Guest blog from Laura Thomas, aka Happy Sugar Habits
As everyone starts to become aware of the negative health dangers of sugar, you might be looking for ways to cut back or reduce your day to day intake.
Whilst refined sugar is the ultimate enemy, smoothies can be surprisingly high in sugar if you’re not careful. Here are 7 great tips to help you enjoy that refreshing summer bundle of goodness without going sugar crazy.
Shop bought smoothies can pack in an awful lot of fruit portions into a single bottle. This increases the fructose content where fructose is the addictive sweet part of sugar that can put excessive unhealthy strain on your liver and lead to other negative health benefits if over consumed.
Keep your smoothie fructose amount sensible by limiting your homemade blend to just 1-2 portions.
As a banana ripens, the sugar content increases.
Bananas are a very popular choice for smoothies but are one of the highest sugar fruits. Keep it to a minimum by opting for green tipped bananas which contain less sugar than the over ripe variety.
You can chop and freeze them when still green tipped to help if you find yourself with too many to use up in time.
Bananas aren’t the be all and end all of the smoothie world! Try out lower fructose fruits to help keep the sugar content down.
Berries, fresh or frozen are a great choice. Raspberries and blackberries are very low sugar, along with blueberries and kiwi fruit. Don’t forget that avocado is technically a fruit too, the lowest fructose one on the block!
This is super important to make your smoothie into a more substantial meal and enhance how full you’re going to feel from it.
Full fat dairy, avocado and of course, Lucy Bee coconut oil, are all great options (& my personal favourites!).
Again, adding protein makes your smoothie into a meal and means there is less room for excessive sugar.
Nut butters, protein powders and even raw eggs can work here. Make sure your protein powder doesn’t have added sugars and check your nut butter too. Chia seeds and flaxseed powder can also up the protein and nutritional count.
There are some bonus things you can add to help combat sugar cravings.
Wheatgrass can help reduce your need and it can instantly turn your smoothie in a ‘green’ smoothie which makes you feel like you’re drinking pure goodness. Cinnamon is also proven to help with sugar cravings and can be an especially nice addition to a creamy banana number.
Sometimes with low fructose fruit, your smoothie might not be quite sweet enough for your palette if your taste buds are still very accustomed to sugar.
One trick here is to try adding coconut water as your liquid base instead of milk or water. Naturally sweet and relatively low in fructose, this can add natural sweetness without turning your smoothie into a sugar bomb.
At the end of all of this, have fun with smoothie making and experiment! Smoothies can absolutely be part of a lower sugar lifestyle and if you’re really sensitive to sweet, can feel like a super delicious treat so enjoy!
Laura is a certified health coach supporting individuals in their journey to break free of sugar and sugar cravings. She helps people feel more confident and empowered with their health, finding a renewed balance with sweet food both socially and emotionally. Laura is the founder of Happy Sugar Habits where you can subscribe to get lots of delicious sugar-friendly snack ideas, advice and recipes.
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