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Smoothie vs. juice: Which is healthier?

Both of these beverages are delicious, but one is more nutritious than the other. Find out which.

Just about every city has a juice bar or smoothie bar. And you probably see blenders and juicers all over your social media feed. If it’s not already obvious, Americans are obsessed with nutritious, blended beverages.

The enthusiasm is easy to understand. Smoothies and juices promise a lot of nutrition in an easy, tasty and portable delivery system. But which one is better for you?

Let’s look at how smoothies compare to juices.

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Smoothies vs. juice: What to know about each category

Let’s start with juice. You make it by separating the liquid, or juice, from the pulpy parts of fruits and vegetables. You’d usually do this in a juicer, or juicing machine.

You make smoothies, on the other hand, in blenders. You combine whole fruits and/or vegetables with other ingredients such as ice and milk, then blend it all into a drinkable form.

So, which one is better for you? Dietitians and dietitian nutritionists agree that for most people, smoothies are nutritionally superior to juice.

Why are smoothies better for you than juices?

Here are 3 reasons why smoothies provide you with more nutrition than juice:

1. Smoothies give you a good dose of fiber. Unlike juices made with a juicer, smoothies contain whole fruits and vegetables, says Bonnie Taub-Dix. She’s a registered dietitian nutritionist and the author of Read It Before You Eat It: Taking You from Label to Table. “You’re getting all the parts, including the skin and the pulp and everything else that’s important for your body, especially your gut health.”

While juice has virtually zero fiber, smoothies are full of it. Fiber is the part of the fruit or vegetable that’s often referred to as “roughage.” And it’s incredibly important for health.

Getting enough fiber can help protect against heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and constipation. It can also help regulate your blood sugar and keep you feeling full for longer.

Most adults don’t get enough fiber. The recommendation is 21 to 38 grams of fiber every day. On average, Americans get 16 grams. Juice doesn’t get you any closer to your daily fiber goal, but a smoothie can easily have 5 to 10 grams of fiber in it.

2. Smoothies can provide you with protein and healthy fat. Juice is not very versatile. It’s not easy to add ingredients beyond fruits and vegetables. But with smoothies, “you can make a combination of so many different things that you need all at once,” Taub-Dix says.

Consider Greek yogurt and nut butter (such as peanut, almond or cashew butter). Those don’t work in juice, but they’re perfect for smoothies. And many Greek yogurts and nut butters provide both protein and healthy fat, Taub-Dix says.

Protein helps your body make new cells, including muscle cells. If you’re following dietary guidelines, 10% to 35% of your daily calories should be from protein.

Meanwhile, healthy fats can help you maintain brain health and help your body fight inflammation. And without fat, some vitamins (such as vitamins A, D and E) will not absorb into your body. If you’re getting those vitamins from nonfat juice, they’ll pass right through.

Simply put, smoothies provide more nutritional flexibility. Consider this:

  • If you want more fiber, you can add chia seeds or ground flaxseed.
  • If you want more protein, you can add protein powder.
  • If you want more plant-based nutrients but find fresh produce hard to manage, you can use frozen fruits and vegetables instead.

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3. A smoothie can be a substitute for a full meal. With fiber, protein and healthy fat, a smoothie can work as a healthy breakfast or lunch. “It can literally be a complete meal,” says Taub-Dix.

If you want a healthy smoothie, you can make quickly in the morning. Taub-Dix recommends prepping it the night before. Just add the ingredients to your blender, cover it and put it in the refrigerator.

In the morning, you can blend it quickly before you run out the door. “There’s no breakfast that’s faster and filled with as much value,” she says.

Sure, you can have a glass of orange juice with breakfast, but what about substituting juice for your whole breakfast? That’s not such a great choice for most people, says Taub-Dix. “I don’t think juice as a meal is a good idea,” she says. “It doesn’t have the same nutritional value, and it’s not balanced.”

Is juicing good for you?

While smoothies are healthier for most people, there are some situations where juicing fresh fruits and vegetables can be beneficial. This may be the case if you have a gastrointestinal issue and are trying to avoid fiber. (That means you have a health issue that affects your stomach and intestines.)

But as the Mayo Clinic notes, you don’t want to avoid fiber unless your doctor specifically advises you to do so. In fact, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet.

Potential smoothie pitfalls

Smoothies are the clear winner when it comes to nutrition. But Taub-Dix warns that they’re only as good as the ingredients you add to them.

The biggest smoothie pitfall is added sugar, she says. This is a serious concern if you’re buying a smoothie at a cafe or smoothie bar, rather than making it yourself at home.

These places often add honey or syrup. They might also use frozen fruit or yogurt that has added sugar. In some cases, smoothie cafes may even add ice cream, which seriously blurs the line between smoothie and milkshake.

So stick to smoothie shops you trust, or commit to making them yourself.

The bottom line: If you’re a juice drinker, consider switching to smoothies. Juice provides many important nutrients, but it misses out on many more nutritional points. If you want a complete, healthy option, smoothies are the way to go.

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This advertisement is provided as general information only. It is not intended to diagnose or recommend treatment of any illness, disease or condition. You should consult a qualified medical professional if you have questions or need more information.


Mayo Clinic. “Is juicing healthier than eating whole fruits or vegetables?” August 23, 2023. Retrieved from

Michigan Medicine. “Fiber in foods chart.” Retrieved from Accessed January 4, 2024

National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus. “Dietary fats explained.” July 30, 2022. Retrieved from

National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus. “Dietary fiber.” April 25, 2023. Retrieved from

National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus. “Fiber.” July 25, 2022. Retrieved from

National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus. “Protein in diet.” April 13, 2023. Retrieved from

Tufts University. “Smoothies?” August 15, 2022. Retrieved from

UMass Chan Medical School. “So, you want to increase your fiber Intake?” March 14, 2022. Retrieved from

University of Connecticut. “Juicy facts: Why whole fruit is better than juice.” April 4, 2022. Retrieved from

Utah State University. “Smoothies — helpful or harmful?” Retrieved from Accessed January 4, 2024

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