Fruit smoothies are a healthier breakfast than sugary cereal— but they could be falling short of their nutritional potential if you’re inadvertently making these mistakes.
You forgo the fiber.
Fiber—soluble and insoluble— is one of the most underrated, overlooked elements of weight loss and a healthy diet. It sweeps through your system, grabbing fat or lodged waste, and escorts it out of your body. You might be imagining Grandpa, stirring chunks of grass into some water and cringe, but fiber is part of the make up of your favorite foods! Fresh fruit is highly fibrous—think strawberries, citrus, and apples. But fiber-rich foods you may be leaving out of your smoothies are greens like kale and spinach, or chia seeds which is considered one of the world’s most fibrous foods.
Your protein powder is a scoop of sabotage.
Go to your cabinet and check the label on your protein powder. Whether you prefer whey protein or plant protein powder, the ingredients list shouldn’t be as long as your arm. Another thing to watch out for is impurities within the list— junk that doesn’t belong in your protein powder are things like soy, sugar (in all its forms; sucrose, dextrose, maltose), artificial sweetener (in all its forms; aspartame, saccharin, sucralose), and heavy metals. If your protein powder contains tons of ingredients and filler ingredients, chances are it’s burdening your body more than it’s helping.
You’re overloading on fruit.
Fruit is healthy, yes, but it is possible to overdo it. Keep in mind that, although it occurs naturally, fruit is still a source of sugar—fructose, to be precise. When it comes to smoothies, use fruits that are high in health benefits and low in sugar (like berries, cherries and peaches) to help keep the sugar content low without sacrificing the fruity flavor.
You sprinkle some extra sweeteners.
If you’re making a fruit smoothie, adding sweetener—even honey or maple syrup—is pretty unnecessary. (Remember the natural sugar content of fruit we just talked about?) If your sweet tooth has a stronghold, start off by making smoothies with fruits that are especially sweet, like blueberries. The good news is our taste buds change; they will grow accustomed to not “need” copious amounts of flavor enhancers—this is also good news if you are struggling with over-salting your food.