Refined sugars and unhealthful sweetened foods like cookies and candy are all around us in grocery stores, vending machines, office break rooms, and more. Conquering the sort of sweet tooth that can lead to overindulgence in these kinds of foods can be one of the most difficult parts of embarking on a long-term fitness regimen.
Ultimately though, the important thing for your health isn’t completely denying yourself sweet foods, but avoiding unhealthful foods and fixing bad habits. Rather than totally foregoing anything sweet, which is at least as likely to result in a relapse into old habits as a flat stomach, try indulging in these healthy sweet snacks. They’re low in the kinds of refined sugars and corn syrups one is wise to avoid, rich in beneficial nutrients, and best of all add only 100 calories or fewer to your daily total. Bon apetit!
Simply combine ½ cup of water, ¼ cup of plain non-fat yogurt, 1 cup of your favorite fruit, and a few ice cubes in your blender, blend, and voila – a delicious fruit smoothie with around 100 calories. Fruits like berries and cantaloupe will give you a lower calorie total than more energy-dense ones like apples or bananas. If you like, you can replace the yogurt with additional water or fruit to bring the calorie total even lower!
Peel some bananas, cut each in half and insert popsicle sticks. Lightly coat each banana half with about 2 tablespoons of low or non-fat plain yogurt, and leave them in the freezer. In a few hours you’ll have a healthy frozen treat that totals around 90 calories and provides a healthful dose of potassium and vitamin C.
2 cups of microwaved kettle corn (popped) brings in only 70-90 calories, with around 3 grams of fiber. Not too bad for a snack! Despite the low calories, certain brands can be fairly high in fats and sugars, so be sure to read the label carefully.
Looking for something sweet to warm your bones? Take a small apple about 3” in dimeter, remove the core, and sprinkle with one teaspoon brown sugar and a few dashes of cinnamon. Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes or until soft. This one is sweet, satisfying, and only about 95 calories!
Sweet potato is a nutrient-dense veggie that can satisfy both salty and sweet cravings. 60 grams of baked sweet potato contain only about 60 calories. A sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon on top (always a great combo) will bring in a delicious snack that’s warm, rich in vitamins A and C, and only about 80 calories.
A good way to satisfy a chocolate craving without overdoing it on sugar, fat, or calories is with a cup of creamy sugar-free pudding. Finding a name-brand pudding for fewer than 100 calories per serving shouldn’t be difficult at most grocery stores. Health food companies like Robard Corporation, carried by Medical Weight Loss Solutions, also have a good selection to choose from.
100 grams (about ½ cup) of low-fat cottage cheese racks up between 70 and 85 calories with a whopping 12 grams of satisfying protein. Add a small amount of low-calorie fruit like berries or cantaloupe and you’ve got a sweet snack that will keep you satisfied for surprisingly long.
For more smart snacking and meal ideas, check out all the products we carry at our Wallingford, CT retail location.