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You eat only foods from the Earth or foods labeled “healthy”. You get good exercise and plenty of rest. You maintain a nutritious regimen and make wellness a priority, yet you aren’t happy with your weight loss results. Does this sound like you?

It’s not your fault. As long as there’s just one ingredient with some health benefit in a given food, the food marketers deem the food “healthy.” But if all foods with a health benefit listed here or there were truly healthy, you’d be fit as a fiddle. So, why do food marketers lie to you?

Some of us blindly follow the “health trend” without really looking into the ingredients of a certain diet or meal. One of these overlooked meals is Acai Bowls. So, is Acai good for you? Let’s dig a little deeper.

What Is Acai?

Acai (pronounced ah-Sigh-ee) is a blueberry-like berry that originated in the Amazon River Delta in South America. There, it’s been a staple in the diet of the river tribes for centuries. It’s commonly eaten with fish or game, or as a kind of soup. It tastes like a chocolatey, dark berry with a metallic aftertaste.

Until 18 years ago, no one outside Brazil knew about Acai. In Brazil, Acai has been served as a frozen treat for a long time.

Enter two greedy, American entrepreneurs. They tasted the treat and decided to export it to the US. They knew they could market it as a “superfruit.” 2

Now, food marketers have claimed Acai berries provide numerous potential health benefits.

  • Supports healthy cholesterol
  • Helps with focus and clarity
  • Keeps joints feeling great
  • Eases circulation-related issues

Acai Health Benefit Myths… Busted

But it turns out the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) says there’s really no definitive scientific evidence to support the use of acai for any health-related purpose. 

The Federal Trade Commission did start to take action against companies that market acai deceptively.  Even though acai has been shown to have a moderate antioxidant effect. 3

So, what we can take from this? Well, acai berries are quite possibly a truly wonderful antioxidant. But just remember, so are blueberries, cranberries, and pecans. And eating a huge serving of them isn’t going to suddenly cure all your health woes. Have a look at the Dr. Gundry food pyramid to see what he recommends you should be eating.

Dr. Gundry and Fruit

Of course, Dr. Gundry supports polyphenol-rich antioxidant fruits. He loves them when they’re in-season. And Dr. Gundry does approve of dark berries like blueberries and raspberries. But, remember Dr. Gundry’s mantra: Fruit is nature’s candy. So, always eat in-season fruit IN MODERATION. This is because fruit is full of sugar. You can read all about high sugar fruits that you should avoid.

Sugar is still sugar, even if you’re consuming “natural sugar”. Even processed sugars come from sugar cane, which is a plant. The word “natural” doesn’t always mean “healthy.” Because our ancestors didn’t have refrigerators… fruit was never consumed in the ridiculous amounts we eat today.

Are Acai Bowls Healthy?

The average acai bowl contains 50 grams of sugar. That’s more sugar than a can of sugary cola. It’s even more sugar than a serving of ice cream. It would take around two-and-a-half hours of non-stop walking to burn off 50 grams of sugar. 4

Acai Bowls contain slight polyphenol antioxidant benefits, yes. Dark berries like blueberries and acai berries aren’t evil. They’re healthy in moderation. But an acai bowl smoothie might as well be called a sugar bowl.

Again, studies show no definitive scientific evidence to support the use of acai for any health-related purpose. 5

But if you think you’re doing your body a great service by having a daily acai bowl for breakfast, think again. And you should be similarly cautious when you order any breakfast bowl. Don’t go to town on fruit smoothies or fruit and yogurt desserts either.

Stick to the Gundry Yes List

A Healthy Start

Want a truly healthy start to your day, that’s still delicious? Check out some of Dr. Gundry’s drool-worthy breakfast recipes, like Blueberry Pancakes or Cranberry-Orange Muffins.

Learn More About Sugar:
8 High Sugar Fruits to BAN (plus, which fruit to eat instead)
Why Fructose Is Poison (and why a lot of fruit isn’t healthy)