Smoothies are an amazing way to help you achieve your weight loss or wellness goal, but there’s a lot of ways to do it wrong and I see these mistakes happen all the time. These mistakes cause a lot of issues that you do not want, so, in this post, we are going to take a look at 13 do’s and don’ts of smoothies to help you make yourself a delicious and nutritious cup of smoothie whenever. These 13 do’s and don’ts should cover what not to put in your smoothie, and what to put in your smoothie.
So, if you’re ready, let’s dive right into it!
Do Not Use Fruit Juices
The first mistake that most people make is too much sugar. I was quite astounded when I found out that a lot of people use fruit juices as their liquid base for when you are making these smoothies. Well, shockingly, one cup of some apple juice or orange juices contain up to 30 grams of sugar. That is more sugar than one Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.
Also, most people just put a lot of fruits in their smoothies, and not a lot of the other things. When your smoothies are very sugar-heavy, you have spikes in your blood sugar levels throughout the day. Every time you have a sugar spike, insulin gets secreted. Insulin’s a very pro-inflammatory hormone. In addition to this, it’s also a storage hormone.
So, guess what happens when you have high levels of insulin in your bloodstream constantly throughout the day? Well, you gain weight, and you have a very difficult time losing weight.
Do Not Just Combine Anything
When you don’t combine your fruits properly in your smoothie, it can lead to a lot of GI issues, and that can put a damper on your day. For example, avocados, and pineapples do not mix very well because the proteins in them cause a lot of gas to be secreted, but there are a lot of people who mix these things.
Citrus and proteins just do not mix very well. Also, do not combine spinach with peanut butter, it puts a lot of the stress on your GI system, making it very difficult to absorb nutrients for the food that you are eating. Kale does not combine very well with a lot of other ingredients that are very common in smoothies. So, most people experience bloating after they drink their smoothies, and mostly it is because they added kale.
Raw kale is difficult to break down, and this can cause excess stress on the GI tract, and it also has a ton of hard to break down fibers, that only your gut bacteria can breakdown, and this causes a lot of bloating as a result. However, if you love kale, you can still add kale, but you want to avoid using the raw form. The best way to add kale is to steam it, and then freeze it before adding it to your smoothie. Doing this is a great way to pre-digest the kale, so, your body doesn’t have to work hard to break it down.
Avoid Adding Too Much Dairy
I suggest sometimes avoiding too much dairy, especially for green smoothies. People tend to add too much dairy to their smoothies and regardless of it being milk, yogurt, or some other form of dairy is something you want to avoid. This is because when you add too much dairy to your smoothie, you tend to sabotage the health benefits you were supposed to get from the smoothie you are preparing.
Do Not Over Do It With Fruit
Don’t get me wrong, fruits aren’t bad, they have a lot of health benefits. However, just because it isn’t bad doesn’t mean that it isn’t going to affect you. The fruit is going to be a source of sugar, and if it is in something like a blended smoothie, where since it is blended, it is essentially pre-digested, making it easier to absorb into your system.
Too much of a good thing can lead to unintended health precautions. So, packing your smoothie with too many fruits can lead to an unhealthy source of carbohydrates, this leads to you consuming too many calories and excess carbs.
Also, adding it can lead to those glucose spikes and falls, that can lead to your feeling more mood swings, more hunger, and cause that increase in insulin that can lead to it storing the excess carbs.
Typically, most women should consume 2 to 3 servings of fruit per day, while men may need 3 to 4 servings of fruit per day. So, instead of filling your smoothie with all of these fruits, and not have the ability to eat them later in the day, you want to fill your smoothie with a little bit of fruit and more healthy vegetables such as spinach and cucumber.
So, adding sweeteners and sugars to these smoothies can pile up excess calories, and what that does is, it doesn’t get you to your health goals. So, adding ingredients like ginger and nut butter prevents added sugars, but it is a great way to boost the overall flavors.
Not Adding Leafy Greens
Leafy greens help maintain the consistency of your smoothie. However, it is a great way to add those extra vegetables and it is a quick and easy way to get the vitamins, and minerals they provide inside the body.
Smoothies sometimes are my go-to drink, and it is such a great way to get almost my daily value of leafy greens in one quick power-packed smoothie. So, I encourage you to add in your leafy greens such as Swiss chard. spinach, and carrots. I love to make spicy smoothies that have arugula in them, but that can be for a more developed palette, something that you can work your way up to.
However, adding these leafy greens in your morning smoothie is a great way to get in your plant minerals.
Avoid Adding Too Much Plant Milk
Plant milk can have a whole host of ingredients, and if you are not conscious about which ones you’re using, and which ones may be healthier, then I encourage you to check out the labels. We all know that adding 2 to 3 cups of plant milk into our smoothies gives us a rich creamy texture and a delicious flavor. Nevertheless, you could also be adding things like emulsifiers into your plant-based smoothie, when you use plant milk. This is because they add in these emulsifiers to increase the shelve longevity of these kinds of milk.
A great alternative will be to add zucchini or even steamed, and frozen cauliflower to give you that same whip texture, but without adding all of the unnecessary calories, and the additives into our smoothie.
Generally, I recommend that you sometimes use water as the base of your smoothie or herbal teas (instead of any kind of milk). I love herbal teas because they are a great way to detox the body, add herbs, and add polyphenols to the body while enjoying a delicious smoothie.
Another form of plant milk that people add to their smoothie is seed milk. It is good to add these however when using any form of a nut or seed milk, you must use the unsweetened ones. Most people go to buy the “Original” ones. However, these “Original” ones are just tricky marketing schemes, just because they are original doesn’t mean they are unsweetened. The original nut milk does contain added sugar which gives you 5 to 10 grams of added sugars just from your base. So, you must check out the labeling to make sure that it is unsweetened.
Make Sure You Add Fiber
Fiber is an essential food nutrient that in my opinion, everyone should add to their smoothie. It comes with a lot of benefits, and my favorite being, it keeps you full, so that you do not end up overeating. It helps decrease cholesterol levels. Also, it stabilizes blood sugars.
Fibers are anti-inflammatory, and also helps feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut. Fiber can also help balance your hormones levels, and the list goes on and on.
Do Not Be Scared To Add Fat
A lot of people do not add fat to their diet because they have this mindset that fat is bad, well, that’s a misconception because fat is super good. Your body uses fat to synthesize hormones. So, hormones like progesterone, estrogen, and all of the sex hormones are synthesized using fat.
Also, every cell in the body is half fat. So, when you do not consume a lot of healthy fat, like avocados, it can contribute to a lot of health issues. You must balance your protein, fat, and fiber, in other to maintain your weight loss goals (if there is any).
It is easy to be scared of fat because there is this whole mentality that fat will make you fat. This is further from the truth, cause you wouldn’t get fat when you consume fat properly. Fat doesn’t cost this insulin response as carbohydrates do. Fat also increases the satiety of your meal which is crucial for weight loss.
So, to help stabilize blood glucose levels, and also to increase satiety levels, do not shy away from fat.
Avoid Adding Too Much Protein
People tend to add a scoop of different types of proteins, such as BCAAs, plant-based proteins, and a scoop of collagen, creating this layer of proteins, this can add up to quite a lot of protein. Well, depending on the brands that you want to using this can lead to 40, 50 grams of protein in one smoothie, and that’s just from the protein powder, not even including any other ingredient that you’re adding to it.
Protein is the body that is mainly used for hormones, or muscle repair, or helping in the creation of new cells. It is not used as a fuel source. When we reach that max on how much protein we need in a day, our body starts to convert that protein into carbohydrates through a process know as Gluconeogenesis.
So, if you are upping the protein content pass what you may need, then theoretically you’ve just increased the carbs in the content of your smoothie. So, if you are using protein powder, just use one of the serving recommendations, you do not have to overdo it, and add all these other protein sources in, really from your protein powder, 15 to maybe 30 grams at most is all that you’ll need. Because you are still going to be adding in other ingredients quite as well in your smoothie, which will increase the overall protein content.
Most people tend to consume the same smoothie, and the same ingredients every day. I mean this is boring, and also you are limiting yourself on the nutrients that you should be getting. There is a variety of things you can use. For example, when we take a look at the fat section, it doesn’t always have to be avocado, you can substitute that with flax oil, and almond oil.
So, you must alternate your fat sources, your protein sources, and your fiber sources will make sure that your body is getting the required nutrients it needs.
I always suggest trying to mix different ingredients, mix different types of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and liquids – you may find your own “winner” combination for a perfect smoothie someday 🙂
Not Adding Spices
This can seem like a strange one because you might think spices have nothing to do with our weight loss goals. You do not have to add spices into every smoothie that you have, but it can be of benefit to your weight loss goals, and health in general.
Occasionally, you want to add some spices. turmeric and cinnamon are helpful for weight loss. Also, studies have shown that cinnamon in particular helps in balancing your blood glucose levels. This is a great way to reduce the glucose spike in the blood. So, by adding in cinnamon, you can help stabilize your blood sugar.
Also, other spices have anti-inflammatory benefits such as turmeric, cloves, and ginger. You can throw these into your smoothies, Just like switching up your smoothie ingredients for different benefits, you can also switch up your spices.
Sometimes I like adding a pinch of salt just to make a new special taste, for some recipes ideas take a look at this blog post
Avoid Using Bad Nut Butters
Trust me, most nut butter you are using contains a whole bunch of added nonsense. Making sure that the nut butter that you are using for your fat sources is free of any additives.
You must avoid buying one with sugar, or Safflower oil, or canola. Canola is used during the roasting process of these peanuts, and that is just oxidized fat which can lead to increased inflammation in the body. This isn’t good for your health, and you wouldn’t feel any better by having these lower quality nut butter. Do not forget that your smoothie probably has enough sugar from the fruits.
So, you must make sure that the nut butter you have do not contain any sugar or added oils.
Your Smoothie Doesn’t Have To Be Low Calorie
People always say you shouldn’t drink your calories, and that’s true when it comes to things like sodas, and sweet tea, these are the leading causes of obesity. Well, your smoothie doesn’t have to be low-calorie because we aren’t having sugary based smoothies, especially if you’re doing it the right way, we are keeping the sugar very low, and increasing the nutritional benefits such as protein, fiber, and fat.
If you keep your smoothie low calorie, then that means you’re not going to shut off your hunger hormone, which means you’re not going to be satiated and meaning you’re going to be hungry within the next hour or two. This can cause you to end up snacking throughout the day, which isn’t something you want to avoid. Snacking causes insulin spikes
A SHORT BREAK!
My cat just decided to step on my keyboard, and she left you a special message: .lp;ø
No idea what does it mean, but she probably wanted to say something special 🙂
So, you must have those blood glucose stabilizing, and satiating factors in your smoothie, and also the fat, fiber, and proteins. These should prevent you from snacking, therefore keeping your insulin low.
- Do not use fruit juices
- Do not just combine anything
- Avoid adding too much dairy
- Do not overdo it with fruits
- Not adding leafy greens
- Avoid using too much plant milk
- Add fiber
- Do not be scared to add fat
- Avoid adding too much protein
- Variety is important
- Not adding spices
- Avoid using bad nut butter
- Your smoothie doesn’t have to be low calorie
I hope the next time you are preparing a healthy smoothie, you will keep all of these in mind. I hope this post was helpful for you.