Drool worthy pics of beautiful Acai Bowls are gracing Instagram feeds everywhere and you may be one of the millions of people that are now enjoying them on the regular. The pics tell a story of vibrant, glowing, health – and while that is the case some of the time, you need to know the nitty-gritty of what’s in your Acai Bowl to be sure that it’s not making you fat!
The hype around this Amazonian superfruit has everyone believing that all Acai Bowls are healthy and that you can eat as much of them in as large of portions as you want without packing on the pounds, but that is far from the truth. Let’s deconstruct the facts around your Acai Bowl, break through the hype and talk about what you need to know to enjoy a truly healthy Acai Bowl!
Here are the top 5 things to look out for:
1. AVOID LOADS OF ADDED SUGAR
Acai, in its natural form, doesn’t contain sugar. However, most smoothie bars make bowls from acai with added sugar because the sugar makes it easier to scoop (think ice cream) and easier to blend. On top of this, it’s also common to use apple juice (often from concentrate) as the liquid base for the bowl, top with loads of fruit, add a high-sugar granola and drench in honey. Add up all of the pieces, and your ‘gram-worthy Acai bowl is clocking in upwards of 90 grams of sugar. That is an amount that is sure to leave you crashing and reaching for more sugar later in the day. And so the vicious cycle continues…
2. KEEP PORTION SIZE UNDER CONTROL
It’s amazingly common for smoothie bars to serve Acai Bowls out of pint containers, that are more like a bucket than a bowl! You think you’re getting ‘good value’, but in reality you should NOT be eating this portion in a single sitting because it’s simply too much food and too many calories. A balanced portion of an acai bowl should be able to be served in a 16 ounce container, toppings included.
3. MAKE SURE IT’S ORGANIC
Fruits and vegetables are among the healthiest food choices you can make. There’s nothing that compares when it comes to vitamins and antioxidants. However, eating loads of conventional produce requires your body to handle a huge load of toxic pesticides – some known to be hormone-disruptors. Unbalanced hormones can lead to lethargy and weight gain. Additionally, metabolizing this toxic load can slow down your liver’s fat-burning capacity. If the people growing conventional produce need to wear masks and body-armor, should you really be eating this?
4. STEER CLEAR OF HIGH-FAT, PROCESSED GRANOLA
Good-quality granolas offer a great chance to squeeze heart-healthy unsaturated fats into your diet in the form of nuts and seeds. Look out for granolas that list palm-oil or other hydrogenated oils in the ingredient line-up, as hydrogenated fats pack on the pounds and clog your arteries. Also look for a granola that is minimally processed and full of whole food ingredients instead of lab-manufactured ingredients.
5. SEEK BALANCED NUTRITION
Have you ever eaten a supremely delicious and satisfying Acai Bowl, only to be completely starving again within 90-minutes? Don’t let this happen to you again. Make it a habit to top your Acai Bowl with a big scoop of organic nut-butter that delivers protein and fat to slow down the absorption of the natural sugars in your bowl.
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