Your Smoothie May Be a Ticking Sugar Bomb
3 Minute Read
I bet this scenario sounds a little famil: you roll up to Booster Juice after a night of nachos and Netflix, thinking you're doing your body good by opting for a fruit smoothie. If so, I don't blame you, I'm def guilty of this as well. But the fact is, most smoothies are ridiculously high in sugar, it may even have as many grams of sugar as two cans of soda.
I know what you're thinking - "but it's from natural sources found in fruit!" You are right, but the natural stuff will rev up your sugar odometer into the red zone just as fast, sending your blood-sugar levels sky high. That's not exactly how you want to start your morning or end a great workout.
As I've been trying sooo hard to nix unnecessary sugar from my diet this past year, I've come across some tips on how to make a leaner, cleaner smoothie that doesn't compromise taste - and I wanna share them with you!
1. You know it's all about that base...
...No sugar. Texture is a huge deal when it comes to a tasty smoothie, but if you add a frozen banana or two, that's at least 30g of sugar. Try out 1/2 an avocado as a base instead as they're low in sugar, high in fiber (which will keep you fuller for longer) and healthy fat. I've also been using 1/2 cup frozen zucchini and 1/3 frozen cauliflower in my smoothies lately and I SWEAR it's allll kinds of amazing. Check out my fruit-free mint chip smoothie here! FYI - Half a frozen banana is fine, but you could also use a pear and ice cubes instead.
Youuu guessed it: greens. Don't be afraid of greens compromising taste - it's simply not true. In fact, you can barely taste these nutrient-dense beauties, but get allll of the health benefits at the same time. A Win-win-win scenario, no? Try vegetables like kale, spinach, collard greens and you'll automatically get less sugar and more antioxidants, fiber, and other vital nutrients.
I'm not trying to boycott fruit or start a movement here, because I basically love every fruit out there. But the key here is moderation. If you add tons of fruit to one shake, like many smoothie shops do, you're just gonna screw up your blood sugar levels as mentioned above. Prioritize low-sugar picks like frozen berries, and use bananas, mangoes, and pineapple in moderation.
4. Key word: Unsweetened
Always use an unsweetened non-dairy milk alternative like almond, cashew or coconut milk for your smoothie. You could also skip the milk and use unsweetened green tea or just water, both which have zero sugar.
5. Healthy Additives
Experiment with these nutrient-packed ingredients: flax seeds, hemp seeds, spirulina, carob powder, lemon juice, matcha green tea powder, cocoa powder, chia seeds and raw nuts. Skip out on the sweetened protein powders and sugary yogurt (usually the ones with fruit on the bottom).
6. Portion Control
Smoothies can serve as full meals when they contain a good source of carbs like veggies and fruit, along with protein and fat from milk, nuts, avocado, and/or unsweetened protein powder.