When you think about the makeup of a healthy diet, juices and smoothies seem like a staple. Yet, just like anything else, the healthiness of a smoothie depends on what goes in it.
Whether smoothies are a part of your new weight loss strategy or you're simply looking for a way to kick your healthy eating into a higher gear, it's important to pay attention to your grocery list.
When built properly, smoothies offer a nutritious helping of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other healthy ingredients. But even healthy ingredients eventually add up the calories if you're not careful, which can halt your weight loss progress or even lead to additional weight gain.
There are four very common mistakes people make when preparing a smoothie. Annie, our certified holistic nutritionist, will show you how to avoid these mistakes and teach you the key to making healthy, nutritious smoothies.
Common Smoothie Mistakes
No matter what kind of smoothie you're making, there are some common mistakes you could be making. Learning how to avoid these traps is the first step toward building healthier smoothies!
1. You Drink It With a Meal
If you're someone who makes a smoothie to go alongside their breakfast or lunch, you might want to reconsider this plan. Since smoothies often contain protein powder, nut butters, Greek yogurt, or other filling ingredients, it's best to make them your meal instead of having them with your meal.
These smoothies are often meant to be meal replacements and, as such, they contain a solid amount of calories and nutrients to begin with. It's best to make one of two decisions: Either eliminate or lighten your breakfast or choose asmoothie recipe that doesn't contain much in the way of calories.
2. Slipping in Added Sweeteners
It's not uncommon for smoothie recipes to include honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, agave, or other added sugars. However, these sweeteners are often where smoothies can become unhealthy. If you're drinking smoothies to promote a healthier lifestyle, it's best to avoid added sugars whenever possible.
But don't worry! This doesn't have to take the good taste out of the smoothies you've grown to love. Fruit is naturally sweet, so it's possible to get by without any added sugar. It might take some getting used to if you're a fan of these added sugars, but give it a try!
3. Too Much Fruit Is Possible
Fruit is a cornerstone of the best smoothie recipes, but it's still possible to get too much of a good thing. Too much fruit can actually lead to a smoothie that’s too many calories and has more carbs than necessary.
It's usually a good idea to add only ½ - 1 cup of fruit (we prefer organic berries) to your smoothie because that's equivalent to one serving. It's easy to go overboard on this when you're mixing fruits in a blender, so make sure to keep an eye on the total amount.
4. Packing Too Much In
If it's possible to go overboard with fruit, you can bet it's possible to go overboard with other ingredients. Protein powders, chia seeds, and nut butters are all great for smoothies, but there's a limit on how much to add.
For example, a single tablespoon of almond butter or peanut butter is about 100 calories. Protein powders will add at least 100 calories to a smoothie. Chia or flax seeds reach 100 calories after only two or three tablespoons.
These calories can add up quickly, so make sure not to pack too much in!
A Guide to Nutritionist-Approved Smoothies
Annie notes that a person's caloric needs are dependant on weight, age, exercise regimen, and a variety of other factors. However, most adults can handle smoothies between 300 and 450 calories without any issue.
Here are our tips for getting all the nutrition you need without overdoing it on calories:
Fruit:Start building your smoothie with 1 cup of fruit - fresh or frozen. Bananas, strawberries, pineapple, blueberries, peaches, and mangoes are all great fruits to build a smoothie around.
Vegetables: You can never have enough antioxidants, which is why we suggest adding some kale or spinach to your smoothie next. Veggies also help build up your smoothie without overpowering the taste of the fruit.
Plant-Based Fats:Fats that come from plants help make smoothies extra filling and can even provide heart-healthy benefits from monounsaturated fats or omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds, flax seeds, nut butters, or avocados are all great sources of plant-based fats. However, it's best to limit this addition to avoid pumping your smoothie with too many calories.
Protein:There are plenty of proteins you can add to a smoothie to ensure it fills you up. Protein powder is a great, easy choice, but make sure to check the label for any artificial sweeteners! Greek yogurt, chickpeas, and cottage cheese are also great options.
Grains:This option isn't for everyone, but whole grains add more body to a smoothie and are also great sources of fiber.
A Splash of Liquid and Ice:We typically recommend non-dairy milk, like almond milk, or coconut water to round out your smoothie. We also like adding in a few ice cubes to add additional volume to the smoothie.
The Ultimate Smoothie-Boosters
If you’re serious about making a positive change for your health but don’t want to drink bland smoothies for the rest of your life, then you’ll love our line of ultimate smoothie-boosters! Smart Pressed Juice offers an award-winning program of juices that are packed with wonderful flavors and beneficial nutrients.
Take our triple award-winningOrganic Pressed Greens, for example. If you don't get enough vegetables on a daily basis, this greens juice is perfect for you. Each glass is like an organic farmer's market featuring over 20 superfoods and ingredients for optimal health.
We worked tirelessly to make sure your tastebuds will love our juice. With delicious hints of real pineapple, apple, citrus, and carrots, you'll love adding this to your morning smoothie!
Vegan Vanilla Proteini is another crowd favorite. With only 100 calories and 5 grams of carbohydrates per serving, our Proteini is the perfect dose of protein for a smoothie. Smooth and delicious, this perfect blend of superfoods will activate your daily detox while also powering your day.
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