Smoothies: Yay or Nay?

by Desiree Martin

Smoothies and smoothie bowl stands seem to be popping up all over the place nowadays. A smoothie can be a wonderful way to jam pack a ton of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and fiber into a small cup. However, smoothies can also turn into blood sugar spiking drink loaded with a ton of calories and sugar leaving us unsatisfied and hungry not too long after consumption. How can we ensure that our smoothie is helping us get in proper nutrition and satiety and not hurting us? You need to be mindful of things that can add unnecessary carbs/sugar to your smoothies such as: too MUCH fruit (yes this can be an issue), fruit juice, honey, yogurt, and milk.

Desiree Martin RDN
Registered Dietitian
Phone: 973.975.0270

Fruit can be a wonderful addition of naturally occurring sugar, fiber and nutrients to our smoothies, but be careful not to overload on the fruit. Keep your smoothie to about 2 servings of fruit. This can include: 1 medium banana (or ½ a large banana) and 1 cup of berries, or 2 cups of mixed fruitsuch as mixed berries, pineapple, mangoes, peaches etc. Add in water/ice, 1 cup of unsweetened nut milk (for a vegan/plant based smoothie) or 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt for a boost of protein. Throw in some chia seeds for additional fiber, omega 3’s and calcium and don’t forget the dark greens! Dark greens such as spinach and kale will add a boost of fiber, iron and a variety of minerals to the smoothie without increasing the sugar content.

Chose a protein powder you trust! Do your research-not all protein powders are created equally. Protein powders can have be loaded with artificial sweeteners, questionable ingredients, traces of heavy metals etc. Go for a plant based protein powder such as Plant Fusion or Vega. Also consider choosing a hemp based protein powder such as Nutiva. Hemp protein powders have been labeled as some of the cleanest/purest protein powders around. To keep you full and balance out the smoothie, always make sure you have a good source of protein from a brand/source you trust.

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