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What Are the Different Types of Low-Fat Shakes?

By Bethany Keene
Updated May 17, 2024
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Because traditional shakes are made with milk and ice cream, they are typically pretty high in fat. There are some ways to make low-fat shakes, however, making some simple modifications to the recipe. Some people choose to make low-fat shakes by simply omitting the ice cream and replacing it with crushed ice; the result is less rich, but much lower in fat. Another option is to replace the ice cream with yogurt instead. Vanilla yogurt is a great substitute and offers health benefits in the form of protein and beneficial bacteria as well. Some of the most common flavors for shakes include chocolate, vanilla, or a myriad of fruit flavors.

For those making low-fat shakes with fruit, it is generally possible either to use low-fat ice cream or just omit the ice cream altogether. Instead, the shake can be blended with milk, ice, and fresh or frozen fruit. Low-fat or skim milk is often the best choice, but other choices such as soy milk, almond milk, or even rice milk can all be used for people who prefer to avoid dairy, or simply enjoy the taste of these alternatives. Some people prefer to have richer shakes, however.

Chocolate, vanilla or other similar flavors of low-fat shakes will require a bit more effort. It is possible to use vanilla yogurt blended with cocoa powder, milk, and ice to make a low-fat chocolate shake, or to use chocolate milk using chocolate syrup. In this case, low-fat ice cream might make a better choice, however. For a little extra flavor, some people blend in additional ingredients such as instant coffee to make a chocolate mocha shake, or cinnamon and nutmeg to give it the taste of baked goods. Peanut butter is a common inclusion as well, but this will contribute significantly to the amount of fat in the shake, even though it is "healthy" unsaturated fat.

Many people find that experimenting with different flavors of yogurt is a good way to create low-fat shakes, particularly if they are trying to get extra protein in the diet. Yogurt is naturally very high in protein, aids digestion, and is available in low-fat and fat-free versions, often with sugar substitutes as well to cut down on the calories even more. Some people also throw in some tofu or protein powder for another extra boost of protein without fat, which can be a good idea if the shake will be consumed after exercise.

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