When it comes to your sweet tooth, you might feel the urge to give in to that brownie, cookie, chocolate bar or ice cream cone—but don’t. While it's OK to indulge your cravings every now and then, you can't let those little treats sabotage your efforts to stay healthy.
So is there a better way to satisfy a sweet tooth that actually works? Try these healthy options.
Go wild with fruit
Fruit is nature's candy, so there's no reason why it can't substitute as yours. Fruit has plenty of natural sugar, but it's also full of essential vitamins and minerals that can help you achieve your diet goals. Eat a piece whenever you feel the urge for sweets, and make it a habit to have fruit after dinner if dessert is your weakness. You can even dip pieces in dark chocolate for a truly decadent treat every so often.
Indulge in pudding
The snack packs you used to eat as a kid aren't the best options here, but if you make your own pudding with fat-free or low-fat milk, you're doing yourself a favor without affecting the taste. Whether you like chocolate, vanilla, tapioca or pistachio, a serving a day won't jeopardize your healthy habits—especially if you add a bit of fruit on top!
Switch to dark chocolate
If milk chocolate bars are your weakness, switch them out for a piece of dark chocolate whenever you're tempted. Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants that are good for heart health and have antiaging properties. Dark chocolate can also help decrease your blood pressure and keep you feeling fuller for longer. Choose a variety with omega-3-rich nuts, and you've got yourself a snack that's worth treating yourself to once a day (in small amounts).
Make banana ice cream
Did you know that bananas freeze into a creamy, ice-cream-like consistency? Try mashing a frozen banana in a bowl instead of scooping out your favorite ice cream for an easy, healthy dessert. If you need a bit more, add a teaspoon of peanut butter or cocoa powder for extra flavor. A few nut toppings or coconut shavings wouldn't hurt either!
Freeze Greek yogurt
For an easy snack that's full of protein and won't cause you to pack on the pounds, freeze your favorite Greek yogurt flavor into yogurt drops. Just place a bunch of quarter-teaspoon scoops on a baking sheet, then stick it in the freezer for a couple of hours. Put them in a plastic bag and store them in the freezer until that sweet tooth starts nagging you again.