Açaí bowls are the current trend knocking over the health conscious in Singapore. How many times have we scrolled through Instagram and seeing posts after posts of those vibrant Instagram-likes worthy decorated bowls piled with berries, soaked in yoghurt and drizzled through and through with toppings?
In a time-starved working culture in Singapore, it is easy to give in to the hype. After all, an Açaí bowl satisfies your need for hunger and shave off all those guilt. I mean, after 4 hours of inactivity sans the fingers typing at the keyboard, who needs another bowl of bak chor mee as a reminder of your inactivity?
But under the colourful mix of colours are the Açaí bowls really as beneficial as it may seem?
First things first, what is Açaí?
Açaí is a fruit sourced from the South American rainforests. It is packed with inflammation-fighting antioxidants and is super low in sugar compared to most fruits. In fact, it clocks in at just 2 to 3 grams of sugar per serving. The Açaí berries are also known to improve heart health, aids in digestion, improve skin appearance and much other health benefits.
However, reports have shown that in a typical bowl of açaí, majority of it is made up of “pomegranate powder” or “acai berry powder”. Instead of the fruit itself, the processed powders are processed with added sugars. And not forgetting to mention, the bowls are pumped with syrup and honey, then combine with frozen or fresh fruit, nuts, butter and granola, the sugar level in the bowl spiral entirely out of control.
While açaí bowls are high in vitamin C and fibre, the sugar content can go up to as high as a whopping 65 grams of sugar. That’s equivalent to a 600ml of Coca-Cola. A single store-bought portion of açaí bowls potentially contain 50 grams of sugar (the equivalent of 12 teaspoons) or double the sugar recommendation for women for an entire day
In other word, your açaí bowl is a sugar bomb.
Needless to say, high sugar intake has been linked to obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and many more other negative health outcomes.
But if Açaí bowl has gradually become a habit for you, here are 3 tips on how to turn it back into a healthy treat.
Always remember, while Açaí bowls are great as the occasional treat, they are definitely not a meal replacement.