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Smoothies offer a convenient and refreshing way to fuel your day. But certain bad habits will keep you from getting that burst of energy and nutrients a great smoothie provides. Our dietitians recommend avoiding these three common traps when you make your smoothie:

1. Adding fruit juice

“The nutritional magic of fruit is in the fiber,” says Anna Taylor, MS, RD, LD, CDE. “Juice removes the fiber, leaving just the sugar and water.”

Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD, adds, “Many of my patients add juice to a smoothie already packed with fruit. This adds way too much sugar to one drink and can actually lead to more hunger not long afterward.”

The added sugars from fruit juice provide calories without much nutrition, says Dawn Noe, RD, LD, CDE. “Consuming added sugars is linked to weight gain. The current recommendation is to keep added sugars to less than 10 percent of your calories for the day, so leave them out of your smoothie.”

To thin out your smoothie, ditch the juice, says Ms. Taylor, and consider adding:

  • Unsweetened almond milk: It’s higher in calcium than cow’s milk.
  • Green tea: It’s rich in antioxidants.
  • Raw fresh or frozen fruit: Its fiber is still intact.
  • Water or ice: H2O is nature’s best hydrator.

2. Overdoing the fruit

Think the more fruit you add to your smoothie, the better? Not so much. While fruit is a healthy source of carbohydrate, its calories and carbohydrates add up fast.

“I often see people loading smoothies with fruit,” says Brigid Titgemeier, MS, RDN, LD. “Too much fruit in your smoothie can raise blood sugar levels faster.”

It’s true that most women need two to three servings of fruit per day, and most men need three to four. “But keep in mind one half cup of fresh or frozen fruit equals one serving, and one banana counts as two,” notes April Verdi, RD, LD.

A better option would be to add one to two servings of fruit plus a big handful of dark, leafy greens, shredded cabbage or bok choy. That will help you get your three to five daily servings of veggies as well.

(Not partial to vegetables? No worries. The fruit helps disguise their taste.)

3. Adding flavored yogurt or milk

You may already know you don’t need to add honey or other sweeteners to a smoothie to satisfy your sweet tooth. But don’t give vanilla yogurt or chocolate milk a free pass, either.

“The fruit in your smoothie will provide plenty of natural sweetness,” says Kate Patton, MEd, RD, CSSD, LD. “Flavored yogurts and milks contain extra empty calories in the form of added sugar.”

Leave flavored varieties in the cooler at your supermarket. Opt for plain Greek or regular yogurt, or plain cow’s milk, almond milk or soy milk instead.

These can provide protein and calcium without added sugars.

Want flavor beyond what fruit provides? “One tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder has just 12 calories but will give you lots of flavor,” says Ms. Patton. “You can also add 1 tablespoon of powdered peanut butter, which has about 20 calories compared with 100 calories in natural peanut butter.”

Or trying adding cinnamon, vanilla or almond extract, or other spices.

Now you know which pitfalls to avoid when you fire up your blender for a smoothie. (Oh, except you might want to check that the lid’s on first!)

SOURCE: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2017/06/love-to-make-smoothies-avoid-these-3-common-mistakes/

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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.

Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.

Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.

Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.

During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.

Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:

  1. We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
  2. Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
  3. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.

Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.

- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

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To learn more about Long Island Spine Specialists – and to discover how we can relieve your pain and help you find an improved quality of life – please contact our office today and schedule a consultation.

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