Do you find yourself craving sugar? That’s normal, except for the fact that excess sugar is not good for your health. Sweet treats are loaded with sugar and are often quite high in calories. For example, one medium-sized donut has 195 empty calories, which is equivalent to an hour-long walk. So, imagine how much walking you would have to do to burn off two or three medium-sized donuts!
To add insult to injury, it’s not like donuts are the only treats that you will reach for in one day. It might be another cookie or two, a brownie, an ice cream cone, or just one more slice of grandma’s pie. We might not like to admit it, but this is something we are all guilty of.
What can we do about it? Thankfully, there are healthy alternatives to give your sweet tooth what it’s craving without increasing your risks of weight gain or threatening diseases.
Nobody can go wrong with fresh fruits. They have nutrients, fiber and sugar – a dream come true. Unfortunately, when most of us are faced with the option of either a fresh fruit platter or a slice of Oreo cheesecake, we are more prone to choosing the latter. Perhaps it’s a matter of esthetic? If so, try making fruit kebabs for a more attractive snack!
If you want to cool down, try freezing some fruits. For example, frozen grapes will be a long-lasting sweet treat if left in the freezer for a couple of hours. Grapes contain Resveratrol, which is the component that helps reduce bad cholesterol.
You can also make smoothies or shakes out of frozen fruits. But, instead of using sugar and milk, opt for yogurt or soymilk. The sugar substitutes can be agave nectar or Xylitol.
How dark is dark? If you can find the variety that’s made from more than 72% cacao, then you’re going to be satisfying that sweet tooth in no time. Why is this kind of chocolate a healthy alternative? First of all, it doesn’t have the added fat or sugar like what’s found in milk chocolate. It also contains antioxidants, helps lower blood pressure, and can assist in the regulation of cortisol, the stress hormone.
Greek yogurt is a great sugar alternative. However, not the low-fat kind like one might think. Low-fat yogurt actually contains more sugar because they need to put in more in order to maintain the taste after the fat is taken out. You must be thinking, 'how is this going to help with my sweet cravings?' Simple! Make a yogurt dessert. Add fruit toppings to a plain Greek yogurt, such as strawberries, bananas or any fresh fruit of your choice. Add some agave nectar, and you’ve got one of the healthiest desserts you can make.
There are tons of sugar substitutes on the market that can be used to satisfy your cravings. Just remember that some sugar substitutes are meant for things like coffee, tea and fruit-based drinks (stevia-based, Agave nectar), while others should be used for baking (Whey Low). While there are other sugar substitutes such as Xylitol, you should be aware of certain instructions. For instance, though Xylitol can be used as a substitute for baking, make sure that you do so for only 1/2 of the sugar required in the recipe.
If you have a sweet tooth, try one of these healthy alternatives! They have less sugar and are packed with other benefits!
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