Find out the healthiest smoothie ingredients and 10 to ditch.
Whether you enjoy smoothies for breakfast, a snack or even dessert, they’re a great way to increase your daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
But depending on the ingredients they’re made with, smoothies can quickly turn into unhealthy calorie-bombs filled with sugar and saturated fat. The healthiest way to enjoy a smoothie is to make your own so you know how much of and what foods you are getting. Wondering how to make a smoothie? A good smoothie should contain a blend of ingredients with protein and fiber to help keep you full and provide antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Best High-Protein Smoothie Ingredients
• Nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt
• Nonfat or low-fat plain milk
• Natural peanut butter
• Almond butter
• Plain soymilk
• Plain almond milk
Best Fruits for Smoothies
Use fresh fruit, frozen fruit or fruit canned in water or its own juice.
• Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
Best Vegetables for Smoothies
Use raw vegetables.
Healthy Smoothie Additions for Flavor and Additional Nutrition
• Chia seed
• Old-fashioned oats
• Spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger)
• Vanilla extract
• Coconut water
• Unsweetened cocoa powder
Smoothie Ingredients to Ditch
To keep your smoothie as healthy as possible, avoid adding these ingredients, which provide a lot of calories in the form of sugar and saturated fat, with little or no fiber or other nutrients.
- Sugar-sweetened fruit juice or concentrate
- Full-fat dairy products, such as milk or yogurt
- Flavored yogurt
- Whipped cream
- Ice cream
- Chocolate syrup
- Full-fat coconut milk
- Canned fruit in syrup
~Breana Lai, M.P.H., R.D.