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Stop the Sugar Bomb! How to Blend a Weight-Loss-Approved Smoothie

Smoothies are a simple and easy way to load up on healthy ingredients in one tall glass, but the sky-high sugar content in many blends can make your jaw drop. For example, while delicious, one medium banana blended into your smoothie accounts for over 14 grams of sugar!

Yes, naturally occurring sugars, like those from fruit, are welcome in a balanced diet, but too much of anything isn't good — especially if you're concerned about elevated blood sugar levels or you're trying to cut back on carbs. The following charts break down some of the best low-sugar ingredient options to try out today. To go one step further, we've added five easy smoothie recipes at the bottom that keep sugar well under 10 grams per glass.

Produce

Calories Sugar (grams)
Kale (67 grams) 33 0.0
Spinach (30 grams) 7 0.1
Avocado (1/4 fruit) 103 0.3
Broccoli (91 grams) 31 1.5
Cranberries (110 grams) 51 4.4
Raspberries (123 grams) 64 5.4
Blackberries (144 grams) 62 7.0
Strawberries (150 grams) 46 7.1

Liquid Base

Calories Sugar (grams)
Rice milk, unsweetened 45 0.0
Almond milk, unsweetened 40 1.0
Soy milk, unsweetened 60 1.0
Coconut milk, unsweetened 45 1.0

Thickeners

Calories Sugar (grams)
Rolled oats (20 grams) 75 0.5
Cannellini beans (45 grams) 60 0.5
Low-fat cottage cheese (230 grams) 203 0.7
Almonds (42 grams) 107 0.8
Almond butter (one tablespoon) 90 1.0
Soft tofu (85 grams) 53 1.3
Walnuts (20 grams) 109 1.6

Extras

Calories Sugar (grams)
Cinnamon (one teaspoon) 6 0.0
Ginger (one teaspoon, chopped) 1 0.0
Raw cacao nibs (one tablespoon) 90 0.0
Ground flaxseed (one tablespoon) 37 0.1
Fresh lime (one tablespoon) 10 0.5
Chia seeds (one tablespoon) 67 0.5
Spirulina powder (one serving) 81 1.0

Easy Recipe Combos

  • 67 grams of kale, 1/4 avocado, 240 grams unsweetened almond milk, 20 grams rolled oats, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 cup crushed ice = 239 calories, 0.9 grams of sugar, 7.6 grams of protein
  • 30 grams spinach, 1/4 avocado, 240 grams unsweetened almond milk, one tablespoon nut butter, one tablespoon cacao nibs, 1/2 cup crushed ice = 381 calories, 1.4 grams of sugar, 10.2 grams of protein
  • 30 grams, 123 grams raspberries, 227 grams rice milk, 230 grams cottage cheese, 1/2 cup crushed ice = 316 calories, 6.3 grams of sugar, 34 grams of protein
  • 123 grams raspberries, 1/4 avocado, 240 grams unsweetened coconut milk, one teaspoon ginger, one tablespoon lime juice, 1/2 cup crushed ice = 225 calories, 6.9 grams of sugar, 3.5 grams of protein
  • 67 grams kale, 150 grams strawberries, 240 grams unsweetened soy milk, 21 grams almonds, one serving spirulina = 228 calories, 8.6 grams of sugar, 12.5 grams of protein
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Anna Monette Roberts
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