Lots of research suggests that smoothies are an excellent way to pack in the fruits, veggies, and other nutrients you need. But these drinks can also pack on the pounds when they’re made with the wrong ingredients and you’re not careful about your smoothie habits. Knowing what to avoid in smoothies can help you drink them safely and effectively.
Smoothies can be a healthy way to get your recommended five daily servings of fruits and vegetables. But smoothies can also be a great way to consume excess calories and sugar. Rules for making healthy smoothies include sticking with low-sugar fruits like berries and using ingredients that are as close to their natural state as possible.
- Toss out the heavy cream. Smoothies can be delicious, but if your drink is loaded with saturated fat and calories, it can wreak havoc on your weight loss plan. A small cup of coffee with whole milk contains 12 grams of saturated fat and 90 calories, but a cup of plain coffee with half-and-half packs a whopping 18 grams of saturated fat and 145 calories! If you want to enjoy creamy, rich smoothies without sabotaging your weight loss efforts, stick with light cream or non-dairy alternatives such as soy or almond milk.
- Add fruit to your smoothies instead of sweeteners. You might be tempted to reach for a bottle of sugary syrup to jazz up your fruit smoothie, but this will ruin any health benefits offered by the fruits. Instead, add fresh or frozen fruits to your blender to make a healthy drink that keeps blood sugar levels stable and satisfies a sweet tooth without adding extra sugar.
- Use fresh fruit instead of juice. Juices are often high in sugar, which can cause your blood sugar to spike. Fresh fruits contain fiber that slows digestion, which helps control your blood sugar levels.