Healthy Limits: Smoothie Bowls Are Great, But Don't Overdo It

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Green smoothie bowl with spinach,fresh kiwi fruit, bananas and coconut on a slate background

Are you on trend with the smoothie-bowl phenomenon? Instead of sipping that smoothie, pour it into a bowl and add toppers like nuts, seeds and chunks of fresh fruit. Find out if these new vessels are healthy choices for your breakfast.

Good

Blending up fruit, yogurt, nut butter, 100 percent juice, milk, brewed tea and other smoothie staples can create a nutrient-filled concoction. Typical toppers like nuts and seeds only up the healthy ante by adding more nutrients.

Plus, smoothie-bowl enthusiasts prefer these spoonable versions because they’ve got more texture and possibly even more flavor than the traditional drinkable variety of smoothie. Overall, they are easy to prepare if you’ve got the ingredients on hand and ready to go — they can be made in just about any blender in seconds.

Bad

Bigger portions and more ingredient options can add up to a bowl full of calorie overload. Since many smoothie-bowl recipes call for three or four pieces of fruit plus generous amounts of liquid and toppings, you’re dealing with a high volume of sugar and calories — sometimes 1,000 calories or more! Large amounts of nuts, seeds, peanut butter and avocado can also jack up the fat content — healthy fat, but excessive nonetheless.

Bottom Line: There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. While smoothie bowls can be inherently healthy, be careful not to overdo it with large portions and high-calorie ingredients.

Craving a bowl? Here are some basics on how to put a smoothie bowl together.

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.