• Are Açai Bowls Actually Healthy? A Dietitian’s Guide

    If you’re often scrolling through the ‘gram, you know one of the latest foodie-crazes is açai bowls. And if you live in Hudson County, you’ve probably realized that açai bowl shops are on the rise. While these bowls are super yummy and you might instantly feel healthy while enjoying one, there are some important facts to know about them {don’t worry, they aren’t thaaaat bad, it’s just important to know what’s in them, from a professional}. Read on for a dietitian’s guide to açai bowls:

    shaka bowl hoboken acai poke

    What is açai?

    A berry found on Acai Palm Trees native to South America, Acai started making a small blip state-side in supplements and powders in the mid-2000s and went dormant. This popular Brazilian street food’s vibrant purple color has helped it make a resurgence in Instagram smoothie bowls of bloggers everywhere.

    Unsweetened Açai pulp contains about 70 calories per 3.5 oz. portion is low in sugar at about 4 grams with a majority of fats being from the poly and monounsaturated varieties. Açai has been hailed as a superfood and a cure for many ailments, but the truth is research doesn’t show much benefit in human studies. While it might not be an answer to all of life’s problems, it can still be the answer to “What do you want for lunch?!”

    Here’s why it’s TOTALLY okay to eat açai bowls for lunch {with some knowledge}:

    Fruit Intake

    Being a blended fruit and often topped with additional fresh fruit, Açai bowls a great way to fortify one’s fruit intake. According to the CDC, less than 25 percent of Americans are meeting their recommended daily fruit intake.

    Calories

    Unsweetened Acai pulp contains about 70 calories per 3.5 oz. portion, is low in protein and carbohydrate {2 + 4 grams respectively}, with 6 grams of fat, the majority being from the poly and monounsaturated varieties. Often times Acai pulp is sweetened or stretched with cane sugar and fruit juice, so make sure to ask when ordering.

    Healthy Fats

    acai bowls hoboken acai ya later

    READ: How to Have a Healthy Day Out in Hoboken With Kids

    With a drizzle of almond butter and a sprinkle of chia seeds, Acai Bowls are a great way to increase your heart-healthy fat intake.

    Dietitians Recommendations

    Watch out for the toppings:

    If you’re an active person, try fortifying the bowl with protein powder or Greek yogurt. It’ll really help to balance out the macronutrient profile of the meal and should keep you feeling fuller longer.

    People often conflate a food being “healthy” with being beneficial for weight-loss. While all foods are appropriate in moderation, be careful with the toppings you’re sedentary or have weight loss goals as the calories in Açai bowls can add up quick — see our chart below:

    acai bowl toppings calories hoboken girl

    Considering an açai bowl as a “treat” {eating it in moderation} is a way to keep it healthy. You can also cut down the calories by sharing one with a friend.

    Where to find açai bowls in Hoboken:

    Acai Ya Later {203 Washington Street}

    Makai Poké Co. {521 Washington Street}

    Playa Bowls {100 Hudson Street}

    Shaka Bowl {720 Monroe Street and 110 Washington Street}

    Simply Juiced {262 1st Street}

    Total Nutrition Kitchen {322 Washington Street}

    Jungle Juice {1017 Washington Street}

    Rejuice-a-Nation {64 Newark Street}

    Sunnyside {79 Hudson Street}

    See More: Healthy Food Delivery Services in Hoboken + Jersey City

    How often do you eat an açai bowl? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

    Have you joined our Facebook group yet? Request here to gain access to even more local tips, and connect with fellow Hudson County residents.


    Written by:

    John is a Michigan transplant who moved to Hoboken two years ago to work as a Registered Dietitian at a local university. John joined Hoboken Girl to provide evidence based nutrition education and offer a male perspective on the Hoboken and Jersey City locale. Passionate about all things food, John likes to explore what’s up and coming in the Hudson County food scene along with regular visits to the timeless staples. John can be seen with his puppy, Dawson, making his way downtown humming Vanessa Carlton.


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