Four Healthy Sweet Snacks To Curb Sugar Cravings
All too often, the words “sweet” and “unhealthy” go hand-in-hand. We’re taught to cut sugar out of our diet if we want to eat healthy, and that having dessert is cheating. But healthy sweet snacks do exist — and enjoying them doesn’t have to leave you with a guilty conscience.
The problem with most sweet snacks is that they contain tons of added, processed sugars that do nothing for you nutritionally. What’s more, there doesn’t seem to be any health benefit to consuming natural sugars like honey instead, especially in equal amounts.
When choosing healthy sweet snacks, then, it’s important to limit the overall amount of sugar and to add nutrients whenever possible. If eliminating sugar sounds depressing, don’t think that you have to cut it out all at once, or even completely. Just make sure to enjoy it in small amounts and accompany it with relatively healthy ingredients.
Now that you know you can still enjoy sweets in moderation, here are four ideas for healthy sweet snacks that will satisfy your sweet tooth without wreaking havoc on your waistband.
Yes, it’s true! You don’t have to give up chocolate to eat healthy. According to Medical News Today, in addition to having less sugar than milk chocolate, dark chocolate is also rich in minerals and antioxidants. Other benefits of eating dark chocolate may even include a decreased risk of heart disease and reduced inflammation.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that eating mountains of dark chocolate is a healthy choice. All things in moderation, and all that. In limited portions, however, dark chocolate can be a great way to indulge your sweet tooth without consuming much added sugar or fat. And for extra health points, swap out the dairy versions for vegan alternatives.
These healthy sweet snacks are infinitely customizable, and they’re also a great source of protein. Mix together your favorite nut butter, some dried fruit, and maybe even some of that dark chocolate! Because they’re high in protein, protein balls help you stay full longer, helping you limit snack breaks in general.
Yep. Cookies can be healthy, too — and healthy cookies don’t have to taste like sadness. They’re often pretty similar to protein balls, just in a more traditional dessert form, if you will. Swap out processed flour for whole grains like oats, limit the amount of sugar that you add, and — once again — enjoy in moderation. Try some of these recipes for inspiration!
Fruit: Fresh, Frozen, or Dried
Yes, fruits still contain sugar. And yes, eating too much sugar — even natural sugar from fruit — is unhealthy. But, fruits can still make for healthy sweet snacks, and here’s why:
- Fruit takes more time to eat and digest. This means your body processes the sugar much more slowly, and you’re also less likely to eat as much in one sitting.
- Fruit contains tons of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. This means you’re not only limiting sugar intake, but you’re also getting extra health benefits at the same time.
Fruits are also a great choice because they offer so much variety. Getting bored of fresh fruit? Pop some in the freezer for a healthy alternative to popsicles or ice cream. Need something that will last for a while or is easy to tote around with you? Dried fruits are extra convenient. (You can even dry them yourself so you know there are no added sugars!)
Enjoy Healthy Sweet Snacks In Moderation
As you practice making healthier decisions in your snacking, a good rule of thumb is to choose healthy sweet snacks that fill you up faster, thereby helping you to eat less at a time. That way, the overall amount of sugar you consume won’t be too high, and you’ll likely also be getting some important nutrients.
Remember that you don’t have to cut out sugar entirely; you just need to eat healthy sweet snacks that reduce the total amount of sugar you consume and instead fill you up with healthy proteins and minerals.For more tips and ideas for improving your eating habits, follow Outstanding Foods on Instagram and Facebook.