The Healthy Dessert Trap

Over the last few years there have been some innovative ways to recreate once unhealthy dessert recipes. Throughout the internet and cook books you will find gluten-free double chocolate brownies, coconut milk frozen desserts, paleo treats of every kind,and my particular favorite banana bread. These recipes replace ingredients like high fructose corn syrup with natural raw honey or refined wheat, soy, and corn products with nut and coconut flours. You can now substitute artificial flavorings loaded with chemicals with raw cocoa, pure vanilla, and real fruit. It is a modern twist on those classic desserts that grandma used to make. It is also important to keep in mind that although these desserts are prepared with the highest quality ingredients that they are to still be thought of as a dessert and not a whole food.

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When working with a client to improve their nutrition I always stress the importance of adding whole foods into their diet. I try to add foods that give a person the best nutrient : calorie ratio in order to keep them satiated throughout the day, keeping empty calories to a minimum. Gluten free baked goods and paleo desserts are delicious, but do not provide adequate nutrition and carry a high caloric intake. Natural sweeteners like honey or stevia are still forms of sugars and should be limited, and while nut flours are a much better alternative to refined wheat flours they still pack a lot of calories without supplying very much nutrition. I also find that these desserts induce a similar insulin spike as all sweetened desserts do, leaving the body in a state of hunger.

There is also the physiological aspect of eating these sweets that needs to be taken into consideration. A cookie is still a cookie no matter the ingredient list. Simply thinking that adding better ingredients transforms a brownie into a healthy food is a recipe for destruction (pun intended). It is still a food that needs to be eaten in moderation. Another one of my personal issues with dessert foods is that every time I pass a tray of cookies I need to grab one simply out of habit. I'll finish a weeks batch of cookies in two days without even sitting down to enjoy them. I'll just grab and go every time I pass through the kitchen. It's the same reason we leave the butter knife in with the boxed cake on the counter. I can't tell you how many butter knives I threw in the trash with this genius little habit. While these higher quality desserts allow people a healthier way to indulge every now and again we need to realize the potential pitfalls that come with having sweets in the house as well.

Here are some ways to enjoy these desserts while minimizing the potential for setbacks:

  • Only prepare a weeks worth of treats at a time.Preparing multiple batches may seem more convenient but it also brings with it the temptation to eat more than you wanted to. Knowing that you only have a limited amount of servings puts a cap on how much you can eat during the week.
  • Place individual portions in zip lock bags. This will allow you to limit yourself a particular serving. Store the additional servings in the freezer as an extra safeguard. Take one serving out in the morning so that it will be ready for you to enjoy later in the day.
  • Sit and enjoy your treat. I like to have a couple of cookies or a slice of banana bread with a cup of coffee after a long day. Relax and enjoy your meals.
  • Use treats as a pre / post workout meal.Use the natural sugars in these treats to your advantage. Eating a treat prior to a workout will add an energy boost, and afterwards will feed your lean muscle. Use in place of those disgusting energy bars you find on sale at your local supplement shop.

I hope this helps you in understanding how to enjoy eating desserts without it becoming an obstacle in your nutrition goals. These healthier homemade treats have given us the ability to truly replace the commercial, chemical laden food to find sitting on store shelves. Have fun making them as well as eating them. Get the kids involved.

-To your health

One further thing before I go. Credit for this article goes toward Donnas mortgages. They're a seasoned residential mortgage agent in Burlington situated in Ontario. The concept for this post came to me while talking to Donna there. One thing led to another and we wound up discussing the niche in greater detail. Anyway, check their webpage out at That's all for now!

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Posted in Renovations Post Date 01/08/2016






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