Swapping Sweets for Sweets
_By Shannon Pulusan_
Although desert and veggies occupy opposite ends of the food pyramid, sweetness does not always have to be in the form of chocolate. If your sweet tooth demands candy or decadent treats, consider fresh fruit. Consider an orange’s citrus flavor and tang. Consider flavored water over sugary drinks. Being aware of the alternatives to junk food is essential to a health-conscious lifestyle. The decision to swap sweets for nutritious sweets is a good habit to develop, and the body will be more than grateful for the self-control.
Here is a list of sweet substitutes that satisfy our cravings without consequence:
Fruit. The natural sugars of fruit are meant for the body. Crave this fresh sweetness without worry. From bananas to apples to berries, there is no such thing as a bad fruit. It is recommended to consume at least four servings of fruit a day to provide the essential vitamins and nutrients for the body.
Dried Fruit. If fresh produce is too messy for your on-the-go lifestyle, try dried fruit. Be sure to check the product packaging to avoid dried fruits coated with refined sugar. Uncertain if your dried fruit of choice is a healthy alternative to candy? Check out: "12 Healthiest Dried Fruits":http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/12-healt... .
Granola. This type of cereal is high in fiber and rich in oats and wheat. Commonly mixed with nuts, such as walnuts and almonds, granola can help lower cholesterol and maintain a healthy heart. Just like cereal, some granola bars may be high in sugar content. Check packaging and consume the suggested serving size to enjoy a healthy snack.
Frozen Yogurt. Instead of ice cream, cool down with frozen yogurt. This snack is a low-fat alternative to the creamy treat we crave. Rich in vitamins and nutrients, frozen yogurt isn’t simply an emotional indulgence like ice cream. Frozen yogurt is, in fact, beneficial to the body.
_Tip for Diabetics:_ Diabetics must be conscious about their blood sugar levels especially when approaching the snack aisle. Processed snacks, baked goods, and margarine are products diabetics should be weary of in their daily diets. This does not mean that the occasional slice of cake or pieces of chocolate are absolutely off-limits. However, during these sweet indulgences, diabetics should prioritize a healthy diet and exercise routine to maintain insulin sensitivity.
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