Indulging Your Sweet Tooth
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, avoid heartburn, or simply eat healthfully, you needn’t give up sweets. Just watch how much you eat.
Fruit and Creamy Sweets
If you’re in the mood for something creamy, flavored yogurt or plain yogurt
that you can mix with honey and fruit can often do the trick. So can small
portions of pudding; the pudding cups you pack in your child’s lunchbox are
ideal. If it’s ice cream that you really want, says Moore, skip the
scoop-yourself containers and buy single-serving novelty treats such as
fudgesicles, creamsicles, even chocolate-covered ice cream bars. You’re more
likely to limit your portions if they already come in a single serving, Moore
Fruit is a great sweet treat, says Audrey T. Cross, PhD, JD, MPH, associate
clinical professor of nutrition and director
of the Healthy Monday Campaign at the Mailman School of Public Health at
Columbia University. To make fruit seem more like dessert and less like
something you should be eating, Cross offers these suggestions:
- Drizzle a bit of honey over mixed melon balls.
- Blend bananas and strawberries, freeze into cubes, and eat like ice
- Sauté or bake 1/2 banana and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon chopped nuts.
- Take three of your favorite kinds of berries; cook half of them with just
enough water to prevent burning. Cool and stir in remaining berries. Portion
1/2 cup of the berry compote with 1 tablespoon of your favorite vanilla ice
Many nutritionists agree that when it comes to sweet treats, it’s not really
what you eat, but how much and how often. “Small
indulgences, even once a day, are fine,” says Cindy Moore.
“Size is what really counts,” emphasizes Carla Wolper, MS, RD, CDN, clinical
nutritionist at the Center for Women’s Health at Columbia University Medical
Center Eastside in New York. “If you tempt yourself and buy five cookies or
five chocolate squares, you will be consuming a lot of calories,” says Wolper,
explaining that a pound has 3,500 calories, and a mere candy bar a day, at 250
calories beyond what your body needs to stay at your current weight, will pack
on an additional 26 pounds by the end of the year.