Hi all! Coach Stefanie here! I just recently saw the question come up again in the forum, so wanted to take a moment and share my viewpoint.
To Count Modified Fruits or Not to Count Modified Fruits- that is the question!
We all know that on most plans, fruits and vegetables are zero BITES. Click HERE to view each plan’s list. However, when we change up how we ingest these (especially) fruits, the question becomes: Are they still zero? Research suggests that changing the consistency of these fruits leads us to metabolize them differently. So, while the nutritional value is still the same, they might affect our body differently.
In addition to that, we are also likely to consume much more in their manipulated form. Think about dried fruit for example. Eating a whole bag of dried apricots is easy to do. But would you be able to eat the same amount of apricots if they were still in their undried form? The answer is likely no. The same thing holds true with smoothies. We can easily drink up a smoothie made with a banana, a cup of strawberries, a cup of blueberries and a cup of raspberries. But if we were eating them fresh, we would likely stop after the banana.
Therefore, the suggestion is now to only count fruits as zero if they have not been manipulated and to count them if they are dried or in a smoothie. The Healthi app can make this easy for us since it has food listed by both nutritional value and by pocket guide entries which account for the Zero-BITE foods.
If we are wanting to eat a banana for zero-BITE, we would simply search “banana” and toggle to the Zero BITE foods list. But, if we are wanting to add a banana to our smoothie, we can look for a banana that is calculated based on the nutritional values. An easy way to do that is to look for a brand name. If we look for “Banana Chiquita” for example we will find a banana for 5 bites that we can use in this case. Or, you can use a list that can be found by searching in the Facebook groups. With all this said, it is still a personal choice to count them as zero or as BITES. In the end, you need to figure out what works for you.
Personally, I do a hybrid method. As I mentioned above, the smoothie rule is based on the fact that you generally won’t eat that much fruit whole. With that in mind, I will think about my ingredients and decide whether it would be reasonable for me to eat these fruits whole. In my favorite morning protein drink, I include one banana for example. I do not count this banana since it is just one singular banana and a lot of the other foods do have BITES. If I would eat something similar, I would reasonably be likely to eat a banana with it, so I do not count it. The drink also keeps me full for a long time so I know that I won’t be grabbing anything else any time soon.
Will the same thing work for you? Maybe! The only way to find out is by trying it! If you are losing weight without counting the fruit in your smoothies then keep going. But if your weight is not moving how it should, then it might be worth taking a closer look at the manipulated foods you consume! I hope this is helpful! Feel free to comment below with your experience or questions with Zero-BITE foods!