Smoothies have always been advertised as the healthy drink. Packed with plenty of vitamins, antioxidants, and fresh goodness, these drinks beat chugging down a Coca-Cola or a sugary beverage any day.
However, not all smoothies are good for you, and some can actually hinder your health goals. Here are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to ordering a healthy smoothie.
Many smoothies add a scoop or two of ice cream to get the creamy, thick texture they are going for – but no matter how delicious the ice cream is, it certainly isn’t beneficial to a lean, healthy lifestyle. Think about all those hours you slaved away at the pilates reformer at your local Fitness First, then ask yourself: is the ice cream worth it? Probably not.
Ask for some different options like sorbet or frozen yogurt; if that isn’t possible, then ask for half the regular amount of ice cream. Don’t worry, the smoothie will still taste just as good!
DON’T order a large
The rule for healthy eating is that you should consume everything in moderation, and drinks are no different. Opting for a large smoothie instead of a small or regular can instantly bump up your energy intake for the day and send your daily sugar intake through the roof! Even the natural sugars found in fruit need to be consumed in moderation, and more than six or seven individual serves of fruit can go into making a smoothie.
Many smoothie chains will offer some extras that you can add into your drink to boost up its nutritional goodness, like protein shots, chia seeds, wheatgrass powder, and extra multivitamins and minerals. These often add calories to your drink but these calories are good calories and worth it – the extra boosters you can get will help your immune system and overall health.
DO realize that not all smoothies are created equal
Ordering a smoothie doesn’t necessary mean that you are having a healthy drink. Smoothies can be filled with refined sugar and it’s very likely that your smoothie is made with both fresh fruit and fruit syrups – again, basically just sugar without the nutrients or vitamins of fresh fruit. Make sure to always double-check the ingredients the company uses in your smoothie, and read the menus carefully to find out exactly what you’re getting when you order your drink. Most companies should also provide the nutritional information either on their website or in-store, so try to get your hands on that as well.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions as well – you’re paying for the drink, so you’re entitled to know what goes in it!