Treating your sweet tooth shouldn’t leave you feeling guilty. Healthful dessert alternatives are out there. Just beware of the false prophets!
Sugar—the sound of that word makes my muscles quiver. Although it seems harmless to the tongue, the reaction in the body argues otherwise. Of all foods, refined sugar is considered the most harmful. It’s devoid of nutrients—no fiber, no minerals, no proteins, no fats, no enzymes—only empty calories.
Sugar causes the body to deplete its own stores of vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Eating processed foods—which are laced with sugar—is the reason our nation is addicted to sugar. There are, however, healthful alternatives. Stevia is an herb used all over the world as a natural sweetener. Sugar-free products that use xylitol, a natural substance found in fibrous vegetables and fruit, are a safe way to conquer your cravings.
Fresh fruits contain a natural sugar that makes them a satisfying sweet treat. So don’t deprive yourself of desserts; just get in the habit of choosing the right kind. Train your taste buds to enjoy the simpler things in life. Moderation is key, and with that in mind, here’s a great recipe:
1 cup sliced strawberries
2 tablespoons sugar-free Cool Whip
1 tablespoon crushed almonds
1 tablespoon sugar-free chocolate syrup
Place 1/2 cup strawberries in each of two small dishes. Top with a tablespoon of Cool Whip and drizzle chocolate over it. Sprinkle with almonds.
Each serving: calories, 45; fat, 1 gram; carbs, 7 grams; protein, 1 gram
Editor’s note: Taylor Matheny is a Los Angeles–based fitness trainer and chef. She studied sports nutrition while learning culinary techniques and is certified in personal training and sports nutrition. Finding herself in the bodybuilding industry—she’s also an IFBB pro bikini competitor—she honed her cooking skills on contest diets. Currently, she works as a personal chef and is a spokesmodel for Myogenix.