Why Green Smoothies May Kill Me

a year ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

“If you make me one more green smoothie, I will kill you.”

My best friend, Jacqui, loves me dearly. But she recently sat me down for a green smoothie intervention. Apparently, she’s been lying about loving my delicious obsession for the past 5 years.

I look at her in shock. Green smoothies are the best, I plead! My palms press together as I supplicate my blonde haired friend that our green smoothie journey will result in glowing skin, weight loss, happiness and smoother bowel movements.

“No more dandelion leaves or argoo lettuce, Katherine”

It’s arugula, I correct her politely.

As I come to terms with Jacqui’s perplexing confession, I remember the delightful introduction of the green smoothie cult many years ago.

Whether you go green, or sans green, smoothies have been around for decades primarily as a way to shed approximately 5 - 15 pounds. The idea caught on quickly for green smoothies, too, but with a key difference. Replace one meal with a smoothie and acquire all your fibers, nutrients, veggies, vitamins, and self-esteem all in one drink. Forget about masticating your essential fruits and veggies! It was this easy:

  • Start with15% water
  • Add 60% greens
  • Add 20% fruit plus one sweetener and finally,
  • Add 5% of ‘hopefully you can drink this shit down’.

Like every carefully thought out diet I’ve tried, there were clear, specific steps to obtain maximum success:

  • Drink green smoothies.
  • Lose 15 pounds.
  • Become an instant, fabulous, skinny bitch overnight.

Because everyone wants to be a skinny bitch.

  Count. Me. In.

Growing from the organic phase in the early 2000s, the green smoothie health craze stung health nuts and non-health nuts alike. Green smoothies are not only considered healthy but they are fairly easy to make, are delicious if you hide the taste of oxalates from the bitters of spinach and kale, and if you replace your meal with one of these babies, you could potentially lose weight. There were so many attracting advantages all in one beautiful glass of smushy greenness.

Digging deeper into the craze and a quick Google search will reveal thousands of green smoothie recipes, cleanse diets, and New York Times Bestselling books. Walk into any Barnes and Noble and everybody has claimed some sort of green smoothie recipe as their own, trying to make their mark on the trend. An Instagram hashtag search exposed 1,194,277 posts on Instagram related to #greensmoothie. The green smoothie phase, from a visual perspective, is insanely beautiful: images of sparkling, luscious smoothie topped perfectly with chia seeds and meticulously sliced pineapples.

  But let’s get real...

Our kitchen will be stained with purple death marks of shredded blueberries and cherries, and a hard-to-clean blender that may have broken because of the frozen carrots you tried to add in. Lesson learned.

Everybody and their dog has made a green smoothie. And it’s tiring.

If we take some time to deconstruct the green smoothie, would you really eat half a pineapple, an apple, 15 blueberries, a tablespoon of coconut oil, 10 grams of raw spinach throughout the day?

Hopefully, the answer is no.

Some health experts don’t recommend green smoothies because it can lead to a high intake of sugar. The intensity of the sugar all in one place could cause more damage, especially with a diabetic.

Other health experts, like Dr. Richard Mattes, argue that smoothies ‘may rob you of the satisfaction you get from eating real food.’ You end up consuming more calories because you are still hungry.

Still other health professionals encourage consumers to eat a rainbow of veggies, fruits, and protein, contending that you should eat them throughout the day instead of in a gulp. Eating a salad or just simply snacking on the veggies or the fruits instead of having them meet their deaths a la blender would provide you with the same nutrients. It’s spaced out and controlled, resulting in the same awesome results - controlled weight, smooth baby bottom skin, healthier diet - but without the instant sugar shock. Shawn Stevenson, best-selling author and biologist scarily pointed out that green smoothies can spike your blood sugar higher than a Snickers bar.


Let’s think of other ways to eat our veggies and fruits. I’m working on this thing called a salad, a primitive mixture of fluffy green leaves, carved grilled chicken, and slices of fresh strawberries. I’ll let you know how it goes after I figure out how to cut a strawberry without a blender.

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