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You Ask, I Answer: Dealing With A Sweet Tooth

Posted Dec 30 2009 10:03pm

NV977_Brownies_CookiesI have a HUGE sweet tooth.

I tend to like things like brownies, cookies, candy, etc. I also like to bake a lot, which is a large part of the problem.

It’s really hard for me to limit my intake of unhealthy sweet foods, though I would really like to make an effort to.

Do you have any tips?

– Christine Ho
(Location Unknown)

There are certainly a few different strategies you could employ.

First off — keep your weaknesses in mind (we all have them, by the way!).

By that I mean: if having baked goods at home makes it difficult for you to control your intake of sweets, don’t have them readily available.

That is not to say you can not bake (especially since it’s an activity you enjoy).  However, you could always make a batch of cookies, keep two or three for you and then gift the rest to friends, family, neighbors, and/or co-workers.

Another alternative?  Seek healthier recipes.

No, that does not mean Splenda-spiked cookies or muffins with fat-free Frankenbutter.

However, consider this simple and delectable chocolate truffle recipe that delivers a good amount of fiber, protein, and healthy fats.

When you get a craving for unhealthy sweet foods, think about what the craving is really for.

Is it for chocolate?  If so, instead of a highly caloric muffin or brownie, try an ounce of rich, dark chocolate (I love 85% cocoa chocolate bars because a small amount completely satisfies my sweet tooth!).

Or, make a quick and healthy chocolate milk.  In a blender, combine your milk of choice (dairy, soy, hemp, almond, etc.) with a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder, a pinch of salt, ice, and some vanilla extract.

If it’s for peanut butter, make a smoothie with bananas and add a tablespoon of peanut butter.  Or, add sliced bananas to a peanut butter sandwich.

Similarly, try incorporating some sweetness into healthier foods.  For example, add a tablespoon of chocolate chips to an all-nut trail mix, or ripe sliced pears to a salad.

These kinds of dietary changes take some time, so approach it slowly and realistically.

Most importantly, don’t ever completely deny yourself a food you like.  There are days when the only thing that will satisfy a craving for a decadent brownie is a decadent brownie.  That’s fine — simply be mindful of how much you eat and, above all, enjoy and savor it!

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