Let’s face it. Smoothies are quick, easy and yummy. But they can turn from a healthy drink into a dessert-like beverage faster than you can hit the Blend button.
The concept of these portable drinks is simple. Throw in a number of nutritious ingredients, add ice and a liquid of choice, mix well and pour into your favorite glass or travel container.
Unfortunately, "tasting good" and "being good for you" may not always be in alignment with each other. With this in mind, why not try these three steps for creating a healthy smoothie today.
1) Keep a balance between the fruit and vegetables.
Yes, kale is all the rage right now as a super food. However, many cannot fathom the thought of putting bitter greens in their morning smoothie, and opt for berries, cherries, peaches and bananas instead.
While fruit has its place, it can also create a blood sugar spike in certain people. Fruit is also high in natural fructose which some people cannot handle, and they may gain weight as a result.
Speaking of sugars, if you like smoothies with yogurt as the base, make sure you read the label to see how much sugar is in that container. Four grams of sugar on the label is equivalent to approximately 1 teaspoon of sugar. If the yogurt has 16 grams of sugar ... that is 4 teaspoons of sugar you just added.
So consider eliminating yogurt, and be sure to blend in vegetables such as kale, spinach or beets, along with a little bit of fruit for taste.
2) Remember to include protein.
The most common form is a good quality, low-sugar, additive-free protein powder. For those who do not have a whey sensitivity, this can be a good option. For those who are dairy intolerant, consider a rice or pea blend. Some powders have an egg-white base.
Many stores that carry protein powder sell trial packets as well. That way, you can buy several types in various flavors in order to decide which one tastes the best and does the best for your body.
3) Consider adding some good fat.