How To Make A Smoothie That Won't Spike Your Blood Sugar, From An Endocrinologist
Smoothies can be nutritious, filling, and blood-sugar-supporting when made with the right ingredients. When made with too many high-glycemic fruits and sweeteners and not enough fiber, however, they can be just the opposite.
Here's the secret to whipping up a satisfying smoothie that will taste delicious and keep your blood sugar in check, from an endocrinologist.
How to avoid a blood sugar spike from your smoothie.
When you make a smoothie that's majority fruit and sweeteners, it can wind up spiking (and then crashing) your blood sugar, leaving you even hungrier than before.
According to board-certified endocrinologist Brittany Henderson, M.D., to avoid that blood sugar crash, you'll want to lean into high-fiber, low-glycemic index fruits like berries and apples. "I also recommend adding insoluble fiber like psyllium husk or prebiotic fibers to help reduce the blood sugar spike, or flax/chia seeds," she tells mbg. Here are some more high-fiber foods and fiber supplements to play around with in your smoothie.
And as registered dietitian Jessica Cording, M.S., R.D., CDN, previously wrote for mbg, you'll also want to "make sure to keep portions in check on the fruit and work in some healthy fat and protein."
She recommends aiming for about 2 parts veggies for every 1 part fruit—and has a go-to smoothie recipe that hits all these marks.
A blood-sugar-balancing smoothie bowl to try.
The following is Cording's basic smoothie bowl formula, which features plenty of protein and healthy fats, as well as frozen riced cauliflower for a smooth consistency and extra fiber and minerals.
What you'll need:
- 1 cup water (or your favorite plant-based milk)
- 1 cup ice
- 1 scoop pea protein powder or your favorite nut butter
- ¼ of a ripe avocado
- ¾ cup frozen riced cauliflower
- 1 cup frozen or 2 cups fresh spinach
- ½ a frozen banana
- ½ cup frozen berries
- For garnish: 1 tablespoon chia seeds or a combo of your favorite seeds, coconut flakes, nuts, and/or cacao nibs
- Add water or plant-based milk, ice, pea-protein powder, avocado, cauliflower, spinach, banana, and berries to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour into a bowl and garnish with chia seeds on top. Enjoy with a spoon.
Not all smoothies are created equal, and while a quick blend of your favorite fruits might be tasty, it could inadvertently cause your blood sugar to soar. The good news is, with the help of a few nutritious additions (and plenty of fiber), you can avoid that spike and crash—without sacrificing flavor.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.