Decoding the Healthiness of Your Smoothie Bowl

Smoothies on the shelf and in stores are adorned with tropical fruit and coconut flakes, and their media buzz is sure to draw you in with their vibrant colours, delicious taste, and media attention.

Many of these bowls are as high in sugar, calories and carbohydrates as several glazed donuts. It’s even worse when you consider the toppings.

Smoothies cannot all be considered healthy. The amount and type of ingredients used to prepare the smoothie will determine its nutritional content. Sugar content can reach 34-50 grams per serving.

The Institute of Medicine suggests that added sugar should not exceed 25% of the total calories. However, the World Health Organization says it shouldn’t be more than 10%. Women should limit added sugars to 100 calories per day, according to the American Heart Association. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommends limiting the total consumption of discretionary calories (which includes added sugars and fats) to 5% to 15 % of daily caloric intake.

It’s easy to overdo the fruit, nuts, seeds, avocado, and sweetener when ingredients aren’t measured. Your morning smoothie, which is well balanced, could contain more than half of a day’s worth of sugar and fat. It’s really easy.

Avoid adding too much juice (apple juice, juice cocktail or orange juice, etc.). Along with an unmeasured quantity of frozen fruit or sorbet. Check the nutrition label of fruit cocktails and frozen fruit blends.

Avoid too many toppings
Nuts, seeds and fresh fruit are all great toppings for smoothie bowls, but too many can add more calories or fat. Sweetened granolas, dried fruits, coconut flakes, nut butters, honey, and other toppings can add 500 calories, 45 grams sugar and 20 grams fat to your smoothie. You can add extra nutrition to your smoothie, but you should be aware of the amount, portion and whether they are improving the nutritional profile or simply making it look pretty.

Eat your Meals and Drink Your Calories
Many people can finish a smoothie in just five minutes. If you drink your smoothie along with your meal, it will likely double the size of your meal and make you feel less satisfied. You can make half of the smoothie bowl, and then add a small snack. Allow your brain at least 15-20 minutes before eating to help it sense hunger. Crunchy toppings for smoothie bowls can also slow down eating.

The content is not meant to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any questions about a medical condition, always seek out the advice of a qualified physician.