Some people just have an insatiable sweet tooth, and it’s these people who especially need a list of healthy desserts in their back pocket. Having a sweet tooth is genetic, which explains why families as a whole often need sweets in the house.
It’s common for people to indulge in a bowl of ice cream, a piece of chocolate, or a bag of gummy bears when the cravings kick in. Now that the holidays are around the corner, even more of these delectable treats are calling your name, tempting you to take a bite. Care for a slice of pumpkin pie or a Christmas cookie, anyone?
Unfortunately, sweet snacks can overload your diet with too much-refined sugar, carbs, calories, and fats. If you watch your weight and feel concerned about the onset of chronic diseases like diabetes or hypertension, it is understandable why you want to avoid these temptations.
Let’s not forget that sugar can be addictive, and healthy desserts are therefore often lower in sugar.
The key here is moderation and modification because it’s unrealistic to completely curtail your cravings for sweets.
Deprivation is a thing of the past, and once in a while, indulgence can even make you feel more motivated to continue making the right food choices. Besides, it is now possible to satisfy your cravings for sugary treats without completely decimating your diet.
Check out these 5 healthy desserts that can satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthier way:
1. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate shall be your newfound best friend if you are a chocoholic. Steer clear of the regular variant because this has more sugar and fats. However, remember that chocolate is not created equal. Among the variants, dark chocolate has the most antioxidants. This means it helps you fight free radicals and oxidative stress. Studies even show that dark chocolate can prevent the following:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Tooth decay
- Heart disease
Dark chocolate is certainly decadent enough to satisfy your palate. However, don’t eat excessively because it is still a high-calorie food. A square or two of good quality chocolate should be enough to beat your sugar cravings.
Eat it with plump, fresh strawberries if you want to amplify the experience and prolong your enjoyment. You get added fibre to munch on with this low-calorie fruit that pairs extremely well with dark chocolate. Besides, this is easy enough to make on your own at home. No cooking skills are required!
2. Frozen Fruit Yoghurt
When you’re craving something cold and sweet, ditch full-fat ice cream and opt for healthier fruit-based frozen yoghurt. This is beneficial as yoghurt provides loads of protein and calcium. It also helps your gut microbiome because it is rich in probiotics. With this, you pave the way for better digestion and absorption of food.
Besides, when you pick a fruit-based yoghurt, you can also enjoy added vitamins, nutrients, and fibre. You can even make your own version of a banana split with different flavoured yoghurt scoops plus some low calorie whipped cream. Then, top it all off with a cherry.
This is simple enough to whip up in your own kitchen if you’re feeling adventurous. You can readily make frozen yoghurt pops by blending potassium-rich bananas or antioxidant-loaded berries. Then mix it with a tub of Greek yoghurt for more protein and add some zero-calorie stevia or honey for added sweetness as desired. Finally, pour the finished picture into popsicle moulds. En voila! You’ve got yourself a sweet, healthy treat that will keep your sugar level and weight under control.
3. Organic Waffles
Do you feel like eating breakfast for dinner? Or perhaps you just truly want a sweet breakfast to jump-start your day. You can readily do that by making waffles, a classic comfort food. However, unlike the typical waffle, you can make a healthier version of waffles using organic almond flour. There are many pre-made mixes in the grocery that you can readily whip up.
Top your treat with all-natural peanut butter once you’re done cooking your waffles. Picking a good brand will give you as little as 1 gram of sugar per serving. But, of course, no self-respecting waffle is complete without banana slices. Half a banana is just 6 grams of sugar, and it’s loaded with potassium and fibre.
If you’re feeling a little extra, top it off with some sugar-free whipped cream, drizzle with all-natural agave syrup, and top with sugar-free dark chocolate morsels. This sweet waffle is a hearty food that will satisfy your sweet tooth while providing substance to your stomach.
4. Cottage Cheese with Honey and Fruit
When you’re craving cheesecake, but you need to keep the sugar and calories low, cottage cheese is the answer. Of course, this store-bought classic is not the first thing you will think of when you want something sweet. But remember, this provides an excellent base to make a very healthy, low sugar snack.
Besides, cottage cheese is an excellent source of B complex vitamins, vitamin A, and calcium. The latter can do a double job of improving your bone density and keeping osteoporosis at bay. B vitamins provide the energy boost you need, while vitamin A is always an excellent idea for clear vision. A tub also packs a mean protein punch with 28 grams per serving. Protein helps you by:
- Making you feel full for longer
- Building lean muscle mass
- Ensuring proper metabolic and enzyme production
- Maintaining proper fluid and ph balance
When you add the fruit of your choice to cottage cheese, you make it even more healthy because you add fibre and nutrients. You can drizzle this with honey or your favourite sugar alternative.
5. Healthy Apple “Pie”
Are you craving apple pie but don’t want the fat and calorie content of an original slice? Well, one of the healthy desserts on our list is a twist on apple pie – the healthier version. There are two ways to make apple pie a healthy dessert:
- Baked Apples: Core your favourite apple variety. Then stuff it with raisins, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Bake the whole apple at 350F for 15minutes.
- Microwave Apple: Cut one apple up into chunks. Sprinkle it with brown sugar or sweetener of choice. Add cinnamon and nutmeg with a slab of butter (optional). Then nuke it in the microwave for 3 to 5 minutes.
Once the apples are soft, you can top them with granola for that extra fibre and faux-pie crust crunch. You can also put a huge dollop of sugar-free whipped cream and imagine you’re eating apple pie ala mode. Apples are a great dessert because a medium one is only 52 calories. It is also loaded in fibre that is said to promote:
- Good gut health with prebiotic effects
- Lowers risk for diabetes and heart disease
- Helps aid in weight loss
- Great antioxidant to ward off cancer
Indeed, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. So sneaking this fruit into your dessert list deserves a thumbs up.
Why Are You Always Craving Sweets?
Giving in to your sweet tooth is not always a bad thing, especially if you maintain a fairly good diet and exercise regularly.
However, if you are feeling intense sweet cravings all the time, it is prudent to find the source of the problem. Why is your body sending you these signals? Don’t merely find a quick fix by grabbing the nearest cookie.
Keep in mind, not all sugar cravings are alike. Sometimes, this intense craving is a signal that your body is in dire need of something because of a nutritional imbalance. For example, excessive salt in your diet tricks your body into believing it needs sugar to balance the sodium. Meanwhile, low blood sugar makes some people feel desperate for sweets. A magnesium deficiency will also make you crave chocolates.
When you feel intense sugar cravings all the time, you need to speak to your doctor. You may need a physical exam and blood work to find the root cause. It will also help to take a CircleDNA test to assess whether your genetics play a role in your cravings for sweets. Moreover, the DNA test results will include a full nutrition profile based on your DNA, including possible nutritional deficiencies.