Smoothies have a pretty major reputation as a healthy food. After all, they are often mostly made of fruit, leafy greens, and sometimes protein. However, smoothies are actually not as good for you as you might have been led to believe. Why? The sugar content is frequently as high as your average soft drink. For example, Coca-Cola contains 39 grams of sugar, whereas an average smoothie can have anywhere from 28 to 42 grams of sugar in a 16-ounce serving. If you are trying to watch your sugar intake, smoothies are going to knock you off track.
That said, a smoothie is certainly not the worst thing you can drink. While the sugar level is on par with a soft drink, smoothies have something that either high sugar treats like sodas and lattes lack – vitamins and fiber. If you have a difficult time incorporating fruits and vegetables into your diet, an occasional smoothie might be able to provide the nutrients you are missing out on.
Making Healthier Smoothies
To make a healthier smoothie that works with your diet rather than against it, you need to start with a healthy base. The smoothie bases you will want to avoid include regular milk and fruit juices sold in supermarkets. Additionally, you will want to avoid the following unhealthy smoothie ingredients:
- Ice cream or sherbet
- Chocolate syrups or powders
- Agave nectar
- Cool whip or whipped cream
- Peanut butter
- Cream soda
The list of offenders can go on and on, but generally a little common sense will help anyone discern what not to add to a smoothie.
Now that we got most of the bad out of the way, we can talk about making your smoothie healthier. Healthy smoothie bases include raw milk, coconut milk, almond milk, tea, and even fermented beverages like kombucha. As for healthy ingredients, a good place to start is with:
- Fresh or frozen fruit
- Fresh vegetables
- Herbs and spices like cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg
- Hemp protein or seeds
- Raw nuts
- Chia seeds or chia gel
- Protein powder
Adding proteins or healthy fats like almond butter or avocado will take your smoothie from a sugary snack to a fulfilling meal that curbs your temptation to snack. Ultimately, what you decide to put in your smoothie should not only be healthy but also address your particular needs and goals, so avoid comparing yourself to what others consume at the gym and do a little experimenting with your smoothie concoctions.
Weight Loss Programs in Louisiana
Weight loss is not always easy and, oftentimes, abnormal body fat deposits might appear in common problem areas like the belly or arms. At Soza Weight Loss, our programs target these through precise nutritional balancing and nutritional optimization. When you choose to work with us, we will create a plan that is specifically tailored to you, based on several different factors.
Give up the fad diets and start a new, healthy lifestyle for the long-lasting results you desire.
Contact any of our convenient locations to schedule a free consultation today and learn more about what we can do for you.