It's that time of year and smoothies are IN. We may not always be aware of all the sugar we accidentally pop into a smoothie. Even natural sugars can cause a drastic increase in blood sugar. Are you using your smoothie as a meal replacement? If so, it is importance to find a balance in order to support our body and what it needs. How can we make sure our smoothies aren't causing us to crash at the end of the day? Follow these simple tips and help reduce the likelihood of a sugar crash, and get the most out of your smoothie!
1. Add a protein powder. Protein helps to steady the rise and spike in blood sugar making it important in the prevention of a sugar crash. It creates a more steady rise and fall. Plus protein helps leave the body feeling more full for longer. Make sure you add a scoop of protein powder to your smoothies.
2. Add some nuts or seeds. Nuts and seeds provide omega-3's and omega-6's, also known as essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids have many benefits, but healthy fats also help to steady the rise and fall of blood sugar level. Make sure to add 1 tbsp of nuts or seeds to your shake. A nut butter would work well here too.
3. Check the label. Are you adding a yogurt or milk product? Both can be very high in added sugars. It is important to avoid non-fat yogurts and milks since they tend to be packed with sugar. Look for a full fat product that is unsweetened. For a plant-based solution, look for coconut or almond yogurt and milks, unsweetened.
4. Go for green veggies. Here you are adding extra nutrients and antioxidants while at the same time reducing the sugar content. Try broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale, or cucumber here. Super-greens are another great green alternative. You can purchase spirulina powder or a super-greens blend and add a scoop to your smoothies.
5. Reduce your fruit. Start with 1/2 cup of fruit to ensure you aren't overloading the sugar content of your smoothie. Some fruits with a lower sugar content that work well in smoothies would be avocado, berries, papaya, and grapefruit (fresh or frozen is fine)! Be mindful when adding bananas, cherries, mangos, and pineapple. Use the first two tips to help with a spike in blood sugar levels.