Are you making any of the following common smoothie mistakes? If you are, you may as well be preparing a milkshake for yourself for all the good it will do your nutrition. It’s important to learn about these no-nos to be able to avoid them and the consequences that come with them.
Are They Worth it?
If you’re not making common smoothie mistakes, then these beverages can provide a very quick and easy meal or snack, depending on what you put in them and when you have them. That said, as obvious as they may seem as a concept, it is possible to do them “wrong”.
The following are some of the most common smoothie mistakes that so many of us have made – or are still making – which can turn a highly nutritious beverage into something as unhealthy as a milkshake.
Are You Making These Smoothie Mistakes?
1 – Using Fruit Juice as a Liquid
If fruit juice is an ingredient in your recipe, then you may as well have that milkshake. It’s easy to assume that juice – especially freshly squeezed – is good for you, but it’s essentially just liquid sugar. Whether you’re trying to be healthy overall, counting calories, following an alkaline or acidic diet, or are trying keto or low-carb, this is clearly not the right goal for you. The impact on your blood sugar is about the same as having a soda when you have fruit juice either on its own or an ingredient.
To avoid that most common practice among smoothie mistakes, simply choose water or flavored sparkling water as an alternative. If you’re looking for something a little thicker, consider skim milk or your favorite milk alternative.
2 – Low-Quality Protein (or none at all!)
Since the main ingredient in smoothies is fruits and vegetables, the protein content is relatively low unless you add it in a good quality form. Adding protein to this beverage can help to boost its nutrient content but can also help it to be more filling and satisfying overall. The key is to choose a high-quality protein for your drink to avoid making this next most common among smoothie mistakes. Skim milk, a high-protein non-dairy alternative, and Greek yogurt are all great choices in this area. Avoid protein powders altogether.
3 – Adding “Natural” Sweeteners
There is a lot to say about ingredients such as honey, agave, maple syrup, and others. Yes, they do each contain their own unique properties. Some even have certain health benefits associated with their use. That said, when it comes to the way your body treats the sweetness from these ingredients, they’re all just sugar. The calorie content and impact on your blood glucose is the same as if you’d swallowed a spoonful of the white stuff. Your smoothie is sweet enough as it is. If not, alter your fruit-to-vegetable ratio, or choose different fruits.
4 – Preparing a Huge Portion
This goof among smoothie mistakes is incredibly easy to make. After all, it’s made of fruits, veggies and other foods that are great for you, right? So, the more the merrier! Nope! Before you decide how big your portion should be, enter the ingredients into a nutrition tracker and check out how many calories it contains. There’s nothing wrong with having a nice tall glass of your favorite recipe, but you don’t need to serve yourself a movie theater-sized serving, either.
5 – High Fat Additions
If you’re trying to keep your calories under control, then work to keep your recipes high in fiber and nutrients, reasonable in protein, but low in fat. A little bit of fat doesn’t hurt, but keep in mind that even a tablespoon of peanut butter will add another 100 calories to your glass. Even if almond butter made of just nuts – which can be filled with healthy fats and nutrients – making sure you know how much it’s adding to your calorie total can help you to avoid some serious smoothie mistakes.