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A strawberry-cherry smoothie in a clear glass on a wooden surface, surrounded by strawberries and cherries

Smoothies are great, right? What’s not to love about a nutrient-packed drink that’s not only delicious, but makes you feel good?

That said, that are certain choices that are much better than others regarding what to put in that health shake. Here are some of the top ingredients that you should steer clear of.

Too Many Supplements

Experts agree that the primary nutrition sources in your smoothie should be food, not powders. Additionally, many of the health claims for some of these supplements haven’t been backed by the FDA. If you want to add a supplement to your smoothie, stick with whey protein.

Dessert Ingredients

Again, the whole point of a smoothie is to get in some vitamins, fiber and protein. So, umm, why are there scoops of ice cream in there? Creamy, low-fat plain yogurt or low-fat milk are great, protein-rich options, but avoid making your health shake an ACTUAL shake. No frozen yogurt, either!

High-Sugar Ingredients

There’s already enough natural sugar in there thanks to the whole fruit. Added sugar is something that everyone needs to monitor closely, so keep your smoothie clean by not turning it into a candy bar-equivalent. This includes fruit juice, syrups, and flavored yogurts.

Smoothie-Building Basics

In addition to being mindful of the above ingredient tips, there are a few other important things to keep in mind for a better smoothie:

  • Add a handful of dark leafy greens, like kale or spinach, for even more vitamins (you won’t even taste it).
  • A meal-replacement smoothie should be no more than around 400 calories, and should contain at least 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber.
  • A snack smoothie should be no more than 150 – 200 calories.

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