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7 ways you're sabotaging your 'healthy' breakfast smoothie

7 ways you're sabotaging your 'healthy' breakfast smoothie
From Global News - July 23, 2017

It has fruits, veggies, yogurt and protein powder. Your breakfast smoothie is healthy, isnt it?

Take a second look, dietitians say. More often than not, smoothies are packed with sugar and too many calories, threatening to sabotage your weight loss efforts.

Many people love starting their day with a tasty, nutrient-packed smoothie. However, getting lost in the hype and not paying attention to portions can result in a smoothie that can easily account for a third to half your daily calorie needs, Susan Macfarlane, an Ottawa-based registered dietitian, told Global News.

READ MORE: 7 high-fibre foods that help with losing weight, feeling full

If were not careful, breakfast smoothies can be a sugar bomb and can lack nutrients that are satiatingprotein and fat. We often consume smoothies fast [and] this is problematic as [it] can prevent us from feeling full, Nicole Osinga, a Courtice, Ont.-based registered dietitian, told Global News.

Heres a look at five ways youre sabotaging whats supposed to be a healthy smoothie snack or meal.

Sabotage 1: Portion size

You may be guzzling down a smoothie as a snack before mealtime not realizing that its enough for an entire meal.

Decide if your smoothie is a meal or a snack and adjust your portions, ingredients and cup size accordingly, suggests Krista Leck Merner, a Halifax-based registered dietitian.

A smoothie with one cup of berries,cup of Greek yogurt and water makes for a tasty snack, but a smoothie with a banana, spinach, nut butter, hemp hearts and almond milk is a meal-sized smoothie, for example.

READ MORE:Trying to lose weight? 10 tasty foods youll like and can eat guilt-free

These days blenders can hold up to two litres. Your job is to practice portion control.

Tip: Measure your ingredients as you add them instead of just loading up the blender. You can also create smoothie packs ahead of time that contain pre-measured ingredients. This will save you time and keep your portions in check.

Sabotage 2: Way too much sugar

Theres a reason why your smoothie tastes so good: a large smoothie made with orange juice, frozen fruit, and flavoured yogurt easily has as many as 20 to 25 teaspoons of sugar, Macfarlane warns.

If youre making a chocolate smoothie, you could be adding chocolate chips or cacao nibs to your smoothie. Others add honey or maple syrup.

Tip: Instead of using juice, or sweetened milks, stick to water, coconut water, ice or unsweetened almond or soy milk. Rely on a dash of cinnamon or a splash of juice as flavour enhancers.

Sabotage 3: Too much fruit

When it comes to fruit, dont go overboard. Keep in mind, a medium-sized banana has about 100 calories.

Smoothies can often get fruit-heavy. Between a banana, berries, and loads of juice, we can easily get over four full fruit servings in one smoothie, Leck Merner said.

READ MORE: 2017s list of fruits, vegetables with the most pesticides

I am not one to restrict fruit intake. However when fruit is consumed in a smoothie, it is digested much more quickly and can result in excessive blood sugar spikes in individuals with diabetes or reactive hypoglycemia, Macfarlane notes.

Sabotage 4: Too many superfoods

Sabotage 5: Too littleor too muchprotein

Sabotage 6: Not enough veggies

Sabotage 7: Liquid vs. solid meals

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