With recent crazes for smoothie diets, many people are left wondering are smoothies healthy? Well, unfortunately, there’s a good side and a bad side on this topic and it simply comes down to what ingredients you are putting in your smoothies in the first place.
As with any other food there are healthy and unhealthy options. For example, a green smoothie, if prepared correctly, can aid in detoxing your body as well as weight loss, but take that same green smoothie and add the wrong ingredients and you have a fat laden calorie infused beverage that is sure to pack on the pounds.
Some examples of bad smoothie ingredients include whole milk, whole fat yogurt, and worst of all sugar. You see many smoothie recipes call for added sugar, especially those written more than a couple of years ago. These are not the healthy smoothie recipes that you are looking for.
You should avoid consuming smoothies while out and about unless you take the time to do a little research beforehand. Taste is king when it comes to many chains, and typically you will find some very high amounts of fat and sugar in their creations.
One example of this is the Dairy Queen lineup of smoothies. Their tropical blizzard flavor alone slams you with a whopping 1100 calories, 62 g of fat, 25 g of saturated fat, and a ton of sugars. Honestly though, what can you expect from a chain that specializes in frozen desserts. They’re quite tasty but not so great for your waistline.
So if you’re going to order smoothies on the go. Make certain that you know the nutrition facts before you simply purchase and drink for your health.
It’s also very important to note that even unsweetened ingredients can be bad for your body in excess. For example, an overabundance of green smoothies can actually be bad for you.
Wait green smoothies can be bad for you?
Yes, you read that correctly, as with anything else an excess amount of green smoothies can actually harm your health in the long-term, especially if you’re prone to kidney stones. Dark leafy greens contain a substance known as oxalates. These oxalates can form kidney stones, or simply oxalate stones anywhere in your body if you are consuming too many leafy greens.
This is especially a concern as you consume much larger quantities of leafy green vegetables in many smoothie recipes. Just remember to take everything in moderation however as there are also numerous health benefits that green smoothies can provide. If you are concerned about oxalates or you are prone to having kidney stones, then it’s definitely a good idea to check in with your doctor prior to starting a green smoothie or green juice regiment.
If you would like to see more information about the dangers of having too many green smoothies, you can check out this post.
So what should you be looking for in healthy smoothies?
You should be finding recipes which are high in vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant content while sparing on sugars and saturated fats. You want to find the most nutrition while avoiding as many empty calories as possible.
Quite often you can find smoothie recipes that contain 100% or more of daily vitamin requirements while still having very few calories and sugars. The most amazing thing is that many of these combine different flavors to create a tasty drink.
Some ingredients that make great smoothie recipes are things like pears, bananas, mangoes, avocados, or other creamy centered fruits and vegetables. Then you can complement these with some delicious leafy greens to make green smoothies or for sweeter tasting smoothies, simply stick with the natural sugar content in the fruits themselves.
So as you can see from examples above smoothies are wonderful additions to your diet. If prepared the correct way. Just as with any other foods you can certainly add bad ingredients to make a smoothie very bad for your health.
What unhealthy smoothies have you found out and about? What healthy and unhealthy smoothie recipes have you discovered? Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments below