Not everyone needs to eat a lot of carbs. However, some people love smoothies for breakfast, so I wanted to provide my go-to low-carb smoothie template.
We are largely a sedentary society. For a lot of reasons, many of us have some degree of insulin resistance and respond to carbs unfavourably (i.e. weight gain). Some people thrive on carbs while others do well with a higher fat:carb ratio. It's important to consult an expert when trying to find the healthiest eating plan for you.
I've dabbled in lower carb diets myself, but after years of research and experimentation in nutrition, I've come to the conclusion that my dietary advice is fairly moderate. That means that a full-blown ketogenic diet is probably not a sustainable way of being for the large majority of people. It is a therapeutic diet for epilepsy in children, but there have been reports of kidney stone formation with ketogenic diets.
Having said that, I am in favour of reducing carbohydrate consumption in people who have trouble losing weight or who are not very active. What's more, most North Americans don't know how to breakfast properly. Our breakfasts are full of carbohydrates and nothing else - no wonder people are diving for the vending machine a few hours later - blood sugar levels soar and then crash when carbs are eaten without protein and fat. A properly balanced breakfast has sufficient carbs, protein and fat to sustain you throughout the morning, leaving you satiated, full of energy, and ready to take on the day!
Smoothies are in theory a good breakfast option, but they are so easy to jam-pack with fruit! A friend of mine told me her husband managed to pack 3 bananas into a single smoothie! Fruit is full of vitamins, but fructose, the main fruit sugar, can raise your insulin levels just like a bowl of pasta can, especially high-glycemic fruits. So when I've done lower-carb diets, I've developed a smoothie that helps balance my hormones and give me sustained energy while keeping hunger at bay.
Here's the recipe for my low-carb smoothie:
1 scoop of protein powder (a good quality one) feel free to experiment with flavours
2 tbsps ground flaxseeds - to keep cholesterol low, balance hormones, and promote regularity
1 cup of non-dairy milk
1/4 small or medium avocado - good texture, and you won't taste it
1-2 handfuls of spinach - you won't even taste it!
1/2 cup of berries
blend with ice to desired consistency
Try it and tell me what you think!
For nutritional advice to achieve your health and performance goals, book with Dr. Hillary online.