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Homemade smoothie: Overloading your blender can actually do more harm than good
From a splash of coconut water to a heaped tablespoon of almond butter, we all have our preferences when it comes to mixing up the perfect smoothie at home.
But your chia-filled, banana-dominated, deliciously date filled daily drink could actually be making you fat.
Dietitian and accredited nutritionist Gabrielle Maston says by overloading our smoothies with healthy ingredients, we could be doing more harm than good.
‘The perfect smoothie is 50 per cent liquid, ie your base, and 25 per cent fruit and 25 per cent veg,’ says nutritionist Gabrielle Maston.
‘A lot of people put too many ingredients in their homemade versions. We need to learn to be careful with portion control.’
The mistake a lot of people make is that they think by overloading a smoothie with healthy ingredients they are being kind to their body, but according to the experts, there really can be too much of a good thing:
‘Limit fruit to one single serving, which amounts to a cup of fruit or a single piece like an apple or pear,’ says Ms Maston.
‘Then throw in your low-fat liquid such as coconut water or skimmed milk, and fill with brightly-coloured veggies.
‘These are filled with nutritious fibre.’
The second mistake a lot of people make when blitzing together a drink is that they pack it too full of hidden sugar:
‘Fruit does have sugar in it, so it needs to be limited,’ says Ms Mason.
‘In addition, while it is healthy to eat nuts, in a combination of protein, fruit, a base and additions it can be too much for our bodies to handle.
‘If you do decide to include a nut butter in your smoothie, offset it by removing half of a piece of fruit. Think about what you’re eating and control your portions by lying out your ingredients in front of you before blending.’
So what should you avoid putting in a smoothie and still fit into your jeans?
‘If it’s the morning and you’re drinking a smoothie as a breakfast replacement it is fine to put in a few more things such as oats to keep you full,’ says Ms Maston.
‘But for when you’re drinking a smoothie as a snack, or after a workout, try to keep it more limited and replenish your body with some protein via a powder of yoghurt or milk.’
According to experts, a measuring cup is an essential tool for a healthy homemade smoothie:
‘Try to avoid too many sweeteners and get used to the sweetness of fruit,’ says Ms Mason.
‘Keep all of the pulp from fruit and veggies in your drink as these provide much-needed fibre,’ she says.
‘And – most importantly – don’t live off smoothies as you will start to lack other essential nutrients such as iron and zinc, which are incredibly important for women.
‘One a day is enough.’
Stick to these golden rules, and rest assured that your smoothie habit is superb for your health.