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Healthy Smoothies: Ingredients to Not Include

With healthy smoothies increasing in popularity around the world, it is now almost impossible to travel more than a few miles before passing a store that sells these tasty treats. While smoothies once featured only milk, ice and the berries of your choice, they are now often loaded down with high amounts of sugary additions. Be sure to avoid the items listed below for a smoothie that is both healthy and delicious.

Full Fat Milk

Full fat milk is one of the most important foods that should be avoided in a smoothie, especially if you are trying to keep your weight under control. As the name suggests, full fat milk is loaded with relatively high amounts of fat, when compared to skim or even two percent milk. While this may be okay for the body builder or person who is trying to gain weight, most people aren't interested in increasing their calorie consumption. While some people may believe that a higher fat content translates into greater calcium content, this could not be further from the truth. No matter what type of milk you choose, the calcium content always stays pretty much the same.

Chocolate

Chocolate is another ingredient that is becoming much more popular in smoothies—especially when combined with bananas, cherries and other similar ingredients. While chocolate is, no question, a very tasty food, it is also loaded with high amounts of fat and calories. High chocolate intake can lead to blood sugar spikes and crashes, which have been found to contribute to dizziness, headaches, nausea and fatigue. In severe causes, blood sugar crashes can even lead to the development of a coma. For best results, try to avoid the addition of chocolate to your fruit smoothie whenever possible.

Caramel

Caramel is typically loaded with high amounts of both fat and calories. However, caramel typically also features high amounts of sodium. Many people are not aware of the health risks posed by sodium, due to the fact that it is relatively calorie free. However, sodium has been found to be linked to a number of very serious health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, stroke and even Alzheimer's disease. Large salt intake can lead to water retention, which in turn can contribute to unwanted weight gain. Like chocolate, caramel should obviously be avoided in order to achieve good health.

Whipped Cream

Whipped cream is another ingredient that is becoming common in smoothies that should be avoided. Whipped cream is filled with fat, calories and dietary sodium. Unlike the other ingredients, which are often mixed into the smoothie, whipped cream is typically placed on top. This means that even if you forget initially about excluding it from your order, you can always scrape it off later.

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