Registered dietitian, and CEO of Elderly Assist Inc., Amber Dixon, warns that coconut oil and peanut butter are the worst smoothie ingredients for weight loss.
Even though you may think that these ingredients are healthy because they’re natural, they actually contain unnecessarily high levels of saturated fat and are high in calories without providing any benefits.
That’s why Dixon recommends avoiding adding these ingredients if you want to lose weight or maintain it.
While coconut oil can be extremely beneficial for taming frizzy hair and moisturizing dry, flaky skin, Dixon warns against adding it to your smoothie.
This is because they are high in empty calories, and also because of the concerning saturated fat and MCT levels.
She explains, “Coconut oil is high in saturated fat, which is not good for your blood sugar levels. It can cause you to store more fat than you need—and that’s bad news for your waistline!
“It also contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which aren’t exactly healthy either.”
MCTs are a type of fat found in blood. If they’re consumed in high quantities, they can negatively affect your cholesterol levels—both the total cholesterol and LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol levels, both of which are risk factors of heart disease.
They may also stimulate the release of hunger hormones, making you overeat.
Instead, she recommends using avocado oil in your smoothies. “Avocado is a fantastic alternative because it’s almost as creamy and bubbly as coconut oil, but it’s also got an amazing taste of its own. It’s also a very versatile ingredient—you can use it in anything from hummus to salad dressing!” Dixon says.
Another popular smoothie ingredient that is also surprisingly unhealthy according to Dixon is peanut butter.
Even though peanut butter adds a sweet flavor and a rich, creamy texture, it’s also high in calories and fats.
While the healthy fats in this nut butter are nutritious and beneficial for weight loss, you should really only be consuming them in moderation to avoid fat buildup.
Peanut butter has protein and fiber, but it’s also very high in calories—and since smoothies are generally low-calorie drinks, you don’t want to go overboard on the peanut butter to keep your calories down while still getting enough nutrients.
And, commercial peanut butter is loaded with added sugars, oils, and fats that give the nut butter a syrupy taste and smooth texture.
But, what can you add to your smoothies to get the protein and fiber your body needs to shed pounds?
Swap your peanut butter for some nuts or seeds, “like raw almonds or chia seeds.” Not only are they chock full of protein and fiber, but they are also antioxidant-rich and can be metabolism-boosting to encourage weight loss. Adding raw seeds and nuts to your smoothie is a win-win!
The bottom line
At the end of the day, achieving a flatter stomach is possible with a healthy, nutritiously-balanced diet and a consistent exercise regimen.