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Many dieters, particularly women find it extremely hard to stop temptations of chocolates,
candies, cookies and cakes simply because the sweet tooth is stronger in women than
Women need to maintain a certain percentage of body weight to be able to sustain
a pregnancy, so an inborn genetic craving for sweets would be a quick way to pack
on a few pounds that regulate the menstrual cycle.
Additionally, some studies have also suggested that high levels of the female hormone,
estrogen during menstruation may increase sugar cravings, but the evidence is mixed.
For people who are looking to tame sugary cravings on a diet, consider these healthy
alternatives to sweets. These guilt free indulgences satisfy your sweet tooth naturally
yet keep you in the same jeans size (or drop a size)!
What Are Healthy Sweet Snacks to Eat While Dieting?
1. Healthy Sweet Option – Dark Chocolate
Chocolate, made from cacao beans, contains rich amounts of antioxidants that are
good for you. However, candy-coated chocolate bars are no good for your waistline.
They are jam-packed with sugar, artificial flavors and partially hydrogenated oils.
If you want to eat chocolate, opt for high quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa
content because it is the cocoa powder that contains polyphenols, flavonols, proanthocyanidins,
and catechins to fight off a myriad of diseases such as heart disease, stroke and
Avoid cheap milk chocolate that has ridiculously low cacao content, a lot of sugar
and a string of unhealthy ingredients like agave, artificial sweeteners, corn syrup,
vegetable oil, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.
I personally like Scharffen Berger Extra Dark (82% cacao), Valrhona Noir Extra Amer
(85% cacao), and Dagoba Eclipse (87% cacao). Although more expensive, they are better
for health and definitely worth the expense.
Another thing worth a big mention is, dark chocolate contains some sugar, but you'll
want it to be listed last on the ingredient list – cocoa powder, cocoa mass, chocolate
liquor and/or cocoa butter before sugar.
One healthy alternative is to make your own dark chocolate fondue to dip your favorite
fruits such as strawberries, banana slices, pineapple chunks, pear slices, kiwifruit
wedges, or dried apricots.
2. Healthy Sweet Option – Fruits
Since your sister is having a hard time cutting out ice cream, I suggest her go natural
and snack on frozen fruits instead. There's nothing better than fruits when it comes
to sweet healthy snacks. Fruits such as bananas, grapes, strawberries, blueberries,
and raspberries are high in vitamins and super low in fat.
I usually buy berries in bulk when they are in season and freeze them to enjoy them
later. It's a great way to save money too. If you want to freeze denser fruits such
as bananas, mango, peaches, honeydew, or watermelon, you should slice or cube them
before freezing. Then place cut-up fruits in a Ziploc bag, squeeze out any air bubbles
and seal. It's also a good idea to write the date on the bag so that you know when
you preserved it.
You can make sorbet with all those frozen fruits. Place frozen fruit (add minimal
water to thin) in a blender and process until pureed. Add a tiny amount of sugar
or honey and vanilla, if you want. Scoop out and place in a glass ice cream bowl,
or an ice cream cone.
Add your favorite toppings – coconut flakes, white chocolate chips, raisins, dried
cranberries, sunflower seeds, or fresh chopped nuts such as pistachios, pecans, hazelnuts,
cashews and walnuts.
You can also pour the puree mix into molds and make popsicles from it. Fruit popsicles
can also be made with real fruit juices (mix juices together different flavors),
or add some low fat yogurt for a creamier texture.
Fruits also can be enjoyed in many different ways – dried fruits (preferably dried
at home), mixed fruit smoothies (banana strawberry smoothie), baked apples (with
pecans, cinnamon, raisins, butter, and brown sugar), grilled poached pears with balsamic
reduction, and broiled fruit kebabs.
3. Healthy Sweet Option – Sweet Potato
I am not addicted to sugary treats, but I find myself having an immensely huge craving
for candy snacks occasionally. What I do to eliminate that sudden sweet craving is
to cut up a few sweet potatoes, sprinkle a little cinnamon over the top and bake
them in a 350˚F oven for 30 minutes, or until nicely tender.
In terms of nutrition, sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin A (in the form
of beta-carotene) and way better than regular white potatoes because they contain
half the sugar and twice the minerals.
Sweet potatoes are also packed with dietary fiber and when eaten with the skin, sweet
potatoes provides more fiber than oatmeal. If you eat fiber-rich foods, you'll feel
fuller for longer periods of time so you're less likely to overeat or snack on junk
Although the above healthy sweet options are definitely better for weight loss, make
sure you control portion sizes otherwise you end up consuming more calories for the
By Diane Hanson
My elder sister and I made a resolution at the beginning of the year to eat healthy
and hopefully lose a bit of weight. We are not fat but we think we would look better
in skinny jeans if we cut back on sweets. Here comes our humongous problem – we love
to snack anywhere and anytime, and always feel terribly guilty eating them. My sister
has a sweet tooth and just can't keep her hands off candy-coated chocolate bars and
ice cream, however much she tries to resist the sweet temptation. Are there any healthy
alternatives to candy snacks because I want to surprise her with something sweet
and not derail her best efforts to eat more healthfully. What are some healthy snacks
to consider while dieting? A big thank you! – Natasha, Louisiana.
If you're wondering what is good to eat with raisins, but eating them straight out
of the box doesn't appeal to you, then get inspired with these interesting recipes,
and start enjoying the health benefits of raisins in your everyday meals.