The Ingredients You Shouldn't Add To Your Smoothie

Smoothies are a great way to add more nutrients and antioxidants to your daily diet. However, using the wrong ingredients could end up sabotaging your smoothie's health benefits (via Prevention). That's why it's important to know which ingredients you should avoid when making a smoothie.

One ingredient you should try to steer clear of is sweetener. Most smoothies get their sweetness from fruit, so there's no real need to add any refined sugar to the mix. At the same time, you don't want to overdo it with the fruit. "Only add a cup, because the more fruit you add, the more sugar and calories you're adding, too," Angela Ginn-Meadow, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told Prevention.

You also don't want to use any flavored yogurt in your smoothie. That's because flavored yogurt tends to have much more sugar in it than plain yogurt. For example, a single cup of flavored yogurt contains around 26 grams of sugar, while a cup of plain yogurt only contains anywhere between 6 and 9 grams of sugar. According to the American Heart Association, the recommended maximum intake of added sugar daily is 25 grams for women and 37.5 grams for men (per Healthline).

How to make a healthier smoothie

If you want to make a healthier smoothie, however, you'll need to add a few more nutrient-dense and health-boosting ingredients into the mix. 

In addition to fruit and plain yogurt, you can make your smoothie healthier by using more plant-based fats (via Insider). For instance, avocados are a heart-healthy fat and low-sugar fruit that can give your smoothie a creamy consistency. Avocados are packed full of nutrients and can help your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins.

You can also add more healthy seeds to your smoothie. Chia seeds and flax seeds are a great source of fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential to your heart health. They can also help reduce inflammation and keep you feeling full longer. Furthermore, vegetable oils like olive, coconut, and sesame oil can help promote heart health, regulate your blood sugar, and keep you satiated. They can also help give your smoothie a silkier feel and texture.