Your Smoothie Bowl Is Probably Full Of Sugar, But It Doesn't Have To Be

Hey, we don't blame you -- but you might want to read this first.

If you're blending up kale and frozen fruit and adorning those homemade creations with granola, fruit and flowers, or stopping by that local smoothie joint to get your fix, know those picture-perfect concoctions can be giant sugar bombs.

smoothie bowl
Instagrammer nyfood_digest tops their smoothie bowl with kiwi, bananas and strawberries.

Just think about it: You're blending sugary yogurt or fruit juices, dumping honey into your smoothie, and then topping everything with granola and dried fruit. That's a lot of sweet -- even if there are some veggies in the mix.

Katherine Brooking, RD and co-founder of AppforHealth.com, said smoothies get even sweeter when you're grabbing them to go.

"Some smoothie chains and quick serve restaurants use pureed fruit, fruit sorbets or fruit juice with added sugar to make their beverages," she told The Huffington Post. "If you're not careful, a large-sized smoothie from some chains can cost you nearly 600 calories and over 130 grams of sugar."

And that's just the base. If you're going for a full-on smoothie bowl, toppings can be dangerous.

"Although toppings are all the craze with smoothie bowls, it's quite easy to add heaps of calories by adding granola, dried fruit, shredded coconut and more," nutritionist McKel Hill told The Telegraph in February.

smoothie bowl
Instagrammer Spring Cafe packs on the fruit, seeds and coconut chips.

So, how can we get the benefits smoothies can provide without overloading on sugar? Dr. Susan Mitchell, RD, suggests getting rid of as much added sugar as possible.

"If you want the lowest amount of added sugars, use plain Greek yogurt," she told HuffPost. "It's high in protein and has no added sugar. You can add your own sweetener if desired, or get your sweetness from fresh fruit in season. Also, be a label sleuth. Compare brands on the nutrition facts label."

As for toppings, reach for the almonds.

"Add your favorites nuts -- toast them if you want more flavor -- to boost protein content of your smoothie bowl and add healthy fats," Mitchell said.

Don't get us wrong. We're all for your love of smoothie bowls. We just want to make sure you're doing 'em right.

1
'Summer In A Cup' Smoothie
Minimalist Baker
Get the 'Summer In A Cup' Smoothie recipe from Minimalist Baker
2
Morning Glory Power Smoothie
Half Baked Harvest
Get the Morning Glory Power Smoothie recipe from Half Baked Harvest
3
Blueberry Dragonfruit Smoothie
How Sweet It Is
Get the Blueberry Dragonfruit Smoothie recipe from How Sweet It Is
4
World's Best Watermelon Smoothie
Pinch of Yum
Get the World's Best Watermelon Smoothie recipe from Pinch of Yum
5
Mexican Green Smoothie
Feasting at Home
Get the Mexican Green Smoothie recipe from Feasting at Home
6
Coconut Papaya Smoothie
Minimalist Baker
Get the Coconut Papaya Smoothie recipe from Minimalist Baker
7
Mango Smoothie
Foodie Crush
Get the Mango Smoothie recipe from Foodie Crush
8
Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie
Averie Cooks
Get the Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie recipe from Averie Cooks
9
Winter Berry Smoothie
The Clever Carrot
Get the Winter Berry Smoothie recipe from The Clever Carrot
10
Super Green Spirulina Smoothie
Minimalist Baker
Get the Super Green Spirulina Smoothie recipe from Minimalist Baker
11
Tropical Fruit Breakfast Smoothie
Half Baked Harvest
Get the Tropical Fruit Breakfast Smoothie recipe from Half Baked Harvest
12
Berry Green Smoothie
Pinch of Yum
Get the Berry Green Smoothie recipe from Pinch of Yum
13
Acai, Pomegranate And Raspberry Smoothie
Foodie Crush
14
Blueberry Almond Butter Smoothie
Minimalist Baker
Get the Blueberry Almond Butter Smoothie recipe from Minimalist Baker
15
Island Mango Goji Berry Sunrise Smoothie
Half Baked Harvest
Get the Island Mango Goji Berry Sunrise Smoothie recipe from Half Baked Harvest
16
Pineapple Ginger Smoothie
How Sweet It Is
Get the Pineapple Ginger Smoothie recipe from How Sweet It Is
17
White Peach And Raspberry Smoothie
The Clever Carrot
Get the White Peach And Raspberry Smoothie recipe from The Clever Carrot
18
Pineapple-Mango Green-A Colada Smoothie
Cafe Johnsonia
19
Raspberry Coconut Smoothie
A Beautiful Mess
Get the Raspberry Coconut Smoothie recipe from A Beautiful Mess
20
Berry Greens Vanilla Smoothie
Averie Cooks
Get the Berry Greens Vanilla Smoothie recipe from Averie Cooks
21
Chocolate Covered Clementine Smoothie
How Sweet It Is
22
Cherry Revitalizer Smoothie
Averie Cooks
Get the Cherry Revitalizer Smoothie recipe from Averie Cooks
23
Peanut Butter And Hazelnut Smoothie
A Beautiful Mess
Get the Peanut Butter and Hazelnut Smoothie recipe from A Beautiful Mess
24
Mango Spinach Smoothie
Half Baked Harvest
Get the Mango Spinach Smoothie recipe from Half Baked Harvest
25
Blueberry Smoothie
Averie Cooks
Get the Blueberry Smoothie recipe from Averie Cooks