Whether you’re rushing out the door in the morning or have mere minutes to spare for lunch, whipping up a smoothie is an easy way to load your diet with healthy carbs, protein, and fiber. While they may help satisfy your sweet tooth, smoothies are also a great way to fill up without adding empty calories to your diet—according to a 2018 study published in the journal Nutrients, while study subjects found fresh fruit more filling than a smoothie, individuals who drank smoothies instead of eating fruit didn’t compensate by eating more calories later on.
However, even the most avid smoothie stans may not realize there’s an easy smoothie hack that can make those tasty drinks even healthier and more filling without sacrificing flavor: use cauliflower instead of banana for the same creamy texture, but fewer grams of sugar. Plus, it gives you an extra serving of veggies.
“I love swapping out frozen cauliflower for banana,” says Jen Hernandez, RDN, CSR, LDN, a registered dietitian who’s board-certified in renal nutrition. Hernandez explains that making this swap can also make traditional smoothies healthier for individuals with kidney issues who are on a low-potassium diet.
“For others without kidney issues, it’s just a great way to get in an extra serving of veggies in what’s typically seen as a fruit-heavy snack,” says Hernandez.
In fact, this smoothie hack might just help you shed a few pounds, too. According to a 2020 meta-analysis published in the journal Nutrients, among women between ages 46 and 51, consumption of cauliflower was more closely associated with sustained weight loss than any other vegetable studied, while a 2015 study published in PLoS Medicine found that individuals who increased their consumption of cauliflower over a 24-year study period experienced a 1.37-lb. weight loss, on average.
That’s not the only way to make your favorite smoothies healthier, though. Before you break out your blender, make sure to check out our best weight loss smoothies that will keep you full and focused all day long. And for more simple ways to slim down, check out these 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work.
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