Acai Bowls have become widely known after the last couple of years. The trendy snack fills the Instagram feed of millions. The smoothie bowls are easy to make at home, easy to snack on and even easy on the eyes, with the bright colors of the acai berry.
The acai berry is filled with antioxidants, proteins and fiber. As this dish becomes the new fad, a certain question is raised. Are acai bowls a guilt-free snack for individuals that are dieting?
Jorunn Gran-Henriksen, a former dietician and current nutrition college professor, puts the controversy on acai bowls to rest.
“Acai is a berry that has many healthful properties, like many other berries. The acai bowl may be a great addition to someone’s diet,” said Gran-Henriksen.
“It could serve as an alternative to smoothies. Just like smoothies, the healthfulness depends on what else you add.”
Although the smoothie bowls are questioned on their nutritional value, they seem to be a more positive alternative while choosing from snacks, like chips and cookies.
Falynn Enright, a college student at NYU, feels good about indulging on acai bowls. Enright studied abroad in Australia for the fall semester of her senior year and then continued her adventure to New Zealand, California and Hawaii.
Enright runs an Instagram account called @falsbowlsabroad. The social media account is dedicated to the acai bowls she purchases and makes on her travels. Enright’s posts are aesthetically pleasing, and give into the fad of the acai bowl.
“Acai bowls are an excellent choice for breakfast, lunch or even a snack. They are made with fresh and simple ingredients, if you go to the right establishment,” Enright said.
“When you are making them at home, you know exactly what is being used and can control the calorie intake. Frozen acai packets can be found at most grocery stores and are a staple in my kitchen.”
She eats an acai bowl for at least one meal a day, but is aware of the health controversy that comes along with it.
“A lot of people say that acai bowls have a lot of sugar. The way I see it is that I could be eating a slice of pizza instead, and that’s obviously a lot less nutritious,” added Enright.
“Standard junk food won’t hydrate me or fill me the way a blended bowl of fruit does. The bowls are filled with healthy fats and sugars that ultimately benefit our diets.”
Enright suggests not putting an excessive amount of added ingredients to your bowl, such as nutella and peanut butter, if you are on a strict diet. Added ingredients high in fat and sugar will counteract the benefits of the fruit, much like adding fatty dressings to salads.
Whether you are opposed to the new and trendy snack or not, the acai bowl fad is continuously growing and here to stay.