Smoothies are a long-time favorite way of fitting in nutrition. They are great for quick meals and supplements. However, there is one unhealthy ingredient that might lurk in your smoothie.

Your smoothie might be hiding this unhealthy ingredient.
Your smoothie might be unhealthier than you think.

Yes, your smoothies might be full of berries, greens, and vegetables. However, if you aren’t the one making your smoothies, there’s an ingredient to watch out for. That ingredient is sugar.

A good deal of fast food and franchised smoothie joints advertise their smoothies based on the good things in them. You’ll see buzzwords like “superfood.” While acai, for example, is a superfood, it isn’t super helpful to your health if it’s accompanied by a bunch of sugar.

What these fast food and smoothie joints don’t tell you is that they make their smoothies with sugary, processed juices or yogurts. These unhealthy additions make the smoothie taste great at the expense of nutrition.

So how can you make sure your smoothies aren’t hiding unhealthy sugar?

The simplest answer is to make them at home. When you’re in control of the ingredients, you know exactly what’s going into your smoothies. This means you can find healthier alternatives to processed sugar such as real maple syrup, stevia, agave, and honey. Who knows, the natural sugars in fruit might be enough sweetener for your smoothies.

The next option is to do your research. Most places list their nutrition labels somewhere on their website. Look into the ingredients in your favorite smoothies and see where sugar might be hiding. It’s possible that you can request smoothies without certain ingredients or with a healthier substitute available.

You can also research local smoothie shops. Where else can you get your smoothies other than that chain franchise? Often, you’ll find local specialty smoothie shops that focus on transparent, healthy ingredients. A bonus is you’ll be supporting local small business by getting your smoothies at these specialty shops.

The next time you want a quick snack, rethink what might be inside your smoothies. Know what to look out for. If you can, make your smoothies at home. You’ll save money and know exactly what’s in it. If you can’t make them at home, see what ingredient substitutions are available or find a local shop that uses healthy ingredients.

You can still have your smoothies and your health, too!