Smoothies have been enjoying a surge in popularity for quite some time. Once considered a dessert item, smoothies are counted among the ranks of healthy food more often than not, as many of them are now loaded with kale, spirulina, and other so-called “super foods” sworn to improve health dramatically. Smoothie and juice bars continue to pop up in most major urban areas, and many grocery store shelves are lined with various smoothie concoctions boasting incredible benefits. Are smoothies all they’re cracked up to be?
Smoothies: At a Glance
At first glance, a health smoothie doesn’t seem too bad; you might find yourself browsing an ingredient list, and happily coming across nothing else but a handful of fruits and vegetables. Evaluation should continue from there, however, as many smoothies have only a small percentage of vegetables and a high concentration of fruit. An imbalance of fruits and vegetables could lead to an overload of sugar.
When checking the ingredients of your smoothie, make sure to look at the total sugar and carbs per serving. Some smoothies boast tables comparable to soda, in terms of sugar content, and are best left for an occasional snack, rather than a dietary staple.
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How to Make Smoothies Work for Diabetes
Not all smoothies must be avoided. Instead, focus on creating your own concoctions, using ingredients you know to be compatible with your body. If, for instance, you know that apples cause a drastic hike in your numbers, opt for a berry smoothie. If sugar without some form of fiber usually sends your blood glucose soaring, throw in a handful of almonds, or even a generous helping of your favorite greens.
Smoothies can successfully be added to a diabetic’s diet in the form of meal supplements, rather than meal replacements. Instead of skipping breakfast for a quick sip, make smaller smoothies designed to accompany a meal. A summer salad would be wonderful paired with a mint, strawberry, and cucumber smoothie. A hefty soup in winter could be nicely complemented by a rich cocoa-banana treat.
A Final Word
As always, items you make in your kitchen will be far healthier for you. An occasional treat of an outside smoothie certainly will not do you harm, but developing your own routine of creating filling, nutritious, and nutrient-dense smoothies at home will help you keep your smoothie cravings well-sated without sacrificing ingredients or blood glucose levels.