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Healthier Ways to Eat Dessert

Smart Substitution: Dessert


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  • I have a huge sweet tooth, but I try to find healthy ways to indulge it. For example, I love fresh fruit stirred into yogurt. For a "candy bar" sometimes I'll buy a chocolate protein bar at the gym. Occasionally I'll have Weight Watchers frozen desserts....they are really yummy, but of course the key is to limit yourself to just one which isn't always easy to do. I think human beings are programmed to like things that are sweet. For me if I eat a lot of fruit I don't get too many sweet cravings. Lately grapes have been awesome. Keep cookies and packages sweets out of the house. - 12/21/2010 11:47:51 AM
    I'll admit it, I have a sweet tooth. I have found that if I dole out a container into single serving portions when I first buy it (such as the chocolate covered ginger from Trader Joe's), then label with a date, I will limit myself - but I don't have to pay a surcharge for those "100 calorie packs", none of which appeal to me anyway. Plus since I reuse my single serving containers, I don't have all the excess packaging of those others. - 7/5/2010 10:13:04 PM
  • Hasn't the word gotten around to you yet that low-carb works better than low-fat in the long run? It isn't the butter or nuts that concern me. It's the sugar and the flour. If low-fat worked, America wouldn't be so overweight. The truth is, fat consumption has gone down in America, but the sugar consumption has skyrocketed. Usually, to make something low-fat, they add more sugar. We were thinner as a country when we ate more fat. - 6/24/2010 11:26:05 PM
  • A lot of good suggestions have already been posted here.

    Don't forget all the hidden sugar, fats and salt in processed foods--even most frozen food. I don't like or trust the commercial substitutes--the salt substitutes taste too "salty" for me; the sugar substitutes always have a strange taste to me (let alone the fact that each seems to have later been declared to be not so healthy); and the fat substitutes just don't work as well. I do, however, substitute quite often using things like applesauce or other fruit, low-fat Miracle Whip/mayonaise for the fat/oil and eggs in most recipes, especially cakes, etc. . And, you can reduce by at least 1/2 or more, the amount of sugar and fat in almost all recipes without affecting the taste. Added salt can be totally eliminated in most recipes by adding additional and/or different spices, herbs, etc. You can make a pretty good frosting for cakes by using non-fat Cool Whip, sugar-free puddings or sugar-free jello for flavor, and a very small amount (1/4 c.) of powdered sugar. You do have to refrigerate the cake, but this really works. - 6/24/2010 9:24:12 PM
  • I love frozen grapes and oranges.

    Great Idea about the pudding made with skim milk. I'm going to try the sugar free, and freeze it, then blend it. "Nice cream", anyone? - 6/2/2010 9:34:33 AM
    When my husband and I go out to dinner, we share a dessert. He eats faster than I do, so he gets the biggest portion!

    Also, there's nothing better than sliced fresh strawberries with a drizzle (1 tsp or less) of chocolate syrup & a tiny bit of real whipped cream.

    If you like ice cream and have problems with portion control, get some small dishes - about 1/2 cup, and use that instead of a regular bowl. Nobody needs a cereal bowl size portion of ice cream.

    Instead of making a layer cake with frosting - usually 8-12 servings, I make cake in a 9x13 pan & get 24 servings - cutting the calories in half. I also cut them into individual portions, wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze. This works for most cakes.

    I don't care for pie crust, so if I buy a pie, I usually just eat the filling. I often make fruit crumble, or fruit crisp instead of a fruit pie, using rolled oats as the main ingredient of the crumbly part. Cuts out a lot of fat and calories & tastes better. They can be made in individual dishes (ramekins) for portion control.

    Everything in moderation! - 5/28/2010 1:13:30 PM
  • I purchase pre-packaged desserts, such as Smart Ones Mocha Cake or Cheesecake they are around 200 calories or Carb Smart Ice Cream Bars under a 100 calories each. I use Sugar-Free Jell-O pudding cups under 100 calories each. I always have some type of dessert available, even if I don't eat it that night after dinner. Just knowing its there makes me less likely to crave something sweet or to make bad choices. If I know I am going to the movies during the week or weekend I purchase a small box of Junior Mints and bring in purse to movie theater. Sometimes I will bring a Choc Peanut Butter Power Bar to the movies instead, I don't feel deprived and I don't beat myself up because I know a made a healthier decision.

    The key is being prepared and not making a last minute poor decisions. - 5/28/2010 9:37:07 AM
  • My dessert approach is more about having a very small portion of an exceptional dessert once or twice a week, rather than larger portions of calorie reduced desserts. I remember reading on a Spark article or featured blog that after the first 3-4 bites we stop enjoying the flavours as much. I also use a tiny spoon, like the kind you use for espresso, to eat my dessert with. Somehow, this trick fools my 'over-eater' into satiation.

    For dessert, I kind of riff off the info in "French Women Don't Get Fat". Afterall, they live in the very center of amazing pastry land... - 5/28/2010 7:18:57 AM
  • I'm a fan of angel foodcake. My favorite bakery sells teeny, tiny petit fours as well - they're so rich that just one makes me happy. I treat myself to one when I'm in the city - which only happens every few months!

    It's great to remember not to be too rigid with yourself. It's just so hard to keep it up & makes life not so fun ... Enjoy! - 5/28/2010 2:35:06 AM
    Some good information. I do NOT agree with replacing sugar with a sugar substitute, too much research has shown how bad the substitutes are. - 2/24/2010 4:14:41 PM
    A small bowl of strawberries, blueberries and banana with a dollop of vanilla yogurt and sprinkled with slivered almonds is one of my favorite healthy desserts! - 1/31/2010 9:01:01 PM
  • I just discovered the Hostess 100 calorie packs of Cinnamon Struesel Coffee Cakes -- never tried them - but they are great! - 11/6/2009 2:51:21 PM
  • Nice article. I need good ideas. Problem: I cannot bring home a package or I will eat it all within a day or two. So I try to buy ice cream and frozen yogurt one scoop at a time. Hopefully in time this will change. - 11/6/2009 2:16:30 AM
    I gotta add a bowl of cereal and frozen bananas to that list! Not together, but they are both great, satisfying ways to kill that dessert craving without the cake. =) - 10/10/2009 12:33:12 PM
  • All very good tips! Since being on Weight Watchers and SparkPeople, I've really learned how to be smarter about eating dessert. Now when I have the "bad" stuff, which is only once in a while, I also have learned to cut my portion size way back so it's not quite as terrible for me :) - 10/10/2009 8:21:15 AM

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