Smoothies: Skip Them or Sip Them?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Blend up some fruits, veggies, maybe a dash of yogurt, some honey and you're in healthy heaven, right? Not exactly. Like energy bars and other "health" foods, not all smoothies are created equal, either, and hidden sugar is the culprit ruining this drink's potential. 

The truth is that while a homemade smoothie made with the right ingredients and the correct proportions packs a powerful punch, many store-bought smoothies or those available at restaurants are simply masquerading as "healthy" without actually offering any nutritional benefit. Pull the mask off, and you'll discover smoothies such as the 20-ounce The Hulk Strawberry from Smoothie King, which clocks in at 964 calories with a whopping 125 grams of sugar. By comparison, a Snickers bar contains a seemingly tiny 27 grams of sugar.

Experts agree that, when done right, smoothies are a great meal alternative for those constantly on the go, and stress the importance of focusing on your greens, rather than sweet fruits. Our friends at Angeles Health International thought it was high time to unveil the secret to healthier, low-sugar smoothies. Their handy graphic breaks down the ingredients and portions you should consider for your next smoothie, plus five of their favorite recipes.

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DEE107 4/2/2021
:) Report
ELRIDDICK 2/27/2021
Thanks for sharing Report
I love smoothies. Report
CECELW 2/2/2021
i love smoothies Report
KATHYJO56 1/25/2021
I like them, but have to keep them small in size because they can easily have a high calorie content Report
Need to get back to protein smoothies Report
SASSY555 11/30/2020
Wonderful article with superb charts
I get my fiber in my smoothies with berries...avocados n greens
Thank you

SNUZYQ2 8/20/2020
I like to make my smoothies with a cup of 1% buttermilk as my base. This provides a little protein and tastes so good with a cup of frozen fruit and a few cups of kale, chard or collard greens. I slide a few packets of Splenda into the mix for sweetness. Report
Where is the fiber in these drinks? How are they going to keep you full for 3 hours? Not in my kitchen. Report
ELRIDDICK 5/19/2020
Thanks for sharing Report
Berries are my favorite in my smoothies Report
thanks Report
Am posting again a recipe I recently put together that has sugar but just under 200 calories, all dairy free for others like myself who are allergic. Tastes much like borscht w/ sour cream however you can add a squeeze of lemon or 1 tsp of ACV (vinegar) if desired.

1 cup beet borscht - 90 calories
1 cup baby spinach leaves, fresh - 7 calories
4 oz soft tofu - 99 calories
4 oz water + ice cubes
Blend together for a minute or two, makes 1 serving. Report
Some important information to have! Report
I have a friend eho LOVES smoothies and often makes them for me. Sometimes I love them...sometimes not so much. I need to give her these recipes so we can try these out. Thanks for the info. Report
My daughter just said she was making us a smoothie! Report
Good to know! Thanks! Report
The graphics are nice but I really don't understand the need to skip out on dairy milk unless you have an allergy. Dairy milk has more protein than several of the other options available. If you're watching your portions then it shouldn't be a big deal to have a little bit. I miss the days of having simple easy to access foods as part of a lifestyle. Now, it needs to be some specially refined prepackaged diet food in order to be healthy and that's probably why so many of us are struggling! Report
Thank you! I am on the "skip" side of the fence. I prefer my veggies to have some bite. Report
Thank You...………. Report
I make smoothies sometimes....great info!!!
Thanks so much for sharing. Report
I generally try not to drink my calories except protein shakes. But it does sound interesting. Report
I am not a fan - I think it must be the texture that puts me off. The information here is interesting and I’ll have a better look. Wonder if ut’s printable. Report
Great recipes. Thanks for sharing. Report
thank you Report
Thanks. Takes a lot of energy to blend on a regular basis. Report
For me smoothies are a great time saver in the morning b4 dashing off to tbe office. I often use protein powder & or almond, soy or coconut milk, spinach & crushed pineapple. Yes it has sugar but I get more greens than if I made a veggie omelet & it's faster too. Instead of coffee I do sometimes have a chocolate protein powder smoothie w/ banana & peanut butter. It will hold me for hours & altho higher in sugar, is way better than a candy bar woukd be health-wise.🐨 Report
Love a smoothie on occasion. I prefer raspberry with a vegan chocolate protein powder, plain Greek yogurt, dash of almond milk.
When I garden for four hours straight through I enjoy a half a Banana, Avocado with Greek plain yogurt, whey, non gmo, gluten-free powder. It's a potassium boost. I am very careful at tracking my sugar intake so I do measure each portion. Report
I love smoothies. Drink them all of the time. Report
As a few others have said, I love to EAT vegetables and don't understand the appeal of pureeing them. (Yuck!) However, I drink fruit smoothies at least once or twice a week for either breakfast or lunch. Mine are very simple: 1 scoop of soy protein powder, 8 oz. soymilk, and a cup of frozen blueberries. Quick, simple refreshment containing 26 g. protein without a lot of sugar or fat, for about 300 calories. Report
I love smoothies. Thanks for the info! Report
Thank you so much for this info. I did not know that bananas were high in sugar. Report
I use frozen fruit, either berries or peaches (thickens without using ice), Greek yogurt or Skyr, and around 1/4 cup of milk. That's it. Makes enough for one person.
With all the great summer fruits available now, I make smoothies every other day for breakfast, but keep calories lower with plain Greek yogurt. Fun & informative article. Report
Love smoothies. Thanks for the info. Report smoothies but as a diabetic, i really must be careful of the oats or protein powder as filler that way i keep that full feeling longer... where can I get the nutrition facts for these smoothies...BTW: love the graphics...
06/27/18 Report
Some really interesting combinations here. Would be so nice to see NUTRITIONAL INFO on each combination. I see a lot of carbs :-(
Don't drink smoothies but thanks for the info. Report
Great article! I have a smoothie 4-5 times per week. I'm very conscious of what and how much I put in them, after discovering many of the warnings in this article - so much sugar! If you're careful, smoothies can be a great, tasty way to add more veggies and fruit into your day! Report
Great article. Thanks. Report
Thank you I will try that! Report
Thanks Report
Thanks Report
Thanks Report
Thanks Report
Interesting Report
I was drinking smoothies with Greek yogurt, ground flax, chia, berries, and a banana. The good news was no more leg cramps. The bad news was I didn't realize that I was pounding down 500+ calories until I joined Sparkpeople and tracked one. No wonder I wasn't losing weight. Report
thanks Report
Is there a way to print the articles?