Smoothies can quickly become sugar bombs. Here's how to make sure yours fits into a healthy diet.
Refreshing, delicious, and an easy way to front-load your day with fruits and veggies, smoothies have become the true breakfast of champions. But even natural sugars from dates, frozen bananas, raw honey and agave nectar can turn your energizing morning beverage into liquid candy—complete with a crash a few hours later. Make smarter smoothies using the following tips.
Be Choosy With Fruits
Two frozen bananas add a whopping 30 grams of sugar to your smoothie, and you'll want to go light on mangoes and pineapple, too, which are naturally high in sugar. Instead, bulk up your smoothie with frozen berries, which are naturally low in sugar.
Pack Your Blender With Greens
By adding leafy greens such as spinach and kale, you’ll have less room in the blender for fruit and sugary add-ins. Plus, you'll be sipping on more vitamins and antioxidants.
Consider your Base
In smoothies, texture is key, but frozen bananas aren’t the only path to creaminess. Try avocado or even cauliflower that’s been steamed and frozen. Ice can act as a thickener, too.
Be Smart About Liquid
Opt for unsweetened dairy-free milk, a splash of full-fat milk, or better yet, water. Alternative milks are often packed with added sugars and preservatives, so check the label.
Add Fun Mix-Ins
Pass on the sugary yogurt and sweetened protein powders and add plain nut butters (look for ones where the only ingredient is roasted nuts), greens, chia seeds, hemp seeds, cocoa powder, matcha powder—the list goes on.
Skip the Sides
Consider your smoothie a complete meal. If you blend a substantial mix of greens, low-sugar fruit, healthy fats and protein, there’s no need to drink your smoothie alongside a stack of pancakes. If sipping on a smoothie doesn't feel satisfying, transform it into a smoothie bowl.