You wake up in the morning; the sun is shining, you make yourself a yummy smoothie, and enjoy it while reading a book. Life is good. You feel like you are taking care of your mind and body…
But hold on. Are these popular wonder drinks good for you?
Smoothies usually contain a lot of fruit. Some people are not aware that those are packed with sugar. As well as milk, flavored yogurt, and any added sweeteners.
Don’t just take my word for it. Let’s take a look at what science has to say.
Smoothies; Added Sugars
The main problem with smoothies is that their recipes can vary a lot. Commercial drinks add sugary components to make the drinks tastier. That’s pretty much what we do in our kitchen as well.
If you’re buying a smoothie, make sure to check the amount of sugar that it contains. The AHA recommends limiting your daily intake to 24 grams (for most women) and 36 grams of sugar (for most men).
We all know that such ingredients as honey, sherbet, and syrups are high in calories. But you should also take into consideration the additives that are not as obvious, like milk, protein powder, and nut butter.
Unfortunately, even fruit, something that we think of as ‘healthy,’ contains plenty of sugar. A medium-sized banana has around 15 grams, and a cup of strawberries contains 8 grams.
But don’t worry. Things are not that bad. The sugar that’s added to the smoothies is not exactly harmful if taken in reasonable amounts.
However, excess consumption of this sweet-tasting substance can lead to diabetes, obesity, heart problems, and liver disease.
So, don’t just chug a big glass; learn more about the ingredients first.
How to Avoid Harmful Sugars in Your Smoothie
Thankfully, a few tips will help you reduce the number of sweeteners in your drink.
When it comes to bottled smoothies and made-to-order drinks, the only thing you can do is read the label or ask for more information on what the fellow wants to put in your glass.
If you are preparing your treat at home, you’ll undoubtedly have more control over the ingredients. Here are a few valuable tips:
- Don’t use flavored yogurt, honey, or syrup to add some sweetness.
- Use any sweet fruit. Though these have some sugar in them, it will be easier for you to track the amount. Plus, let’s not forget that fruits have a lot of vitamins in them.
- You can add your daily amount of fruit (1.5 – 2 cups) and vegetables (2-3 cups) in a single smoothie if that’s the only way you won’t forget to have them. However, remember that you still need to eat products that are high in fiber.
- For the liquid part, try using water instead of milk.
- If you have to add milk, take unsweetened almond or coconut milk into consideration. Those have 0 and 3 grams of sugar per 240 ml, respectively.
Your smoothie will be healthy if it (together with the rest of your meals) doesn’t exceed the recommended daily intake of sugar.
Reading the labels and counting the grams can seem like a tedious job, but if you want your drink to work its magic, it’s something that you have to do. But don’t be upset. You will become a professional sugar calculator in no time!