How to blend a balanced smoothie
Are smoothies good for me? The answer to this question isn’t a simple yes or no. Yes, smoothies can be an easy way to pack a nutritional punch, but the key to a healthy smoothie is balance. This means it contains all three macronutrients – protein, fat and carbohydrates. Meredith Fuson-Hill, RDN, shared how to add these three elements into your smoothie so it doesn’t contain a ton of sugar.
Here are some guidelines you can follow to blend a balanced smoothie:
- Add protein. Here is an opportunity to use powdered protein. You’ll want to ensure that the brand you choose has 20–30 grams of protein per serving and less than 6 grams of sugar. After bariatric surgery, whey protein isolate is the preferred form of powdered protein because it is broken down and easy for your stomach to absorb. You can also add collagen peptides if desired, for additional hair, skin, nail and joint support.
- Add healthy fats. A little goes a long way for healthy fats like chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp hearts, medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil, avocado and nut butter. The exact amount will vary depending on your situation and the type of fat, but usually 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon is appropriate.
- Add carbohydrates. While you do need carbs in your diet, you need to be selective about the source of the carbs. Remember, fiber is a carbohydrate. Here are some great options:
- Leafy greens. Swiss chard, spinach, kale, collard greens, beet greens, dandelion greens and watercress are great additions.
- Other vegetables. Add in some sweet potato, pumpkin, cauliflower or zucchini.
- Fruit. Try some frozen fruit (no added sugar) like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, mango, peaches or banana.
- Use liquid. Use any combination of water, coconut water, milk or unsweetened milk alternative to suit your taste buds, but do not add juice. Add liquid until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Try some optional add-ins. There are tons of options available to give your smoothie yet another nutritional boost. These include unsweetened coconut flakes, adaptogenic powders, cocoa/cacao powder, spirulina powder, fiber, nuts and cacao nibs.