For those of us who always seem to be watching our waistlines, constantly saying no to desserts can make us feel deprived. Left unchecked, that feeling of deprivation can lead to binge eating and yo-yo dieting. There are ways, however, to satisfy your sweet tooth without sabotaging your diet.
Coffee — If you’re a coffee drinker, you no doubt enjoy a cup of your favorite brew after a meal. This is also a common time when we crave sweets. Adding a bit of flavored non-dairy creamer can make that cup of coffee taste like a creamy dessert. Coffee-mate’s sugar-free hazelnut creamer has no trans fat, lactose or gluten, 1 carbohydrate, and only 15 calories per 1-tablespoon serving. It is also relatively low in sodium, with just 5 mgs.
Gelatin dessert with whipped topping — Sugar free gelatins are a favorite of mine. My store brand has zero fat or carbohydrates and just five calories per 1/2 cup serving. Watch your sodium, though, as this brand has 40 mgs. If you’re craving that creamy texture gelatin alone won’t provide, add a 2-tablespoon serving of Cool Whip Free for just an additional 15 calories. It has zero fat, 3 carbohydrates and 5 mgs of sodium.
Flavored diet soda — These can be a lifesaver for dieters with a sweet tooth, but be careful of the salt. Some brands have sodium contents as high as 50 mgs per serving, while DietRite Pure Zero has no sodium, carbohydrates, caffeine, fat or calories.
Nonfat Yogurt — Although even nonfat yogurt will cost you some calories and carbohydrates, they are well spent considering the nutrition and health benefits you get from them. My favorite brand is Dannon’s Light & Fit. The peach flavor has 80 calories per eight ounce serving, with zero fat, 16 carbohydrates and 75 mgs of sodium.
Fresh Fruit — Strawberries dipped in Cool Whip Free can be a very satisfying dessert, even if you’re not watching the scale. A 1/2 cup serving of whole strawberries contains 39 calories and about 10 carbohydrates. Even with the addition of the 15 calories from the whipped topping, you’ve got yourself a delicious, low calorie dessert packed with vitamins and minerals.
There’s really no need to skip dessert when you have so many low cal, low fat options available. Just be sure to plan ahead and have your pantry and fridge stocked with the right choices. (And don’t forget to buy extra for Dad and the kids, too.)
“USDA Commodity Food Fact Sheet for Schools & Child Nutrition Institutions,” Food and Nutrition Service – USDA