5 Best Healthy Treats That Crush Sweet Cravings, Says Dietitian
With Halloween and the holidays just around the corner, the "sweet season" is upon us!
Between trick-or-treating, family gatherings and holiday parties, it's all too easy to load up on sugar and empty calories. Unfortunately, completely avoiding sugar is not a realistic solution for many of us—even for me, a registered dietitian! Instead, I look for better-for-you treats and portion-controlled snacks to satisfy my sweet tooth so that I don't overindulge.
Here are my top picks:
Individually-wrapped Kind Minis are my go-to bar for whenever I need a between-meal snack. With 100 calories or less per bar and made with whole ingredients like nuts and dried fruit, they're also perfect for trick-or-treaters. They come in delicious flavors like Dark Chocolate, Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew and more. My favorite, Caramel Almond and Sea Salt, has just 90 calories, 4 grams of filling fiber and 3 grams of protein, but only 3 grams of sugar.
Consider stocking up on Kind Minis variety packs to hand out for Halloween this year.
Make your own irresistible sweet treat with one of nature's best superfoods: chia seeds! Two tablespoons of chia seeds (1 ounce) contain about 140 calories, 4 grams of protein, 11 grams of fiber, and 7 grams of unsaturated fat. What's more, they're the richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids and a good source of calcium. One of my favorite chia pudding recipes is both vegan and keto-friendly. It infuses turmeric and ginger which are both known for their anti-inflammatory properties.
Don't miss One Major Side Effect of Eating Chia Seeds!
Gatsby Almond Dark Chocolate
Nothing crushes a sweet craving quite like chocolate does. Gatsby Almond Dark Chocolate gives you all the amazing flavor and satisfaction of chocolate, with only 70 calories and 2 grams of sugar per serving. With a mouthwatering, creamy taste and texture, this is one of the first chocolate bars that combines both allulose (a sweetener) and keto-friendly MCT oil, resulting in a chocolate bar that cuts the calories and sugar without compromising flavor. Gatsby also has a smooth and creamy Classic Milk Chocolate Bar.
Opt for a piece of fruit
Let's face it: the holiday season is filled with cookies, cakes and pies. Dodge these diet disasters and satisfy your sweet tooth by reaching for fresh fruit instead.
One of my favorite fruits to eat is watermelon. Available year-round, it's low in calories (about 45 calories per diced cup!) and high in water content and nutrition. And this delicious, sweet treat doesn't just crush cravings for the sugary stuff, research shows that watermelon may also help manage diabetes, reduce the risk of heart disease, and help you feel full for longer.
My other favorite fruits include pineapple, baked apples (top them with a dash of cinnamon) and fresh strawberries.
Now, be sure to read 7 Ways Apples Can Help You Lose Weight, Say Dietitians.
Ice cream alternatives
When you need to quell your sweet cravings with something cold—don't dig into a pint of ice cream! It's so hard to muster he willpower to stop eating it one you start. A helpful tip? Always look for individually-wrapped servings.
I love Outshine No Sugar Added Pops made with real fruit juice. Each pop has only 25 calories and 1 gram of sugar. Another favorite is Yasso's Greek Yogurt Bars. Their chocolate fudge flavor has no artificial sweeteners, 6 grams of protein and just 80 calories!
For more, be sure to check out I'm an RD, and This Is The One Thing You Crave When You Give Up Alcohol. Then, don't forget to sign up for our newsletter!