Why You Should Always Opt For A Fruit Salad Over A Smoothie Bowl

Whether you're whipping up a plant-based breakfast or looking to refuel after a workout, you may find yourself confronted with a choice: smoothie bowl or fruit salad? Both options seem similar — they're fruity, refreshing, and sure to hit the spot if you're craving a healthy snack with a touch of sweetness. But if you have the chance to choose between the two, we'd recommend the fruit salad every time.

Beyond perhaps taste, fruit salads are superior to smoothie bowls in every way. Science has shown a medley of fresh, chewable fruit is more filling than slurping down a blended bowl of icy slush. As clinical dietitian Leah Groppo told Prevention, "It's actually better to chew and swallow food rather than drinking food for fullness." This is especially true when you combine your fruit salad with complex, whole grains or seeds (consider Tasting Table's quinoa fruit salad recipe, for example).

The New York Times reported in 2021 that smoothies lead you to consume more calories and sugar because the blender blades — rather than your gut — are doing the work of breaking down all that fiber. This can lead to sugar spikes and crashes, as smoothies are a comparatively unnatural way to consume whole foods. Additionally, since most store-bought and processed smoothie bowls feature extra sweeteners, sugary fruit juices, and calorie-dense protein powders and dairy bases, they're best avoided in favor of fresh fruit if a healthier diet is your goal.

Fruit salads offer more convenience and longevity

In addition to serving as a healthier meal, fruit salads offer way more convenience than your typical smoothie bowl. You'll have to chop up your fruit either way, but with whole fruit, you can skip the time-consuming process of pulling out your blender, working it to achieve the right consistency, and, of course, having to clean up the extra gear.

Choosing a fruit salad will also save you money. Solid pieces of fruit can be stored in the fridge to stay fresher for longer, so if you have leftovers, you can make sure they won't go to waste. Those smoothie fruit blends, on the other hand, will inevitably degrade into warm, soupy slush, and won't regain the right texture if they're frozen and defrosted. Unfortunately, that means you'll be pouring the rest of your smoothie bowl — and your grocery budget — down the drain.

When it comes to the preferable grab-and-go option for busy days, fruit salads (again) reign supreme. While you can easily throw some orange slices, grapes, and berries into a reusable baggie or container to take with you in the car, a messy smoothie bowl just isn't made for portability. At that point, you may as well stick a straw in it and call it a beverage — but it won't fill you up quite like some solid fruit can.