There really is such a thing as a healthy dessert, according to everydayhealth.com. Joan Salge Blake, RD, clinical associate professor at Boston University and author of “Nutrition & You: Core Concepts to Good Health” said if your goal is to eat about 2,000 calories a day, you should be eating two cups of fruit every day. “Since Americans are not consuming enough fruit, fruit is a sweet way to end a meal with some needed nutrition,” she said.
These healthy desserts can help get you there:
Just fruit. Fruit can be fresh, frozen, canned, or dried, but be careful about added sugar when your fruit isn’t fresh.
Cooked fruit. A baked apple topped with a dollop of low-fat vanilla yogurt and a poached pear with an all-fruit puree sauce are two examples of sweet, low-fat desserts.
A touch of chocolate. When eaten in moderation, dark chocolate can contribute to heart health.
“One of my favorites is strawberries dipped in chocolate using a little semi-sweet chocolate melted in the microwave,” Blake said.
Adults should get about three cups of calcium-rich low-fat dairy every day. You can make healthy low-fat desserts with low-fat or fat-free milk, low-fat yogurt, or low-fat cheese. Try these healthy dessert suggestions:
Low-fat yogurt. Enjoy yogurt as a healthy dessert right out of the cup, topped with honey or fruit, or blended with fruit into a smoothie.
Custards and creams. Low-fat custard, frozen yogurt, tapioca, and other puddings will give you a healthy dessert that contains calcium.
Chocolate milk. A glass of low-fat or fat-free chocolate milk has only 160 calories and 30 percent of your daily calcium requirements. Freeze chocolate milk to make a healthy dessert pop or heat it up for some hot cocoa.
How to Put Your Favorite Desserts on a Diet
You can enjoy low-fat versions of many of your favorite desserts by making a few substitutions and paying attention to portion sizes. Here are tips that can help with healthy eating:
A little chocolate goes a long way. If you crave chocolate, find a chocolate you really love and then just have a small amount — an ounce or less — for a satisfying finish to a healthy meal.
Add evaporated milk. Make your favorite cake, cookies, or other dessert recipes that call for milk using non-fat evaporated milk.
Try a healthy topping. Add fiber by sprinkling low-fat parfaits or sundaes with nuts, raisins, or granola. When eating a treat with fruit, leave the skin on — that’s where most of the fiber is.
Read the labels on canned fruit and packaged desserts. Look for desserts low in added sugars. Added sugars include sucrose, fructose, corn syrup, maple syrup, and glucose.
Share the treat. If you are out at a restaurant and you can’t resist dessert, control your portion by splitting it. The first few bites are always the best — stop right there.
Satisfy a craving with fragrant tea. Instead of coffee with cream and sugar, try a caffeine-free herbal tea. A cup of peppermint or ginger tea will give you a sweet dessert experience, help your digestion, and set you up for a good night’s sleep.