are only 115 calories in the drink. If you were to spread that out over say three glasses of green drink, then you would consume less than 40 calories per glass, which would not spike your blood sugars, and you would gain the benefit of consuming more greens. Anything that is blended or chopped fine absorbs many more times quickly than foods that are eaten whole. Therefore, whenever you choose to blend, get the biggest nutrient bang with the fewest sugars as possible.This is really fruited-veggie water and is not a smoothie.
I'm diabetic, and I have been making a green drink nearly every morning for quite a while now.
I use more fruit than this and no sweeteners to make 3 large servings of drink.
I add psyllium seed husks and milled flaxseed for fiber, and pasteurized egg whites for protein.
I also add an avocado or have some coconut oil for some healthy fat.
I am not losing weight (though I don't consume as much food as I'd like, because of allergies), but my sugar doesn't seem to spike like that after drinking my drink.
Any thoughts on adding fiber and fat to the drink to avoid sugar spikes?
Fiber and fat slow down digestion of sugars in whole meals and drinks, as you've described above. However, there are known drawbacks for the diabetic who over uses overt fats to slow down digestion. A proper balance must be met. The pattern shown in this post demonstrates a simple way to create a high-quality water-based drink that hydrates and nourishes well without spiking blood-sugar levels or turning on insulin production. It is a good tool for those who want to lose weight or who suffer from any of the several hundred diseases that are linked to the metabolic syndrome.
Holding overt fats to a minimum (200 total calories per day), including both animal based and plant-based sources (dairy, eggs, all meats and fish, nuts, seeds, avocados, olives, cooking and salad dressing oils--including olive oil, or coconut oil), plus omitting refined sweeteners, both help to arrest and reverse the metabolic syndrome and its many related diseases, especially when these practices are supported by a diet of whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables as discussed in the following diabetic-friendly guide.
For example, a type I diabetic client of mine was able to reduce her average daily intake of insulin to 1/16 her 27-year daily average intake in just three months after making this change to her diet. Her weight also normalized in the months that followed. See the following article for a little more detail on simple recommendations to help overcome the metabolic syndrome (includes insulin resistance) and to enable the Diabetic to eat until satisfied without adding to their challenges:
Could Parsley be substituted for the cilantro?
Parsley can be substituted for cilantro or the cilantro can be omitted entirely. This is a pattern for creating hydrating drinks that prevent large blood-sugar spikes. Within that pattern plenty of water should be used with limited fruit, and unlimited choices and variations of greens. And the drink should be drank about a cup at a time, rather than all in once.
Linda Larsson said:
Could Parsley be substituted for the cilantro?
Also, chia, hemp, or flax seeds can be added to the drink. The fats and proteins go well with the apple and help to slow the digestion of sugars even further. I like to add my seeds whole after the drink is blended by turning down the speed of the blender to low and just letting 1 to 2 Tablespoons of seed mix well without chopping them up. I let it run for a few minutes while the seeds absorb moisture.
I made up the drink with parsley,chia seeds and some hemp. It was delicious and so soothing. Thank you for this wonderful recipe.
Thank you for sharing your success Linda. It is a soothing and hydrating drink, not so sugary and sometimes that all I eat/drink until dinner. Best!