There’s some hidden magical property blenders have which can make any ingredient delicious once it’s blended into a smoothie. How else could you explain spinach turning into a mouth-watering smoothie? But while smoothies are undoubtedly one of our favorite things to drink, they aren’t always healthy. Smoothies are an amazing way to get your fill of fruits and veggies in one big gulp, but are you making them the right way? If you’re adding any of these seven ingredients into your smoothie, then your nutritionist wouldn’t approve.
1. Dried Fruit
Fruits are essential in a smoothie, just as long as they’re fresh. Dried fruits don’t have any water content in them, so you’re going to need more of them to feel full. They also have much more sugar than fresh fruits do. Just a handful of dates, for example, could put you way over your sugar limit for the day. If you absolutely must add dried fruits to your smoothie, make sure you aren’t heavy handed with them. If you can do away with them altogether, that’s even better.
2. Fruit Juice
If you’re adding fruit juice to your smoothie to sweeten it up, then you’re really just drinking sugar. Fruit juice extracts all that beneficial fiber from fruit, leaving it with just sugar and nothing to slow down its absorption. Most packaged fruit juices also come with plenty of added sugar, which is definitely not the best ingredient to have in a healthy smoothie. Adding whole fruits to your smoothie is much more beneficial and will give you the same delicious flavor.
3. Natural Or Artificial Sweeteners
Sugar is clearly a big no-no where smoothies are concerned. However, even if you aren’t using white sugar in your smoothies, there might be other ways sugar is sneaking in. Honey, agave nectar, stevia and artificial sweeteners can all bring you closer to your sugar limit for the day. When you’re using fruits in your smoothie, you really don’t need anything else to sweeten it. But even with healthy ingredients like fruits, you have to be careful about how much you put in. Don’t exceed more than 1 cup of fruits or you might end up with a sugar overload.
4. Frozen Yogurt
Many people substitute ice cream with the seemingly healthier frozen yogurt. But while frozen yogurt does have fewer calories than ice cream, that doesn’t mean it has any less sugar. Plus, frozen yogurt doesn’t have as many of the probiotic qualities that regular yogurt has. Leave out frozen yogurt completely if you want to have a healthy start to your day. If you’re craving something creamy in your smoothie, you can add regular unflavored yogurt or nut milk.
5. Flavored Yogurt
Like frozen yogurt, flavored yogurt is nowhere near as healthy as it claims to be. Flavored yogurt is usually packed with sugar, which can add too many calories and sugar to your daily limit. But apart from being unhealthy, flavored yogurt is also completely unnecessary in a smoothie. You’re going to be adding different kinds of fruit to your smoothie anyway, so flavored yogurt won’t make much of a difference to the final taste. You can use unflavored Greek yogurt instead to make your smoothie creamier and add protein.
6. Canned Fruit
If you love mangoes and it’s the middle of winter, you might feel tempted to reach out for canned mango to add to your smoothie. However, if you use canned fruit, you’re getting ten times the sugar of regular fruit with none of the health benefits. Always try to use seasonal fruits and vegetables because they’re the most ripe and are free from preservatives. If you must use off-season fruits, frozen berries are a great option.
7. Flavored Protein Powder
If you buy flavored protein powders, then always make it a point to read the ingredients label. Most flavored protein powders contain too much sugar to be considered healthy. Instead, you can add peanut butter powder or pea protein powder that don’t have any added sugar. It’s also important that you use the right amount of protein powder for your age and weight. Overdoing it could cause serious health complications. To be on the safe side, you can use natural sources of protein like silken tofu, cottage cheese or nut butter.