Health Food Makes Us “Hangry”

If you have an Instagram account, you’ve seen them. They’re garnished with a tropical rainforest of fruit, topped with mounds of unctuous shredded coconut, bittersweet cocoa nibs and glistening chia seeds, and they’re always shot from above like an exotic island as seen from the window of a plane.

Smoothie and açai bowls snuck onto the scene several years ago, and their popularity shows no signs of waning. But how healthy are these beautiful breakfasts, really?

“The aspects of the smoothie bowls that have us all fooled are the fancy health buzzwords and elitist prices,” explained Ilana Muhlstein, registered dietitian nutritionist.

“When the marketing touts itself as containing maca, spirulina, reishi, and other exotic ingredients that most people don’t understand the value to, for a premium price, people feel like it absolutely must be great for them,” she said.

However, many of these bowls contain as much sugar, calories and carbs as several glazed doughnuts. And that’s before you add the fun toppings that make them so darn ’grammable.

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