When we try to eat healthy, we don't dare eat a Snickers bar (245 calories, 22g of sugar, 26g of carbs), and we avoid drinking Coca-Cola (140 calories, 39g of sugar, 39g of carbs). In turn, we feel fairly healthy by having an Açaí bowl for breakfast or even as a snack in between activities or classes. However, are we sure that it is a good, healthy choice? Here is what you need to know about Jamba Juice's Açaí Bowl.

Lauren Kemble

We all love Açaí bowls.

They are aesthetically pleasant, delicious, trendy, and we have all heard about their great antioxidant potential and high fiber content. I have tried açaí bowls in a lot of different places, but when I tried the “Açaí Primo Bowl” from Jamba Juice, I could not believe how sweet it was; maybe too sweet. If you've tried it, when you had it for the first time, like me, you probably stopped and wondered why it tasted so sweet. If you did, you were completely right to wonder: it has an outstanding 67 grams of sugar. Yes, more than 3 times the amount of sugar in a Snickers bar, and almost twice the amount of sugar in a can of Coke!

coffee, tea
Katie Walsh

What does it contain?

The bowl is made of strawberries, blueberries, açaí juice blend, and soy milk, topped with organic granola, honey, coconut and a whole banana, adding up to 490 calories in total. To be fair, you cannot compare these ingredients with those used to make snickers and Coke, obviously. Therefore, it is not a crime to eat it once in a while. However, we have to be careful and know the facts. This is a great source of vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, and fiber. Nevertheless, there is a big problem we cannot ignore: the sugar content.

This bowl contains 99g of carbohydrates, 67g coming from sugar alone. Keep in mind that it is recommended by the National Institute of Health that we keep our carbohydrate intake in between 45 and 65% of our total calorie intake. If our diet was 2000 calories a day, by morning, having had Jamba Juice’s Acai Primo bowl for breakfast, we would already have consumed almost half of the carbohydrate calories we would need for the whole day! Even worse, imagine if we are having this bowl as a snack. Even though most of the sugar is coming directly from the fruit, which by themselves do not have a high glycemic index, if you have the bowl with the honey, the granola, and the sweetened soy milk, it will spike your blood sugar through the roof!

mousse, cream, cake, chocolate
Kristine Mahan

Better ideas for breakfast or snacks:

The real problem with the bowl is the quantity and the size. I recommend doing the bowl at home, it's super easy! How? Buy freeze dried açaí powder (which by the way, has a lot more antioxidant power than the juice blends). You can blend it with berries and have fun with the toppings! Rethink the size. Acai bowls usually contain a lot of fruit in order to make a large amount; we really don't need to use that much fruit to get a regular portion size. Use unsweetened almond or soy milk, use unsweetened syrup instead of honey, and try finding a granola that does not have a lot of added sugar.

Another good breakfast idea for those with a sweet tooth could be overnight oats. They are easy to make, they have a lot of fiber, you can add fruits to give it more flavor, and it will not have as much sugar!

Here are great high-fiber, high-protein breakfast ideas that you can make at home.