When we hear the word ‘desserts,’ we don’t immediately associate it with wellness and health.
Desserts are our ‘guilty pleasures’ and we indulge in their rich sweetness after a lovely dinner.
Ordering healthy desserts in fast food chains and most restaurants may seem ludacris. But since the federal menu-labeling requirement, we’ve revisited dessert menus to look for healthier options.
The American Dietetic Association claims that since new products are being developed all the time, consumers have more healthy choices to enjoy as far as desserts are concerned.
Let’s take a close look, shall we?
What is a Healthy Dessert?
It is a common misconception that less calories is equivalent to healthy. Desserts should also have enough vitamins and minerals to supplement our daily nutritional requirements. Usually, it depends on how the particular dessert is processed. Heavy food processing causes food to lose nutrients.
The search for desserts that are nutritious, low in calories, and, yes, even healthy wasn’t all that difficult. The truth is, since this era has been focused on health and wellness in general, we found that there are actually many delicious healthy options available now.
Portion Control and Natural Ingredients
Healthier food in general also means it is made of better ingredients. Try ordering fruit based desserts. Fruits allow us to enjoy the same rich sweetness, minus the hazards of artificial sweeteners and flavor enhancers.
Then there’s portion control. To explain, let’s compare eating three cookies with say 75 calories each (225 calories in total) to eating one 200+ calorie cookie. With three cookies containing less calories, you can deceive your body and have enough time to feel full even after only the second cookie. Eating three cookies with 250 calories each won’t help you lose weight.
Healthy Desserts in Fast Food Chains
There are so many dessert offerings nowadays, but we can’t name all of them. However, here are some we found tasty enough to satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way:
- Wendy’s offer the Frosty as dessert. The large Frosty is a 20-ounce serving and has 520 calories and 13 grams of total fat. The 6-ounce Frosty or the junior size only has 150 calories and only 4 grams of fat. BUT – it provides 15 percent of our daily requirement for calcium.
- Yogurt is a great source of calcium, so consider desserts with yogurt instead of ice cream such as:
- McDonald’s Fruit ’n Yogurt Parfait and the 7-ounce serving only has 130 calories and 2 grams of fat.
- TCBY, the frozen yogurt chain, offers frozen yogurts that provides at least 20 percent of the daily calcium and Vitamin D requirements. Their frozen yogurt product also has 12 percent of daily fiber and 8 percent of Vitamin A.
- Yogurt has probiotics, the live microorganisms that are part of active cultures in yogurt that help prevent infection, lowers blood pressure and improves our immune system.
- Desserts with organic and natural sugars are also a great idea to calm your sweet cravings with healthy desserts such as:
- Sonic Drive-Ins that have bananas or apple slices with caramel dip, both with slightly more than 100 calories,
- Subway has yogurt as well as apple slices, both with less than 100 calories and no fat.
- You’ll smoothies that you can order as health drinks or as a dessert such as:
- EVOS restaurants use natural, organic ingredient. Their milkshakes include 2 percent milk with no hormones or antibiotics. Their 16-ounce servings have only 140 to 230 calories and zero to 2.5 grams of fat.
- EVOS also offer the mango-guava shakes that has no sodium, cholesterol or trans-fat.
There are healthier options for dessert-loving folks like us. Ice cream can be low-fat, desserts can be fat-free and so on. The nutritional label is there to help us make better choices and we should take advatange of it.
The trend to use all-natural or organic ingredients are also a great way for everyone to enjoy the same rich taste, minus artificial flavors and sweetness and with way more nutritional value.
Let us know your favorite healthy desserts in the comments section down below.