A coco-nutty aroma, crunchy yet smooth chocolaty indulgence. This does sound exquisite. However it probably is not as healthy, or is it?
As a dietitian I often get exasperated when clients/patients or even acquaintances immediately jump to the conclusion that eating healthy is unexciting, dull and tasteless and also the subject that dietitians only eat salad leaves. This is honestly not the case, with some food knowledge, or when willing to experiment with different healthy ingredients, a masterpiece can be created. And dietitians are also human. We also crave delicious food , eat chocolate and drink wine.
I am not ashamed to admit that I have a sweet tooth. And I have always had one. This definitely was something that I got from my dad as he has the “sweet genes” in our family. Yet he was the person who taught me all about balanced and healthy eating. So the point I am getting to, is the popular, yet over killed statement: “Everything in moderation”.
Let me elaborate on the sweet topic. Sweet indulgences can be enjoyed every once in a while and obviously there are better/healthier options available.
Sugar isn’t just empty calories – the outcome of indulging goes deeper than that. Consuming sweets spikes your insulin levels, which may cause you to store excess fat. “Weight gain as a result of eating sweets has little to do with calories – it has to do with the insulin surge that puts your body into fat-storage mode,” says Robert Reames, Fitness Institute Expert.
Sweet foods don’t have to be loaded with sugar or saturated fats to taste delicious. If you’ve got a serious sweet tooth but you are determined not to let it spoil your healthy lifestyle, sweet treats can be healthier than their traditional counterparts, and many are nutritionally boosted with superfoods like chia seeds, flaxseeds, protein sources, various dried fruits and of course fresh fruits can also be used such as the popular blueberries.
A delicious healthy ice cream recipe includes a frozen banana for natural sweetness, frozen mango or pineapple, a splash of orange juice and zest, a drizzle of agave (nectar made from a plant also known as honey-water) , and low-fat cottage cheese. The cottage cheese adds protein, a creamy texture, and it gives structure to the soft serve. Add natural ‘sprinkles’ on top i.e. toasted sliced almonds, chia seeds, and unsweetened coconut. Another idea is to take a frozen banana cut into chunks and add it to your blender or food processor. Add some cinnamon, vanilla, cacao powder, or a teaspoon of almond butter.
There literally are thousands of healthy sweet treat recipes online that can be looked up and tried out. When the sweet craving hits every now and then, it is a good time to experiment in the kitchen with some ingredients.
I have started a brand new venture in making raw guilt-free protein treats. The reason behind this idea is once again to satisfy sweet cravings, but in a healthier approach. Guilt always sneaks up on us when or after indulging in something sweet or something seen as being taboo in the health and “clean eating” world. So my protein treat will be totally innocent if enjoyed in moderation.
The protein treats will especially be aimed more towards the fitness or health conscious individual that doesn’t binge or indulge regularly. But as a dietitian I know the struggles of overweight clients so this will also be an ideal treat for individuals wanting to lose weight but choose healthier treats when cravings strikes.
The brand will be known as Health Conscious and contain ingredients such as protein powder, almond milk, nut butter, cacao, oats, coconut, flax seeds and cinnamon just to mention a few.
Remaining health conscious is a vital part I feel in achieving optimal health. However indulging every once in a while and satisfying ones sweet tooth is necessary. And what can be more fulfilling than treating oneself guilt-free?