Building a Healthy Smoothie

Building a Healthy Smoothie

In order for a smoothie to be a nutritious addition to your day, it should contain protein, whole fruits and other nutritional powerhouse ingredients. The protein and fiber from this type of smoothie keep you feeling full for hours, unlike the ‘unhealthy’ smoothies full of sugar which leave you famished in a mere hour.

Always include protein, whole fruit and a nutrition booster:


  • Greek yogurt, low-fat and unsweetened (6 – 8 oz.)
  • Milk, skim or low-fat (8 – 12 oz.)
  • Tofu (6 – 7 oz.)
  • Kefir (6 – 8 oz.)
  • Nut butter or powder (1 – 2 Tbsp.)
  • Protein powder, free from added fat and sugar (1 scoop)

Whole fruit

  • Frozen berries
  • Banana, small
  • Frozen peaches, plums or nectarines
  • Frozen mangos or pineapple
  • Frozen cherries

Nutrition booster

  • Seeds: chia, flax or hemp (1 Tbsp.)
  • Avocado, ¼
  • Old fashioned oats (¼ cup)
  • Spinach, kale or other greens
  • Spices such as ginger, turmeric or cinnamon


  • Sweeten your smoothie naturally with fruit. Add berries, ripe banana, dates or other whole fruit for sweetness. Avoid adding juice, sweetened yogurt or sweetened milk alternatives.
  • Measure your add-ins. Smoothies can quickly become a huge source of calories when the whole kitchen sink is thrown in!
  • Experiment with adding veggies. Spinach, carrots, butternut squash or beets are a good place to start as their flavors mingle well with fruits.
  • Freeze your fruit. Adding frozen fruit increases the thickness and intensi es the avor. When buying bagged frozen fruit, make sure it is just the fruit – no added sugar.
  • Choose a healthy mixing liquid such as unsweetened almond, soy or cashew milk; skim or 1% milk; or coconut water or just plain water. Skip the sugary juice.
  • Berries are the lowest sugar, highest ber fruit. Use frozen raspberries, blackberries or blueberries for a lower calorie, higher fiber smoothie.

To schedule an appointment with a University Hospitals dietitian, call 216-844-1499. A physician referral is required to make an appointment. Our schedulers can assist in obtaining the appropriate referral.

Make an Appointment

Schedule your appointment with a heart or vascular specialist at University Hospitals:

Office appointment with a cardiologist or vascular surgeon
216-844-3800 or
1-866-UH4-CARE (1-866-844-2273)

Office appointment with a heart surgeon

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