For the most part, fruit and vegetable smoothies can help you meet your health and weight loss goals by providing vitamins, minerals and even fiber and protein, courtesy of ingredients like a quality protein powder, flax powder, and chia seeds.
But you may also be making this one common smoothie mistake that’s preventing you from having a flat stomach. If you are adding anything and everything to your smoothie, without paying close attention to labels, it’s possible you’re also unknowingly adding a ton of added sugar that is going to make it more difficult to burn belly fat.
Here’s everything you need to know about this smoothie mistake and how you can correct it (easily).
You're Adding Unnecessary Sugar
It’s temping to want to turn your smoothie into a sweet treat, but some of the ingredients added to your average smoothie — including fruit juice — immediately transform it from a healthy beverage that can help you lose weight to a sugar-laden dessert.
“If your smoothie contains fruit-flavored juices, frozen yogurt, sherbet, sorbet or ice cream, it can contain more than an entire day's worth of added sugar,” registered dietitian Marlene Koch told SF Gate. “An average-sized rich-type smoothie, for example, can contain up to a half cup of sugar, which is equal to 24 teaspoons.”
Considering how The American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day, you can see how a smoothie that contains added sugar from ingredients such as fruit juice might wreck your healthy eating plan.
Consuming too much sugar can lead to weight gain and increase your risk of Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease.
Do This Instead: Add More Veggies To Your Smoothie
Leave fruit juices out of your smoothie and instead add a few more pieces of fresh fruit or unsweetened frozen fruit to your blender, as well as plenty of vegetables. Green veggies like kale, spinach, and broccoli pack far less sugar than your average piece of fruit. Aim for a smoothie ratio that includes more veggies and slightly less fruit to get nutritional benefits without much sugar.
Be Careful Of Protein Powder
Not all protein powders are created equal — some can contain as much sugar as a candy bar. If you’re trying to get a flat stomach, read labels carefully and avoid whey and casein protein powders, which can raise insulin levels, according to MindBodyGreen.com.
Do This Instead: Opt For Non-Dairy Powders
Always choose protein powders that are low in sugar or free of both sugar and artificial sugar (which isn’t any better for your health). Non-dairy and non-soy powders like rice, pea, chia, and chlorella proteins are a great option, according to MindBodyGreen.com — just make sure they contain at least 20 to 25 grams of protein per serving.