But depending on the ingredients they’re made with, smoothies can quickly turn into unhealthy calorie-bombs filled with sugar and saturated fat. The healthiest way to enjoy a smoothie is to make your own so you know how much of and what foods you are getting. Wondering how to make a smoothie? A good smoothie should contain a blend of ingredients with protein and fiber to help keep you full and provide antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
—Breana Lai, M.P.H., R.D.
• Nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt
• Nonfat or low-fat plain milk
• Nonfat or low-fat plain kefir
• Natural peanut butter
• Almond butter
• Plain soymilk
• Plain high-protein almond milk
Use fresh fruit, frozen fruit or fruit canned in water or its own juice.
• Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
Use raw vegetables.
• Chia seed
• Old-fashioned oats
• Spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger)
• Vanilla extract
• Coconut water
• Unsweetened cocoa powder
To keep your smoothie as healthy as possible, avoid adding these ingredients, which provide more calories in the form of sugar, in some cases without many nutrients.
• Sugar-sweetened fruit juice or concentrate
• Flavored yogurt
• Flavored kefir
• Whipped cream
• Ice cream
• Chocolate syrup
• Chocolate milk
• Canned fruit in syrup