What Makes a Smoothie Unhealthy?

What Makes a Smoothie Unhealthy

Photo by pandaposse

The simple answer is the inclusion of unhealthy ingredients. It’s not too difficult to identify an unhealthy diet – it’s one comprised mainly of unhealthy foods. The same goes for smoothies. After reading this blog post I’m confident you’ll be able to discern between healthy and unhealthy smoothies with ease.

First, I will attempt to cover all the things you don’t want in your smoothie, which cause the scale to tip in favor of unhealthy. Then I will list the healthy ingredients, and in doing so show you that creating healthy smoothies is actually pretty easy.

A quick note before moving onto the unhealthies. Most restaurants, chains, venues, and large events serving smoothies generally lean towards the unhealthy. For example, last summer I attended a major league baseball game and got quite excited when I saw a sign for smoothies. Much to my dismay, the so-called smoothie was nothing more than sugary slush.

Unhealthy Smoothie Bases

We’ll start with the liquid base of your smoothieand what you want avoid like the plague.

Sugar laden fruit juices: Most fruit juices sold in super markets are nothing more than flavored sugar water.

Regular milk: Store bought milk (whether skim, 1%, 2%, or whole) comes from cows that are often mistreated, given hormones and antibiotics, and over milked. Chalk and pus have also been detected in the milk.

Tap water: Recent studies have revealed a plethora of undesired substances in regular old tap water. This includes, but is not limited to, trace amounts of pharmaceutical drugs, lead and arsenicperchlorate (a toxic chemical found in rocket fuel), sucralose, and many other man-made chemicals.

Most bottled water: Most mainstream bottled water is nothing more than glorified tap water. Pepsi even admitted that Aquafina comes from tap water. For the definitive story on bottled water I highly recommend the documentary Tapped.

Unhealthy Smoothie Ingredients

Now onto the list of smoothie ingredients that I wouldn’t add into my blender if you paid me. An exhaustive list isn’t practical, but I’ll hit on the more obvious offenders.

  • Ice cream and sherbet
  • Chocolate syrups and powders – think Nestle
  • Sugar as a sweetener
  • Agave nectar – why
  • Most store bought honey – why
  • Non-organic peanut butters (Jif, Skippy, Smuckers)
  • Cheap protein powders – why
  • Chocolate pudding mix
  • Cool Whip or whip cream
  • Cream soda

At the end of the day, just use a little common sense in determining what not to add to your smoothie.

How To Make Your Smoothie Nice and Healthy

Now that you know what not to add to your smoothies, let’s get to what you can toss in the blender to make the healthiest smoothies ever! Instead of using the word organic over and over, I’ll mention here that using organic ingredients is always in your best interest. I realize this isn’t always possible and don’t beat yourself up over it. At the very least try to avoid the “Dirty Dozen“.

Healthy Smoothie Bases

Fresh juice: There’s nothing better than using fresh juice, whether from a juicer or squeezed.

Raw milk, almond and coconut milk: If you’re not lactose intolerant, raw milk is a great option. Almond milk and coconut milk (and water from young/Thai coconuts) are great to use too. I didn’t include soy milk because there’s evidence soy isn’t the health food it’s been marketed as, see here and here for reasons why you should avoid soy.

Good water: This includes water run through a good filter, legitimate bottled water (Spring Mountain, Starfire), distilled, purified, and the best option spring water. To locate spring water where you live, check out Find a Spring.

Tea: Using a healthy or medicinal tea can really improve the nutrition of your smoothie. In some circles “elixir” is the term used to designate these drinks.

Fermented beverages: Kefir (milk and water), kombucha, and Hindu lemonade. These are all extremely healthy options, especially when homemade.

Healthy Smoothie Ingredients

There may be some things on the list below that you’re not familiar with, don’t worry, in future recipes and posts I’ll explain why each ingredient is good for your health and a welcome addition to your smoothie.

  • Fresh and frozen fruit
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Yogurt (organic, Greek, homemade)
  • Superfoods (cacao, maca, aloe vera, goji berries, spirulina, etc)
  • Herbs and spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cayenne, mint, etc)
  • Local and/or organic honey
  • Local and/or maple syrup
  • Stevia
  • High quality protein powders
  • High quality superfood green powders
  • Hemp seeds and hemp protein
  • Raw nuts and nut butters
  • Various coconut products (shreds, flakes, raw meat, oil, butter)
  • Chia seeds and chia seed gel
  • Flax seeds and oil
  • Oatmeal
  • High quality salt (Celtic sea salt, pink Himalayan salt, Redmond salt, etc)
  • Gelatin
  • Colostrum
  • Medicinal mushroom powders
  • Chinese herbs
  • Mineral supplements

As you can see there’s quite a few ingredients available to make healthy smoothies. The number of different concoctions and recipes is endless. Once you get the basics of smoothie making down, you can experiment and come up with your own favorite recipes.

I hope you found this information both informative and actionable. After all this talk of smoothies, I’m off to the kitchen to create my next masterpiece.

Please leave a comment below as I’d love to hear what you think of my “good” and “bad” list of smoothie ingredients.

,

310 Responses to What Makes a Smoothie Unhealthy?

  1. Graham #

    Hi Ryan,

    Im very new to the world of smoothies, and ive been reading through the comments with great interest. Im not using smoothies at the moment as a meal, but a little treat for me and my son, who I have stay with me at the weekends. Also im on a calorie based diet.So any tips of additional ingredients, are always welcome.
    So last weekend I made a very simple first attaempt

    1*7″ banana
    8*medium sizes strawberries
    1/4 tub of Greek Yogurt
    1*Teaspoon Chia Seeds
    1*teaspoon of chia seeds
    1*Glass of skimmed milk
    5/6 ice cubes

    All blended together

    :-)

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Very good, Graham! You can certainly consume smoothies as a snack or treat and not as a meal replacement.

  2. Lulu #

    This article and the comments were very interesting. The only thing I’m confused by is the use of milk. In some comments you tell people to use milk or to increase the fat content of the milk, but in some comments you tell people not to use milk unless it is raw milk. tell

    • Ryan Carmody #

      There are a lot of comments on this article and I definitely try not to contradict myself.

      Personally, I will only consume raw milk. However, if raw milk isn’t available I’d go with an organic non-homogenized, low-temp pasteurized milk. If that’s not available an organic whole milk will do. The fat is the healthiest part of the milk – that’s why skim milk is a no-no.

  3. Ray #

    Hello Ryan. I have been making smoothies with apples, pears, bananas, Kefir, milk, pineapple, and turmeric spice. However, I’ve recently read that milk is not compatible with fresh fruit or kefir. Also informed that certain fruits should not be combined, fruits such as pineapple, acidic, with sweet fruit such as bananas. Could you please explain. Thank You.

  4. Kerry #

    Just started making the kids smoothies for breakfast. 1 banana 1/3 blender of berries few pineapple chunks plain Greek yogurt and a little Holy Crap cereal (Organic chai seeds & stuff…) 2% milk split between 3 kids. Too much sugar? Would like to incorporate veggies but don’t want to scare the kids off…

    • Ryan Carmody #

      That doesn’t sound like too much sugar if split between 3 kids. Introduce baby spinach as the first veggie. Might change the color, but shouldn’t alter the taste. Also, try a little avocado for some healthy fats.

  5. Amie king #

    I make mine with kale, spinach, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, unsweetened coconut water, chia seeds and ice… Do you think that is to much sugar?

    • Ryan Carmody #

      That’s not too much sugar, Amie. As long as you stick to berries you’re good.

  6. Sheila #

    I have a daily smoothie of ..strawberrys,bluberries,raspberries sometimes a small banana mixed with a strawberry and raspberry shape yogart is that to much sugar

    • Ryan Carmody #

      That is borderline too much sugar, Sheila. The berries are fine, but the banana and flavored yogurt likely combine for a little too much sugar. Try cutting out the banana.

  7. Connie #

    Hi, my husband and I have started to drink 2 smoothies a day and eating a balance meal for dinner. How smoothies are made with :kale,spinach, water mixed fruits and flaxseed is this a healthy one

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Connie,

      Your smoothie looks good. However, I would incorporate 1/2 avocado, 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil, or 1/2 tablespoon ghee for some healthy fats. This will also keep you satiated.

      Regards,
      Ryan

  8. Helen #

    Hello… Ryan.. is it? The above article is well researched and put together. I originally googled whether smoothies are bad for you…obviously you need to consider what you put into a smoothie. But what about the fact that you blend everything into liquid form? Has there been any culture or time in human history that takes a group of raw ingredients and pulverizes them into a “drink” then sends that large quantity of dense nutrients in liquid form into the stomach?
    Would that not have some counter productive effect on our bodies? I have heard that it is not a good idea to drink large quantities of liquid at the same time as having your meal. It would seem to me that this is sort of what is happening when consuming a smoothie. I have been making smoothies more regularly now for me and my kids, but I wanted to stop and really check on whether that was actually as good an idea as current nutritional consultants say. Your thoughts?

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Helen,

      Very astute questions/concerns. Blenders are obviously a modern technology. No culture that I’m aware of, and I study this stuff, has ever pulverized food in the same fashion as you can with a blender. The closest approximation to a blender is perhaps a mortar and pestle. Could a large quantify of liquefied nutrients sent right into the stomach be an issue? Yes, given factors such as what the ingredients are and given the state of health of the person consuming it. This is something I’ve considered and always advise people to pay attention to how they feel after drinking a smoothie. Like any food or dink, maybe smoothies (or certain ingredient combinations) aren’t for you, but only you can recognize that.

      I also advise chewing your smoothies, and not guzzle them down. This gets the digestive enzymes going and leads to better digestion and assimilation.

      If your ingredients are good and your smoothies aren’t overly high in sugar I believe smoothies are a quick and easy vehicle to get your daily dose of healthiness. I wouldn’t have created this site if I didn’t truly believe that :)

      Regards,
      Ryan

  9. Richard Marshall #

    Ryan,
    Although your recipes look great, there is one thing that you neglect to mention. Your smoothies may be great for healthy people but for folks like me with chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage IV with kidneys functioning at only 25% of normal we must be extremely careful of what we use.
    Some of the “superfoods” that you mention are not applicable as they contain a high amount of potassium. I choose to have smoothies so I can refrain from eating animal protein which is very hard on the kidneys. Unfortunately maca is very high in potassium and my renal dietitian does not want me to use it. I have found some smoothie recipes on the kidney foundation website https://myfoodcoach.kidney.org/
    I would appreciate if you would include a comment in your recipes to the effect that not all ingredients are kidney friendly and folks with CKD should be careful with what they use. Keep up the good work. I appreciate all your efforts.

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Richard,

      Thanks for the comment and concern for those with CKD. However, if I included a comment on my recipes for this, I would have to include a disclaimer for a plethora of other things as well. Almost everyone has an aversion to something for various reasons. Hope you understand.

      That said, I have added “kidney friendly smoothies” to my list of future articles to publish.

      Regards,
      Ryan

  10. Kathy #

    COLOSTRUM???????????

  11. Pam #

    Hi Ryan, I recently started making a smoothie every morning. I use blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, 2 ice cubes, a scoop of greek yogurt, and cranberry juice ( approx. 1/3 cup.) I’m doing this to loose weight but was wondering if there was something better than the cranberry juice. I have this with a bran muffin (home made) loaded with good things and low in sugar.

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Pam,

      Cranberry juice is good and 1/3 cup shouldn’t contain too much sugar. Make sure to get 100% pure cranberry juice and not one with “filler” juice added.

      You might want to consume the bran muffin independent of the smoothie. Both will be digested better.

      Regards,
      Ryan

  12. Taz #

    Hello Ryan
    could you please advise me on our smoothy, after reading about the sugar bomb i feel I might be doing more harm than good.

    3tbs greek yogurt
    4 mango chunks
    1 banana
    1 tbs of coconut oil
    1 tsp matcha green tea
    1 tsp spiralina
    1tsp chia seeds
    1 tsp wheatgrass
    1 apple or kiwi
    2 strawberries
    10 blueberries
    10 seedless black grapes
    10 seedless white grapes
    unsweetened coconut water

    serves 3 people
    we are doing this too get healthy and loose weight

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Your smoothie looks great, Taz! Considering it’s for 3 people I don’t think there’s too much sugar. This is healthy and should help you lose weight.

  13. Taz #

    thank you Ryan x

    • Ryan Carmody #

      You’re welcome, Taz.

  14. Joel #

    HI Ryan!
    Thanks for your great article!
    I was wondering, i just started doing smoothies and I’m not sure if my receipt is alright or not…Here it is : Carrots, pears, orange, almonds, 1 spoon of honey, spirulina, two raw eggs and their shells, mountain bottled water, banana.
    What do you think?
    And is it possible too put too many things in your cocktail so that it becomes unhealthy?
    Thanks!

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Joel,

      Your smoothie looks great! However, it’s a bit high in sugar from sweet fruit. I’d use 1/2 banana or no banana at all. You can substitute avocado for the creaminess bananas lend. If not avocado, a little coconut oil is advised for some healthy fats.

      Regards,
      Ryan

  15. Brittany #

    This was a great read! Thanks so much.
    I do believe that it is common sense for the most part

    • Ryan Carmody #

      I’ve found that common sense isn’t all that common anymore ;)

  16. Maria #

    You recommend adding honey and fruit juice, among other things. Really? They’re virtually pure sugar (in juice with a bit of water thrown in), which our bodies struggle to digest. In a glass of fruit juice, even freshly squeezed, there is over 15 grams of sugar – that’s 4 teaspoons. Would you put 4 teaspoons of sugar into any drink and claim it was healthy?

    Do you know why they do obesity and diabetes tests on mice using fructose? All sugars are virtually the same in that we struggle to process them all. Stevia is probably less of an issue as it has less energy but any sweetener that doesn’t come in a fibrous package (whole fruit) creates calorie cravings and we cannot digest properly.

    • Ryan Carmody #

      I appreciate your concern, Maria. Let’s start with honey, a healing, nourishing, nutrient-dense food humans have been consuming for thousands of years. You don’t think this has a place in a healthy diet (or smoothie), in moderation of course? We may simply have to agree to disagree on honey.

      Fresh squeezed/juiced fruit juice is high in sugar, how much, depends on what was juiced. Consuming this on it’s own may not be the best idea of some people. However, I’m suggesting using this juice in a smoothie with other whole foods which balance things out.

      Regards,
      Ryan

  17. Martin #

    Thank you for the advice, I’m going shopping shortly and will look out for some of the products you suggested. I now need to find some good recipes

    • Ryan Carmody #

      There are a plethora of good recipes on my site :)

  18. Patricia #

    Hey Ryan,, I just got a nutri bullet and tried it for the first time today, I had low fat yoghurt, some skimmed milk, spinach, flax seeds,whole grains, apple, and a banana, was that ok. Please advise

  19. Mike #

    The one I make every morning is pretty much the same every morning and I love it, especially after a workout. Of course the berries are either fresh or frozen, depending on cost and availability but usually frozen blueberries, strawberries, sometimes a handful of grapes, banana, hemp hearts, almond coconut milk mix, a high quality protein powder (Vegessentials All in 1), walnuts sometimes too. A good friend also suggested trying celery in there for its health benefits. Any thoughts on that? Also any thoughts on my little recipe would be greatly appreciated.

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Your recipe sounds great, Mike! Walnuts are a good add-on. Only critique is to incorporate some healthy fat in the form of avocado, coconut oil, or ghee.

      Give celery a try and see how you like it. It’s not my favorite thing to blend, but is healthy and others like it in their smoothies.

  20. Alyse #

    Just don’t forget to cook those sprouts! Due to the warm conditions they grow in they’re a big magnet for pathogens and other nasty microbes. That’s why you see so many warnings about consuming raw sprouts. Thanks for the list though, so many new healthy foods I need to try!

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Good point, Alyse!

  21. Adrian #

    Thanks for all the great info on the article! I find it so helpful…the smoothie I make every morning consist of around 4 strawberrys, 4 pineapple chunks, occasionally some berries added in there, a little cranberry juice (no sugar added), and just a TINY bit of OJ (cause of all the sugar in it)…? Is this ok,or too much sugar in it?

    • Ryan Carmody #

      That’s borderline too much sugar, Adrian. Try using a little less sweet fruit and incorporating a healthy fat such as avocado, coconut oil, or ghee.

  22. Lily #

    Can i use coconut water in my smoothies?

    • Ryan Carmody #

      You sure can, Lily.

  23. Jan #

    My smoothie ingredients:

    Strawberries, blueberries, plain yougurt, 3tbl of apple juice, spinach, romaine lettuce, fresh corn, carrots, water.

    Is this OK for me? What kind of nuts do you suggest?
    Thank you so much.

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Look good, Jan. My only suggestion is to add a healthy fat in the form of avocado, coconut oil, or ghee. All nuts (and nut butters) are fair game. I like cashews, almonds, and walnuts myself.

  24. abi kosh #

    Hey, Just started making smoothies recently. Would like to know if it is necessary to measure. I tend to just throw in whatever fruits I have available in the mornings. Usually carrots, beetroot, mango, grapes etc. sometimes up to 7 or 8 different fruits but not measured. Thanks

    • Ryan Carmody #

      There is no need to measure each ingredient if you’re not tracking calories or any other nutritional information closely. I rarely measure anymore myself.

  25. Paul #

    Ryan

    What is the best store bought juice to use as a smoothie base? If there are several please list.

    I much prefer some sort of juice base vs using filtered water, tea or almond/coconut milk.

    Thanks

    • Ryan Carmody #

      A juice that’s organic and doesn’t contain any fillers, meaning if it’s apple juice, it’s 100% pure apple juice. As far as actually juices, that’s up to you, but apple, cranberry, and orange are good options.

  26. Karen #

    My morning smoothie consists of 1 cup blueberries, 3-4 strawberries, 1/3 banana all fresh frozen, handful fresh spinach and kale, carrot, celery, 1/2 avocado, 1tbls coconut oil, 1tbls chia seeds, 1tbls flax seed, 1tbls cinnamon, nuts, calcium, mixed with ice & coconut water.
    Was wondering if I am over doing?

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Looks fantastic, Karen! Where did you learn how to craft such healthy smoothies?

  27. Aloha Ryan,

    Thank you for this great information. I was told that raw cruciferous vegetables such as kale, spinach and broccoli should only be consumed in limited quantities and no more than 2 times per week since they can cause problems with the kidneys. Is this true?

  28. Kimberley #

    Hello, I was wondering if you could tell me if store bought coconut water is an okay base? And also. A typical smoothie for me would contain an apple,5 pieces of frozen mango, 5 frozen pineapple, frozen blueberries, kale/spinach and a green powder. Would that be considered to much sugar? I really want to get this right because I struggle so much trying to get my 5 a day without it. And also is having this much sugar from just fruit as bad as having the sugar in fruit juices etc?

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Kimberley,

      Store bought coconut water is a good smoothie base. Get organic if possible. Yes, that’s too much sugar from sweet fruit. Try about half as much of each fruit. Also try either avocado, coconut oil, or ghee for some healthy fats. Sugar in fruit juices is slightly worse because there’s no fiber to buffer the absorption.

      Regards,
      Ryan

  29. Cheryl #

    Thank you

  30. ron #

    This is what Dr. Esselstyn said about smoothies. Too deep for me.

    Here is his FAQ on his website.

    http://www.dresselstyn.com/site/faq/

    Smoothies – How about smoothies? I love them!

    Avoid smoothies. When the fiber is pureed, it is not chewed and does not have the opportunity to mix with the facultative anaerobic bacteria which reside in the crypts and grooves or our tongue. These bacteria are capable of reducing the nitrates in green leafy vegetables to nitrites in the mouth. When the nitrites are swallowed, they are further reduced by gastric acid to nitric oxide which may now enter the nitric oxide pool. Furthermore, when chewing fruit the fructose is bound to fiber and absorption is safe and slow. On the other hand, when fruit is blenderized, the fructose is separated from the fiber and the absorption is very rapid through the stomach. This rapid absorption tends to injure the liver, glycates protein and injures the endothelial cells.

    • Ryan Carmody #

      A few thoughts come to mind:

      – I advocate “chewing” your smoothies. This enhances digestion and I assume nitrate conversion as Dr. Esselstyn described.
      – Not sure about blenders separating fructose from fiber. And even if they do, you’re still consuming both and essentially breaking the fruit down for your teeth and stomach.
      – Smoothies comprised of only fruit are detrimental to your heath, which is why I advocate a balanced smoothie, not too high in sugar, with healthy fats to buffer the sugar absorption.
      – I also advocate one smoothie a day and two regular meals; so your digestive system is still working twice a day and not atrophying from only consuming smoothies.

      Ryan

  31. katie schultz #

    would love to have your healthy smoothy ebook. thx for the great info.

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Simply confirm your subscription to my newsletter and it’s all yours, Katie.

  32. Misty Real #

    Wow awesome info,just a beginner at smooth smoothies.However I found this recipe works for me.
    1 banana
    1 banana yogurt (apple,vanilla,are also good)
    4 ounce of low fat soy milk(or whatever your preference)
    Blend and enjoy!
    I find this very filling.Snacks include veggies,fruits,certain nuts.And yes lots of exercise.I’m a vegetarian so this works for me.Well thanks for the info,& be blessed.

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Welcome to the wonderful world of healthy smoothies, Misty! You’re recipe looks good. The only thing I would change is the soy milk – try a nut milk instead.

  33. Gloria #

    Hi Ryan,
    All this is really great info–thanks. I had previously spoken with my doctor over the smoothies I was making (recently gained a lot of weight and I’m trying to eat more healthy) and he said he does not recommend smoothies at all. He said it’s like drinkiing pure sugar (I use fresh fruit) and because of the way the blender breaks down the ingredients it’s losing it’s nutrional value. Also, it does not digest well. So now I’m at a cross-roads because it’s easy for breakfast and way better then what I normally eat. Do you have any thoughts?

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Gloria,

      I understand where your doctor is coming from as most smoothies (especially at smoothie shops) are loaded with sugar. However, my recipes are either low in sugar or contain moderate amounts. Moderate being from a banana or honey for example. Never do I call for processed or fake sugars. As far as digestion goes, that’s debatable. The blender is “chewing” your food for you, but also allows mixing a bunch of healthy ingredients into a palatable and often delicious drink. My advice is to reduce the sugary fruit in your smoothies and incorporate more healthy fats. That usually tips things to healthy and viable.

      Regards,
      Ryan

  34. Kathy #

    Ryan,
    I’ve been doing research and trying to find out IF freezing smoothies which are full of Superfood additions is only defeating the purpose of adding these superfoods. I add anything from a combination of : maca root/chia seeds/coconut oil/hemp seeds/flax seeds/kelp powder/spirulina/moringa/….

    I like to make at least enough for 3 smoothies at a time and usually freeze the other two, but now I’m wondering if freezing these smoothies takes away from the health benefits of the smoothie.

    • Ryan Carmody #

      As far as I know freezing smoothies does not degrade their nutrition, at least not significantly, Kathy. It’s like freezing most foods, they lose a little over time.

  35. Steven Young #

    This is the smoothie that i fix every morning. Is this healthy?
    1 banana
    1 apple
    hand full of blueberries
    2-3 strawberries
    Almond milk
    Some wheat germ
    splash of lemon juice
    1 carrot

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Looks good, Steven. My only critique is to use slightly less sweet fruit (1/2 banana and 1/2 apple) and incorporate some healthy fat in the form of avocado, coconut oil, or ghee.

  36. Nikki #

    Hi, I’ve just started having smoothie im really enjoying them, i try to mix my fruit i have strawberries, banana, prunes as i started them to help with my bowels, tried melon, strawberries & prunes, with water & ice could you tell me please if they contain to much sugar.
    Nikki xx

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Nikki,

      All that sweet fruit results in a smoothie that’s a little high in sugar. Try using only 1/2 banana and incorporating some healthy fat in the form of avocado, coconut oil, or ghee.

      Ryan

  37. Jess #

    Hi Ryan,

    I recently started my smoothie breakfast routine. As I’m diabetic (type 2), I’m recommended by my dietitian to take rolled oats. However, i got tired of eating oats so I became a lil’ creative – i grind the rolled oats and Chia seeds into powder form. I then blend them with 1 cup of skim milk and one frozen banana. Is this ok? Can I still add a few frozen blueberries, strawberries or raspberries? Or perhaps add a few spoonfuls of fat-free, no sugar added vanilla yogurt?

    • Ryan Carmody #

      That sounds delicious, Jess. As long as your smoothies aren’t too high in sugar, which berries aren’t, I think you’re good. Yogurt is as well as a nut butter are good add-ons. I actually have a few oat smoothies you might check out:

      https://www.healthysmoothiehq.com/tag/oats

  38. Denise #

    Hi Ryan
    Just started smoothies I use
    One scoop ice cubes
    Handful of blueberries
    Handful of blackberries
    Handful of raspberries
    Tsp chia seeds
    One small cutie orange
    And 1/2 of container of key lime Greek yogurt use the rest next day.

    I don’t like bananas sorry

    Mix and drink my daughter says to sweet
    I love it and I will try 1/2 of an avacado hopefully it won’t change the taste to much. Hope not to high in calories and I have been drinking a slim fast for breakfast for years 18 grams of sugar😬

    So hoping this is ok everyday any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated thanks.

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Your recipe looks good, Denise. Maybe the key lime Greek yogurt is the reason it’s too sweet for your daughter. Check the sugar content on that and if too high, use plain Greek yogurt. The avocado won’t change the flavor much, but will add healthy fats and a creamy consistency.

  39. Tami #

    Hi Ryan. I alternate between two smoothies, one contains spinach,Apple, avacado,strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, cherries, carrots, mixed seeds, chia seeds & water.

    The other smoothie contains the seeds, spinach, avacado, carrot, strawberries, Apple, Fennel & water.

    Can you advise if I am going wrong anywhere or are these quite balanced for a smoothie every day. Your help would be most appreciated thanks.

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Tami,

      Smoothie one: fantastic!

      Smoothie two: outstanding!

      I don’t have any critiques – keep making those super healthy smoothies :)

      Ryan

  40. Marii #

    Finally an article proving the point about smoothies. Ugh I always thought it’s an easy solution for a healthier drink … who knew! I read the same about juices and fruits overall too. I’ve really started to moderate my fruit consumption from that on!

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Yes, fruit is good, in moderation, Marii.

  41. Kat #

    I was planning on making a smoothie with strawberries and yoplait light blueberry yogurt with granola. all i have is 2% milk. is this a sugar bomb.

  42. melissa #

    Hi I have been making smoothies for breakfast for a week now but I don’t know if they are healthy or sugar bombs? Typically
    Water
    almonds
    linseeds
    spinach
    frozen berries
    1 piece of fresh fruit. Kiwi / 1/2 mango / plum
    tbs greek yogurt
    if not using yogurt will use oconut oil

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Based on those ingredients your smoothies are not sugar bombs and actually quite healthy, Melissa.

  43. ruby #

    I make smoothies all the time! my most favorite one is:
    natural yogurt
    strawberries
    frozen fruit
    this is d e l i c i o u s !

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Sounds delicious, Ruby.

  44. Cynthia #

    I usually buy a frozen smoothie mix from the supermarket and add the recommended amount of apple juice.
    I buy the blackberry, blueberry, raspberry and banana one and the mango, kiwi, spinach and kale one and for the veggie one I add 200 ml apple juice and for the fruity one 150 ml, is that unhealthy?
    It is just basic store bought apple juice but that is what they recommended.

    • Cynthia #

      I btw have only started making these for a week now and just 1 for breakfast.

      • Ryan Carmody #

        I would use either water or milk instead of apple juice, Cynthia. Most apple juice is essentially sugar water.

  45. Erica #

    Gelatin is really bad for you…along with any other animal products. But Gelatin is worse than dairy in my opinion. Regarding smoothies, it’s best to have natural smoothies with fruits. No need to add extra things like yogurt or Gelatin or anything like that. To sweeten your smoothies. Add a more sugary fruit, like dates. But listening to your body is key.

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Erica,

      Care to elaborate on why you think gelatin is bad for you?

      Ryan

  46. Tanya #

    One question for you – what is your take on 100% natural coconut water as a smoothie base?

    • Ryan Carmody #

      I think it’s a terrific smoothie base, Tanya, especially if it’s organic.

      • Tanya #

        It is!! Thanks for the reply, Ryan. Your feedback is much appreciated.

  47. Hannah #

    This was an overall good post, but it’s also clear that there is some misinformation. Mainly the juice. Yes, store bought juice is bad, but so is “freshly squeezed” juice. Though it’s probably better than store-bought, since you know what exactly goes in, the sugar from the fruit is still just as bad as any other sugar (though the juice will still have the vitamins that the fruit has, or very likely). While fruit itself contains the fiber necessary to digest the sugar fine, juicing removes the fiber and makes the sugar content just as bad as soda (or at least compatible).

    I still really enjoyed this post, however! It’s just one of the lesser known facts about fruit juice.

    Source: Dr. Robert Lustig
    https://youtu.be/BAqcbQByeec He briefly mentions it in this video, but speaks more in-depth about it in a few of his others.

    • Ryan Carmody #

      I appreciate the feedback and concern about freshly squeezed juice, Hannah. I tend to agree with you that fresh juice can be harmful due to it’s high concentration of sugar, but feel it can still be a viable ingredient in a smoothie. I’ll have to watch that video and rethink my stance.

  48. Paul Manning #

    Hi Ryan, I would like to batch freeze portion sized smoothies, so I can take them out of the freezer in the morning and blend. I`m thinking maybe making around twenty at at time. I will the keep nuts, seeds etc in stock for the blend.

    Do you know if it is OK to freeze most leafy greens or soft fruits for maybe two weeks or so and will they keep their nutritional value compared to eating fresh?

    Thanks Paul

  49. Sanna #

    Which almond milk is best to use? There’s unsweetened? Should I use this or the normal almond milk? I made a smoothie today, with a mix of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants and blueberries. I put a cup of this in the blender and half a cup of yoghurt by Onken and half a cup of juice. Is this bad? I used the measuring cups. I got this recipe from the internet saying it’s healthy for weight loss

    • Sanna #

      Sorry, forgot to mention the yoghurt by Onken is flavoured but fat free

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Homemade is best. Otherwise go with an organic almond milk, unsweetened. That’s not bad, but I’d leave out the juice and instead incorporate a healthy fat such as avocado, ghee, or coconut oil.

  50. Senette #

    Almond Dark Chocolate Milk is good? I hope! I love to have a banana, avocado, blueberries with hemp seeds and chia seeds in my almond dark choc milk smoothie. I hope its healthy

    • Ryan Carmody #

      If it’s organic and doesn’t contain too much or any added sweetener, then I’d say your almond dark chocolate milk is good, Senette.

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