Healthy Sweet Tooth: Five without Five

So perhaps you exercise regularly, you enjoy alcohol in moderation (sometimes), and you eat fairly healthy most days of the week. Sounds like you’ve been doing a great job on the path to a healthy lifestyle … congratulations.

However … you’ve been ignoring your sweet tooth for weeks, and the groans from one of your molars seem almost deafening as you gaze longingly at the candy jar on the office receptionist’s desk.

Stop torturing yourself. The best part of being healthy is being able to enjoy everything you love in moderation, including the occasional sweet treat. (Insert cheer from sugar-craving right molar here.)

Here are five suggestions for healthy-ish desserts that won’t ruin your whole day, your whole diet or your whole way of life, though some of them may be to die for.

Candy Newman’s Own Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
One package contains 180 calories, 12 grams of sugar, two grams of fiber and three grams of protein. The dark chocolate contains lots more antioxidants and less sugar than regular milk chocolate. Also, these little beauties are organic! They are completely delicious … you might never look at Reese’s the same way again!

Dessert Bertolli Tiramisu
Tiramisu is one of my all-time favorite desserts, but when you order it at a restaurant, it comes to the table in a serving so big it covers up almost the whole plate. If you go out to eat with your sweetie and decide to end the night with a sweet, skip ordering dessert at the table and grab these from your local grocer’s freezer. They come in single-serve cups at 210 calories, 14 grams of sugar and two grams of protein. Pair with black coffee and your sweet tooth is tamed another day.

Cookies Kashi Soft-Baked Cookies
There are a few varieties of this brand of cookie, each having between 120-130 calories, less than 10 grams of sugar, two to three grams of protein and a whopping four grams of fiber. The package also lists whole grain, which isn’t surprising due to the fiber content. A lot of the ingredients are organic as well. A few hours after dinner, heat one up in the microwave for a few seconds and enjoy with four to eight ounces of cold, nonfat milk. The protein and fiber combination will keep you feeling full long into the evening.

Ice Cream Yes
The problem with ice cream is portion control. If you can stick to the half-cup serving size, ice cream can actually be one of the healthiest sweet-tooth options there is. Most servings of ice cream are only about 150 calories, so you can’t really go wrong picking out your favorite flavor. Even soy ice cream and Greek yogurt ice cream contain the same number of calories per serving … they just tend to have more protein in them as well. Go ahead, grab that Chunky Monkey, just make sure you don’t eat the whole pint.

Cakes, Brownies or Pies Head to your local bakery
For this sweet-tooth craving, I suggest grabbing a friend and taking a walk to your favorite local bakery. We are so lucky to have lots of family-owned bakeries in Columbus, including my personal favorite, Resch’s Bakery, located at 4061 E. Livingston Ave. Get to know the person behind the counter and order a single cupcake, slice of pie or small brownie. By satisfying this sweet-tooth craving with an experience, rather than just a food, you’ll feel more fulfilled and satisfied than if you just wolfed down a piece of cake on a whim. You’ll also be supporting a small business, which makes the occasional calorie-fest totally worth it. It’s healthy for you, and our economy.