We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that “healthy” summer smoothie you’re drinking is probably just a sugar-laden, glorified milkshake. Many healthy “fruit juices” and “smoothies” contain more than four times the recommended World Health Organization daily intake, according to an investigation from last year.
While much of the sugars found in fruit juices are naturally occurring, the fact is “we are only able to handle 6 to 9 teaspoons of sugar a day,” explains Sarah Wilson creator of I Quit Sugar, which she explains, “is about the amount contained in 2-3 pieces of low-fructose fruit.” In fact, the most recent WHO guidelines recommend only 10 percent of our total daily energy intake should come from sugar (roughly equivalent to six teaspoons). The typical American, meanwhile, typically consumes a whopping 22 grams of sugar a day.
Sugar, even “healthy sugar,” has been linked to increased weight levels and a host of health problems: from diabetes, kidney disease, cancer, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Of course, there is a place for fruit in our diets. Fruit offers an abundance of healthy vitamins and phytochemical compounds. Many nutritionists argue that fruit should not be a “casualty in the food wars”. The point is to still eat fruit in moderation. For example, Wilson recommends eating low-fructose fruits where possible, like “kiwi, berries, grapefruit and so on.”
With that in mind, we’ve put together some mostly-veggie-with-just-a-teensy-bit-of-fruit recipes to ease your search for the perfect summer smoothie. Go get yourself a hit of vitamins without OD’ing on sugar.
Nealy’s tip: Buy yourself a Vitamix and whip away an easy breakfast or post-workout snack in a matter of minutes.
Deliciously Ella’s “favorite green smoothie” recipe features cucumber, ginger, celery, banana, avocado, almond butter, and bee pollen (no – it won’t make your allergies flare up. Bee pollen is actually super good for you)! This juice is refreshing, filling and, well, delicious.
Almond banana smoothie
Add the almond milk-y, butter-y and banana-y goodness with the seeds and cinnamon to The Kind Life‘s rich, raw smoothie — while perhaps omitting the suggested honey. You’ll be full all afternoon!
Creamy avocado smoothie
Alida’s Kitchen‘s vegan recipe is a nourishing mix of avocado, spinach, flax seed and banana with the perk of pineapple.
Photo: Alida’s Kitchen
Green machine smoothie
Honestly Healthy offers up another green, power-packed delight, featuring spinach, cucumber, banana, celery, spirulina and coconut water.
Like the almond banana smoothie, this tasty treat from Wonky Wonderful works without the added honey. The mocktail smoothie with coconut milk, limes and mint makes for a perfect pick-me-up any steamy summer afternoon.
Photos: Wonky Wonderful
Blueberry coconut smoothie
Green Kitchen Stories’ concoction perhaps has a little more fruit than we’d hope for, but for a special treat — and to benefit from the high antioxidant content of blueberries — try this mix which also contains coconut water, banana, ginger, lime, coconut flesh and walnuts. Wow.
Photo: Green Kitchen Stories