Since so many of you wanted to put a hit out on me because of my anti-smoothie stance, I wanted to play fair – do I think there’s a healthy way to do the smoothie thing? Of course. There’s a healthy way to do anything, but that doesn’t change the fact that so many people don’t do it that way. Far too many folks are brewing kool-aid, let’s just keep it 100.
I think what rubs me the wrong way about this is mainly the fact that people cling to this for weight loss success – are you sincerely going to blend smoothies forever? Or are you going to subsist on smoothies at home, and wild-out everywhere else? What are you really learning about food if that’s your plan? That’s not weight loss maintenance – that’s “hanging on by a thread.”
That being said…. how do you build a healthy smoothie? Well, to pay penance for my smoothie blasphemy, I wrote this lovely little gem for my column with Ebony.com, and you should check it out. If, for no other reason, so that I can get back in your good graces.
Girl, I will cut on some Jodeci and beg like I’m wearing a leather vest and timbs. Baby, I’m beggin’! Forgive me!
Last week, I shared some of the dangers of smoothies – you can recap that here – and why some people might actually be harming themselves with unhealthy smoothies.
But now, the question is how do you enjoy your smoothie the right way, the healthiest way for you?
Here are a few tips for making the healthiest version of a smoothie for you, and a few tips and tricks to keep in mind the next time you step in front of that blender:
1) Don’t buy those pre-packaged smoothies without checking that nutritional label first! Aside from the fact that many of them have added unnecessary chemicals and preservatives to ensure the shelf life of the product – yes, even refrigerated products have shelf life concerns… what do you think that expiration date is all about? – but so many of them have added sugar without even admitting it on the label. Whenever you see “juice concentrate” on that label, know that it’s “industry speak” for “added sugar.”
2) Be mindful of the nutritional profile of your smoothie. Take a program like SparkPeople.com or MyFitnessPal and enter your entire smoothie recipe into the recipe calculator, while being mindful of how many 8oz cups the recipe puts out. Many smoothie recipes I’ve seen have almost 80g of sugar in one blend—which, wow…that’s a lot—while others might be low in sugar per 8oz serving, but if you’re drinking 32oz of it, that adds up. If you’re wondering what a healthy range might be, look at it like this: the average soda carries about 28g of sugar for every 8oz of drink. Is your smoothie in the soda range? Remember, calories do matter.
3) Try to be mindful of the amount of protein in your smoothies. Lots of things (from 2% fat Greek yogurt, to tofu and nut butters—though highly caloric) can add high amounts of protein to the average smoothie, not only filling you up, but also […]