Smoothies can be one of the fastest, healthiest and easiest breakfasts to whip up and enjoy on-the-go but more often than not, your breakfast may not as healthy as you think.
Many store bought smoothies and recipes are ridiculously high in sugar—some contain upwards of 30 grams of sugar in one serving and can pack as many grams of sugar as are in two cans of Coke. Yikes!
The sugar trap with smoothies is that many contain too many high glycemic fruits (e.g. bananas, dates and mangos) and sweetened yogurts and nut milks—adding two frozen bananas alone to your smoothie will add at least 30 grams of sugar. You likely would not eat two bananas in one sitting but next time you order a smoothie from your favorite juice shop, take a look at how much banana they are adding to your healthy beverage. You’ll be surprised!
Fruit is a source of carbs, which are needed to function, and very high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, prebiotics and antioxidants, all of which are good (and necessary) for your health, but too much sugar in any form all at one time will overwhelm the body and can cause a steep rise in blood sugar levels followed by a steep crash. You want to watch for blood sugar crashes because they can lead to headache, fatigue, shakiness, irritability, anxiousness and mood swings and eventually longer-term health issues like diabetes.
Four Ways to Create a Low-Sugar Smoothie
- Add Fiber and Healthy Fats— Fiber and healthy fats will help satiate you and balance out your meal. I like to use frozen peas and avocado as my smoothie base instead of bananas. Frozen peas and avocados create a thick, creamy texture that is low in sugar and higher in healthy fats and fiber and keep you feeling fuller longer.
- Prioritize Low-Sugar Fruits—Utilize frozen berries such as blueberries and raspberries and use bananas, mangoes, and dates in moderation.
- Add Protein— Add nuts or protein powders to your smoothies. If you’re using a protein powder, just check the label to make sure it is low in sugar or sweetened with Stevia and does not contain any artificial ingredients.
- Choose Smart Toppings—Choose your toppings wisely for smoothie bowls and swap out high-sugar granola and more fruit for items like a half of a bar that is low in sugar and high in both protein and fiber or superfoods like hemp and chia seeds. I used Vegan NuGo Slim in the recipe below. Gluten-free and vegan, NuGo Slim has 16-18g protein per bar, 6-7g of fiber and only 2-3g of sugar.
Need a low-sugar smoothie recipe? Here is one that I love making and I promise you can’t taste the peas. Let me know what you think if you make it and head over to my Instagram page for a special giveaway with NuGo Nutrition. For more low-sugar breakfast ideas, check out my Paleo Chia Pudding with Grainless Granola.
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- ¼ cup plain unsweetened non-dairy yogurt (I used Greek Style Almond Milk
- Yogurt )
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- ¼ avocado
- ½ cup frozen peas
- ½ tsp maca
- ½ tsp chaga
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- Toppings: NuGo Slim Chocolate Mint protein bar, small handful of chopped walnuts, and unsweetened coconut flakes
Thank you NuGo for sponsoring this post and thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible. As always, opinions are my own.
Patrick Sporleder Photography