Food & Wine
You Are What You Eat – Tips For Making Good Decisions When Picking Sweets
When making healthy food choices, most people know that they should eat more fruits and vegetables. And when it comes to choosing sweets, most people think that the most beneficial option is to choose something like a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts. However, there are a lot of healthy sweets out there that can be just as delicious as unhealthy options. You just have to know what to look for. Here are some tips for making good decisions when it comes to eating sweets:
Go for Dark Chocolate
If you’re going to indulge in chocolate, try to go for the darkest option possible. Dark chocolate is not only lower in sugar than milk chocolate, but it also contains beneficial compounds like flavonoids and antioxidants. These compounds can help improve your cardiovascular health and protect your cells from damage. When buying dark chocolate, make sure to check the label to ensure that it contains at least 70% cocoa. Fortunately, some of the most popular chocolate brands offer dark chocolate options with 80% or even 90% cocoa. And if you want to get even more benefits, look for brands that use fair-trade or organic cocoa beans.
Avoid Processed and Refined Sugars
Regarding sweets, one of the worst offenders is refined sugar. Not only is it void of any nutritional value, but it can also cause a host of health problems like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. It also feeds candida yeast, which can lead to fatigue and other issues. So, when choosing sweets, try to avoid anything that contains refined or processed sugars. Instead, opt for natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup. You can also use fruit to add sweetness to your dishes without having to rely on processed sugar. Dates and bananas are great options. You may also want to check the label of your favorite foods to see if they contain any hidden sugars like dextrose, sucrose, or high fructose corn syrup.
Consider the Glycemic Index
The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a food raises your blood sugar levels. Foods that have a high glycemic index are generally unhealthy because they cause spikes in your blood sugar, which can lead to cravings and overeating. On the other hand, foods with a low glycemic index are slowly absorbed by your body and don’t cause these spikes. So, when choosing sweets, try to opt for options that have a low glycemic index. Some good examples include dark chocolate, berries, and apples. You can also look for recipes that use ingredients like almond flour or coconut flour, which have a lower glycemic index than traditional flour.
Get Your Sweet fix from Whole Foods
Whenever possible, try to get your sweet fix from whole foods rather than processed snacks or desserts. This way, you’ll be getting the nutrients your body needs along with the sweetness you crave. Some great options include fruit, yogurt, dark chocolate, and honey. You can also make healthy snacks and desserts using recipes that use wholesome ingredients. For instance, you could make a fruit salad with yogurt and honey or bake a batch of gluten-free cookies using almond flour. And if you are vegan, you can find plenty of delicious plant-based sweets made with ingredients like coconut milk, dates, and cocoa powder.
Limit Your Intake
Of course, even the healthiest sweets should be eaten in moderation. So, indulging in your favorite treat, make sure to limit your intake to one or two servings, And if you’re trying a new sweet for the first time, it’s best to start with a small portion to see how your body reacts. remember, it’s important to listen to your body and eat mindfully. This way, you can enjoy the sweetness without having to worry about any negative consequences. However, if you have diabetes or another condition that requires you to limit your sugar intake, then it’s important to speak with a doctor or registered dietitian to figure out what’s right for you.
Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
Despite what many people think, artificial sweeteners are not a healthy alternative to sugar. Some studies have even linked them to weight gain and other health problems. So, when choosing sweets, it’s best to avoid anything that contains artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, or saccharin. Instead, opt for natural alternatives like honey or stevia. Or if you want to use an artificial sweetener, choose one that’s been deemed safe by the FDA like Splenda or Truvia. Just remember that even these should be used in moderation. And if you do not suffer from diabetes or another condition that requires you to limit your sugar intake, then it’s best to stick with natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup.
As you can see, eating sweets doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Just make sure to choose wisely and limit your intake. And with these tips in mind, it will be easier than ever to satisfy your sweet tooth healthily. However, if you have diabetes or another condition that requires you to limit your sugar intake, then it’s best to speak with a doctor or registered dietitian to figure out what’s right for you.