When smoothies exploded onto the scene as the new healthy snack, some of my friends fell victim to the promise of a treat that was both healthy and sweet. Thank goodness low sugar smoothies weren’t far behind!
A smoothie shop opened up right near my office at the time, and a friend of mine was SO excited about it. She’s health-conscious, but she also has a serious sweet tooth. She went to the smoothie place every day for a week trying different flavors.
I was extra cautious about sugar, and I didn’t want to derail my 40-pound weight loss, so I passed up the midday trip to that she took with a couple of other women. This went on for almost two weeks when my friend came into my office one day and slumped into a chair.
When I asked if she was okay, she said she was so tired she was practically falling asleep at her desk.
“I can barely keep my eyes open.”
This wasn’t typical for her, so I asked how long she’d been feeling like this in the afternoon.
“A week or so,” she said.
Just about the same amount of time she’d been going to the smoothie place. I asked if she thought maybe it was from the smoothies, but she protested that smoothies are healthy.
She looked up the smoothies she’d been drinking every day and saw that the sugar content was 60+ grams of sugar! Yikes!
She looked like she might be sick when she realized how much sugar she was getting from that one food alone every day. She started making her own low sugar smoothies and bringing them into work. I thought that was a great solution!
I love low sugar smoothies, too and want to share some great recipes I found with you. Here are some of the exciting things I’ll be sharing with you today.
- Why low sugar smoothies are the perfect fat-busters
- Refined vs. natural sugar – does it really matter?
- Which specific spices to add to your low-sugar smoothie for accelerated weight loss
- Whether it’s okay to sweeten up a smoothie with artificial sweeteners
- My favorite ingredient to make low sugar smoothies more satisfying and sustaining
- Which spices you can add to smoothies to help keep blood sugar levels steady
Why low sugar smoothies are perfect fat-busters
When it comes to sugar, refined white sugar is higher on the glycemic index than most natural sweeteners and fruit. This means it causes a bigger spike in blood sugar levels. That being said, natural sugar is still sugar too, and you have watch how much of it you take in at once. Too much sugar is stored as fat.
A lot of smoothie recipes call for a few fruits, and sometimes dates or honey. Eating or drinking whole fruit pieces (as opposed to drinking the juice alone) is better because fruit has fiber to slow the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream. However, too much of the extra sweeteners like honey and dates can tip it over the edge.
Low sugar smoothies combine subtly sweet fruit (along with its fiber) with healthy fats, and protein for an easy meal or snack without the sugar high and crash. So they’re an easy, fun way to both satisfy your sweet tooth and support your body as it burns extra fat.
How to sweeten and add fat-burners to low sugar smoothies?
It might be tempting to add artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, to green smoothies that aren’t super sweet. However, I don’t think that’s a great idea. Artificial sweeteners can cause the “hungry” and “satisfied” signals in your brain to misfire. Consequently, you might overeat later in the day.
I DO recommend adding spices like cinnamon or turmeric for boosted flavor, blood sugar management, and anti-inflammatory health benefits. Cinnamon is a sweet and sumptuous spice that targets belly fat, supports healthy blood sugar levels and so much more!
Turmeric is a super spice that can actually block fat cell formation and burn existing fat cells. So, adding it to your low sugar smoothies can actually accelerate weight loss. And, it has a very mild taste.
Recipes for subtly sweet low sugar smoothies
For these smoothies, I usually like to add protein because it’s more filling and it jump starts weight loss. Add one scoop of any protein powder, or 5.5 oz (155 g) of plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt.
These recipes are not very filling as is, so if you try these smoothies without adding protein, they’ll be more like a part of a protein-filled breakfast, or a snack in the afternoon. These NOT meal replacements as is, but if protein powder or Greek yogurt is added, they could be.
Okay, here are they; yummy low sugar smoothie recipes!
Healthy Orange Creamsicle Smoothie
This gluten-free and vegan version of a classic ice cream bar is brought to you by The Fit Cookie. It’s like a sweet, tangy orange creamsicle in a glass! It’s so simple to make, too. Only 4 essential ingredients and three steps.
Low Sugar Blueberry Smoothie:
Here’s a luscious blueberry smoothie with a secret ingredient you’ll never guess! Detoxinista gives a few options for adding zucchini, hemp seeds, and other nutrient-rich ingredients to bulk up your smoothie. But the one ingredient you wouldn’t ever suspect (and is pretty darn good) is cauliflower!
It adds a creamy texture, but at the same time, you can’t taste the cruciferous veggie flavor at all. The berries and ½ a banana overpower it. The cauliflower is a nice dense ingredient that gives you that perfect smoothie texture without relying on too much sugary fruit. But half a banana is fine.
Cinnamon Carrot Cake Smoothie:
I modified this incredible smoothie from Green Blender, lowering the sugar a bit more for accelerated weight-loss while keeping you feeling full.
As I said before, I recommend adding a scoop of protein powder or 5.5 oz. Greek yogurt. But that can be optional. For this one, I changed it to half a banana instead of a whole banana. For another protein and fiber punch also add 2 tablespoons of flax or chia seeds.
Recipes for green (and crazy tasty!) low sugar smoothies
If like me, you like mojitos, you will LOVE this creamy green wonder from Prevention. It’s a cold, thick, potassium and Vitamin C-rich green shake. It has healthy fats and fresh mint leaves to help curb your hunger and keep you feeling satisfied.
Creamy Ginger Green Smoothie:
Nutrition Stripped gives us a creamy, delicious smoothie here with some great tips for making it even lower in sugar. The author says to try replacing all or half of a banana with zucchini. It has a similar texture and a very subtle flavor.
Fresh ginger is so great for weight-loss and digestion, and it’s incredible tasting when it’s combined with complementing ingredients like this. You’ll love it!
Cucumber Cooler Smoothie:
Here’s a classic refreshing green smoothie from Prevention. It’s full of hydrating and rejuvenating ingredients, and super simple to make.
The recipe calls for stevia, but I recommend trying it without first and only adding if you need to. Over time, your taste buds will adjust and you won’t need the artificial sweetener anymore.
Have you experimented with low sugar smoothies? There’s no end to the combinations you can try! Let me know some of your favorites or ones you’ve come up with in the comments.