Why Canned Fruit Is A Bad Choice For Smoothies

Whether you enjoy whipping one up as a quick breakfast, filling snack, or to refuel after a workout, smoothies are an easy and delicious way to get in your fruits and veggies. Let's face it, it can be tough to eat the two and a half cups of vegetables and two cups of fruits daily that the USDA recommends as part of a healthy diet, but somehow, it's a lot easier when it's blended into a smoothie and sipped through a straw.

Smoothies are also great because there is seemingly an infinite number of ways to customize them to your taste, meaning you can easily have a different smoothie every day of the week and never get bored. For most smoothies, there's a pretty basic formula: start with some fruit and vegetables, then add some protein and liquid, and maybe some add-ins like chia seeds, maca powder, or one of these super healthy ingredients. Sounds easy, right? Except that it's important to pay attention to what kind of fruit you're using, as they're not all created equal.

Canned fruit can pack on extra sugar

Canned fruit may seem a cheap and easy way to add fruit to your smoothie, but all you're doing is adding extra and unnecessary sugar. Many canned fruits pack their fruit in syrup, which can add up to 20 grams of extra sugar per can, warns Eat This, Not That!. That's as much sugar as in a Snickers bar, according to Spoon University. If you have to use canned fruit, look for ones packed in water or its own juice, with no added sugars. And if your only option is canned fruit in syrup, try rinsing the syrup off before using the fruit.

For similar reasons, you should also avoid adding fruit juice, and if you absolutely must, use only 100% juice rather than juice cocktail and limit it to no more than a half cup, recommends Women's Health. When it comes to fruit for smoothies, it's best to use fresh fruit, or better yet frozen fruit, which has the added benefit of making your smoothie "thick and frosty," per Bon Appétit. Whatever type of fruit you choose, just be sure to try and limit it to just one and a half cups (via Food Network). Need some inspiration? Here are some healthy smoothie recipe ideas to get you started.