6 foods to avoid adding to your smoothies

6 foods to avoid adding to your smoothies

6 foods to avoid adding to your smoothies

There are some foods to avoid using in your smoothies on a regular basis and I’ll tell you exactly why.  Making smoothies is becoming so popular with so many people and every ingredient under the sun is being added into a smoothie.  I am as guilty as the next person of this as I love a tasty smoothie that’s going to fill me up which is why I add carbs such as oats and other tasty foods such as nuts, seeds, vanilla, cinnamon, lemon juice etc.

However, some foods are healthier than others and I believe you can get all the nutrition you need from fruit, veg, nuts and seeds.  I think the cleaner your diet the better it is for you, and the more processed foods you add into your diet, the harder you body has to work to ‘process’ them.  Of course we all like a treat now and then but there are some foods that I wouldn’t advise you to eat on a regular basis.

So here are the 6 foods to avoid adding to your smoothies regularly:

  1. Protein powders.  I actually think it’s harmful to consume too much protein.  We are obsessed about getting more and more and protein powders are processed and I don’t believe they are very good for us.  If you want to know why, read this article I wrote on the subject.  Also protein powders are notoriously bad for your health because they have been stripped of their nutrients and the body doesn’t recognise most of them as a food source anymore which puts a lot of stress on the body.  Why not just add whole foods such as nuts, seeds, eggs or raw dairy to your smoothies and get your protein that way?
  2. Dairy or Whey Powders.  Pasteurised dairy is extremely harmful for our health so I don’t recommend adding dairy to your diet unless you can find raw dairy.
  3. Extra Oils: It’s not good for you to consume excess fat in your diet especially when you won’t even notice it.  It would be better to save your good fats for meals where you’ll appreciate them more. If you want to know why we should be keeping our fats (even good ones) in check, you’ll understand after reading this book.  If you are going to consume fats it’s better to eat them in whole foods such as whole coconut, avocado, olives, seeds and nuts.   A bit of oil on a salad dressing is fine but there’s no need to add them to your smoothies.
  4. Dried greens: OK I’m not opposed to eating dried greens. If the only way you can get your leafy greens is by adding powders into your smoothie, such as when travelling or if you’ve run out, then by all means use some green powder in your smoothie.  But bear in mind this has been dehydrated and stored for a long time.  It’s not alive any more and it won’t be anywhere near as beneficial for your health as fresh raw leafy greens.  So if you can get hold of fresh or frozen greens, choose this option every time.  However green powders can be very beneficial in conjunction with fresh greens as they contain extra vitamins and minerals, so you make sure you are meeting all your nutritional requirements with one supplement.  Sunwarrior Ormus Supergreens are a great green powder that I would recommend.  Just make sure you are getting your fresh raw greens AS WELL AS your dried greens, not instead of them.
  5. Store bought fruit juices: These have been pasteurised so there is no goodness left in them.  They often add a synthetic vitamin C back into fruit juices.  As there is no fibre and no nutrients in these juices, they will have more of a detrimental effect on your blood sugar levels and won’t actually do you any good.  If you want to include juices in your smoothie, it’s far better to make your own if you can.  I only ever add citrus juice to my smoothies as it’s easy to make without a juicer.  If I’m juicing lots I use one of these cheap electric devices, and if I only have a little bit to juice, these citrus presses make life so easy.  I have this lemon one but also use it for limes and oranges.  It’s one of my favourite kitchen gadgets and I used it every day.
  6. Dried Superfood Powders: I actually do frequently use superfood powers in my diet when I really need a boost – but most of the time I do not add them to my smoothies because most of them taste disgusting!  So what I do is get a small glass, add my superfood powers to it and a small amount of water and mix and drink.  I don’t want to ruin the taste of my gorgeous Green Thickies by adding anything that doesn’t taste nice to them!  I love to use Maca or Ashwaganda powder when I’m really stressed and run down.

Stay away from anything processed with nasty ingredients.  It pays to do your research on products and companies before you blindly start eating it every single day.  Anything processed, in a packet with a list of ingredients is not what your body needs to function unless the ingredients come from whole food organic sources and are known to heal the body rather than harm.

** Please note that this post may contain affiliate links which means that I can receive a small payment if you make a purchase through my links.


  1. Interesting! I do a half scoop of Sun Warrior (raw & vegan) in the mornings since I’m vegan & gluten-free, that way I really don’t have to think about protein during the day because my spinach, broccoli etc will take care of the rest.

  2. I agree to most except for protein powder. I eat a lot of it because I do strength training and need it. I try to lead a high protein, high fat, lower carb diet.

    I saw this post on Slightly Indulgent. I shared an apple protein donuts recipe, I’d love for you to check out as well :)

    • Hi Kammie. Yes almost everyone I know seems to include a protein powder in their diet these days. If you don’t get enough protein it’s good to have it as a plan B. I know eating high protein diets are popular with strength trainers. We’re all different and have different requirements.

      When I was doing intensive strength training I was on a raw food diet and ate a very low protein diet and made massive improvements in strength and definition. I felt the fittest I’ve ever felt in my life. However we’re all different and have different needs at different times of our lives and not everything I do will work for everyone so it’s great to hear a different perspective. Thank you so much for sharing this.
      Wow I love the look of your apple protein donuts. They look amazing! I can’t believe they are so healthy too and love that they include oats and spelt as these are two grains I can tolerate very well. Yum! Thank you.

      • Thank you for the kind words! I do agree everyone is different which is exactly why people have to experiment and see how they feel on different lifestyles. I could never do paleo for example simply because I don’t like meat very much even though it’s a great protein source. But having a higher protein intake (no more than 110 g per day) is what I like functioning on the most because I’ve noticed I have less sugar cravings and cravings for junk food when I do this. :)

        Great blog by the way! xo

  3. Very interesting Katherine! Some of the things on your list are things I use, but I can totally understand why you would warn against them- you are so right about some superfoods and dried green powders- if they aren’t a good quality source, then they are a waste of money! And nothing replaces the health benefits of fresh greens in a smoothie. Although for some people, like my room mmate, they really work for her since she hates greens! Although she is getting better- started adding spinach to her smoothies (WIN!!!). I use a powdered greens powder now in water that I really trust and is super high quality, I can actually feel the energy coursing through me after I drink it. I find it is really helping with my iron. But to each their own? I really loved this post girl!

    • Hi Gabby. Yes I guess whole foods are the ideal and I’m lucky to be very far along that path now but it’s been a gradual process and it’s hard to jump straight to whole foods overnight, so it’s good to have some alternatives to prop up your health when you’re mid way down the journey of health. Yes you’re right, for someone who can’t stomach greens, then a green powder is a great option. I used to hate greens too. It’s funny how something so healthy can turn so many people off it, but the more unhealthy we eat the less healthy foods appeal to us, so we’ve got to take things gradually and it will all come together eventually. And yes if you’re deficient in something, it’s great to try all the options.

      That’s great your green powder makes you feel so good. What brand do you use? That’s interesting. I love hearing others points of views. We won’t all think the same about everything and what works for me won’t necessarily work for others. Things also change and I have been hearing from a lot of people recently who were once vegan but because of deficiencies had to start eating animal products again. We don’t know what the future holds but we just have to do what we feel is right at the time.
      Thank you for sharing this. I really appreciate your point of view.

  4. Thanks for sharing. I never realized that about store-bought juices. How disappointing.

    • Yes, the more I read about foods I shouldn’t eat the more I realise there are problems with all foods. No such thing as a perfect diet but we just have to try our best and if we can see the foods in their natural state before we eat them, that’s the best place to start in my opinion.

  5. Laura West Kong says

    I just had to check and see if I used any of those ingredients in my smoothies. And I don’t, for both taste AND health reasons. I like my smoothies to taste fresh and delicious. Some of those additives (can hardly call them food) really ruin the taste of smoothies.

    Sometimes I’ll use coconut water, preferably straight from the coconut.

  6. You make some really good points here. I made a smoothie this morning with homemade raw kefir, raw milk, egg yolk, almond butter, fresh spinach and berries. It was so yummy and I think all the ingredients made the cut. Found your link on Too Many Jars.

    • Wow, I’ve never heard of anyone having all those ingredients in a smoothie before. It sounds like you’re really enjoying your whole natural foods. I think this is definitely the most natural way to eat, raw, whole, unprocessed with mostly fruit and veg.

  7. Great information for great Smoothies! Hope you are having a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  8. Thanks for sharing this! So many times I have had to tell friends why it’s no good to use these powdered “boosts”! Or how many people I’ve had to inform about Jamba Juice! Fresh is always best!

    • No problem. A lot of my friends also add the powders to everything, but I guess we all have our own beliefs about what’s healthy, and although I don’t often share my healthy views with people I know in person unless they ask, that’s why I love my blog as I can share my own views.

  9. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back tomorrow when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  10. what a great post! sometimes i think people just assume smoothie = good. but you’re absolutely right – we need to think about what we’re putting into our food. even our liquid food.

    thank you for sharing your post with us at the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up! I hope to see you again this week with more incredible seasonal and whole/real fresh food ideas :) xo, kristy

    • Thank you. Yes there is a current trend for making a whole smoothie just with powder as people take their powders and water to the gym with them. Also a lot of store bought smoothies have sugar in them, so yes you’re right just because something has a label smoothie doesn’t mean it’s healthy.

  11. Congratulations! You were featured on Natural Living Monday! Thanks so much for participating. I can not wait to see what you have going on this week!


  12. VERY important information to know!! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! Thanks for helping get our party kicked off this week! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :) I hope that you’ll join us this week! Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

  13. I think some of the issue is whether people are using these things as supplemental or as SUBSTITUTES for real food. I am perpetually underweight, so ANYTHING I can add to a smoothie that’s calorie-dense is beneficial to me – cramming in a few hundred more calories in a not-too-filling way is helpful for me AND the babies I carry/nurse.

    But I have yet to find a protein powder that’s not full of icky ingredients, so I don’t use them, either. I like to add nuts and seeds for a protein boost.

  14. What an absolutely AMAZING post, Katherine! :) I agree with you — healthful ingredients (not processed stuff) belong in smoothies and green thickies. That’s the whole purpose of making one in the first place — to add a vibrant start to your day and up your nutrients. Adding those other things may be fine, but they still don’t provide the nutrients that the whole foods could.

  15. Spinach, chard, and beet greens should be added to the list. Take it from me, I was drinking a green smoothie made of combinations of spinach, chard, beet greens, berries, etc. almost daily over the last 3 years, and eventually I started experiencing severe leg cramping. Over time I figured out I had a Calcium deficiency even though I was ingesting sufficient Calcium on a daily basis. I would definitely not be giving raw spinach, chard, or beet greens to my infant / child on a regular basis. I now use kale or bok choy instead of spinach or chard when I eat raw greens. I also cook any spinach I eat which greatly reduces the oxalic acid.

    Concentrations of oxalic acid are pretty low in most plants and plant-based foods, but there’s enough in spinach, chard and beet greens to interfere with the absorption of the calcium these plants also contain.

  16. A fascinating article. I have been in two minds about drinking shop bought smoothies because of the heat treating killing the goodness. I do believe they contain some fibre but that is it. Some fruits are expensive to buy and juice others work out good value – i.e.
    a huge watermelon can cost the same over here as two peaches which give very little juice.

Speak Your Mind