wikiHow to Enjoy Sweets on a Diet

Two Methods:Having All Natural SweetsAdding Artificial Sweeteners to Your Diet

One of the more difficult things about maintaining a healthy diet is resisting the impulse to indulge in delicious sweets and sugary treats. This is especially hard if you have a sweet tooth for artificial sweets and junk food with a high calorie intake and very little nutritional benefits. But integrating natural sweets and choosing certain artificial sweeteners can actually improve your diet and lead to happier eating habits.

Method 1
Having All Natural Sweets

  1. Image titled Enjoy Sweets on a Diet Step 1
    Go for breakfast foods with high amounts of fruit and vegetables. Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day and there are several options you can try for a healthy meal full of natural sweeteners, including:[1]
    • A breakfast smoothie made with a frozen banana, frozen strawberries or blueberries, coconut water, and chia seeds or hemp seeds. This gives you lots of natural sugar and fiber, as well as energy in the form of chia or hemp seeds.
    • A breakfast smoothie made with spinach, seedless grapes, and coconut water or low-fat coconut milk. This hydrating smoothie will get you ready for the day.
    • Non-fat greek yogurt with high fiber fruit like blueberries or raspberries, topped with ground nuts like almonds or pecans. The yogurt has about 9 g of sugar, 20 g of protein, and only 120 calories. The ground nuts are a good source of omega-3 fats.[2]
  2. Image titled Enjoy Sweets on a Diet Step 2
    Try frozen grapes. These frozen treats are naturally sweet and good for you. They are high in sugar and lower in fiber than other fruits, but they are a good way to wean off snacking on candy with artificial sweeteners and preservatives.[3]
    • Place a bunch of grapes in the freezer. Take out about 10 frozen grapes and eat them with a serving of nuts, like almonds, to prevent your blood sugar from spiking.
  3. Image titled Enjoy Sweets on a Diet Step 3
    Snack on trail mix with dried fruit. If you are a constant snacker and tend to go for sugary treats like gummy worms, lollipops, or chocolate bars, substitute these for trail mix with dried fruit.[4]
    • Dried fruit by itself can cause bloating and discomfort. It is also stripped of a lot of fiber during the dehydration process. Combine dried fruit with nuts in trail mix that is low in added sugar, no more than 5 grams a serving. The nuts will give you protein, fat and fiber that is lacking in dried fruit on its own.
    • Buy dried fruit like crystallized ginger, apple slices, banana slices, dried apricots, dried mango or dried figs and mix them with nuts so you have an easy snack when you have a sugar craving.
  4. Image titled Enjoy Sweets on a Diet Step 4
    Go for dark chocolate, in moderation. If you have a hard time letting go of chocolate-y treats, substitute milk chocolate with a piece of dark chocolate that has no added sugar. Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants, is usually less processed than milk chocolate, and contains less sugar.[5]
    • Try to buy one bar of high quality dark chocolate for as a special snack. The strong taste of dark chocolate should make it hard to overindulge.
  5. Image titled Enjoy Sweets on a Diet Step 5
    Add maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar to your meals. These natural sweeteners contain minerals and nutrients that are good for you, and that taste pretty good.[6]
    • Maple syrup isn’t just for pancakes; add it to salad dressings, sauces, in baking and on top of yogurt or in smoothies. It contains minerals like manganese and zinc. Look for all natural maple syrup at your local grocery store.
    • Honey contains 21 calories per a teaspoon, so only use a small amount per a meal. It is sweeter and thicker than sugar and is a natural source of antioxidants. Try honey over your yogurt and granola, to sweeten your tea, on toast, or in oatmeal. You can also bake with honey by replacing each cup of sugar in a recipe with one cup less 3 tablespoons of honey.
    • Agave is a liquid sweetener that comes from the cactus-like agave plant. The nectar is processed into a syrup, which contains 20 calories per a teaspoon. Agave is lower on the glycemic index than other sweeteners, so it won’t make your blood sugar spike. It also has a neutral flavor that works well in smoothies, tea, and baking. It is also about 50 percent sweeter than sugar. However, it is considered a processed sugar and is more expensive than honey or maple syrup.
  6. Image titled Enjoy Sweets on a Diet Step 6
    Make desserts with natural ingredients and sweeteners. Integrate natural sweeteners like honey, agave, and maple syrup into your baking so you can avoid eating processed and artificial sugars. Try several recipes, including:
    • Banana, coconut, and cashew cream tart, sweetened with maple syrup.[7]
    • Honey whole wheat banana nut loaf, sweetened with honey.[8]
    • An all-fruit popsicle, made with fresh fruit like watermelon, ice, and a touch of honey for sweetness.[9]
    • Banana coconut dairy free ice cream, sweetened with agave.[10]
    • Double dark chocolate and ginger brownies, sweetened with crystallized ginger and dark chocolate.[11]

Method 2
Adding Artificial Sweeteners to Your Diet

  1. Image titled Enjoy Sweets on a Diet Step 7
    Understand the health concerns around artificial sweeteners. These sweeteners are used to provide sweetness to foods and drinks without adding extra calories. Using artificial sweeteners in place of sugar can also prevent dental decay and control your blood sugar levels. However, all artificial sweeteners are chemically processed. There are many concerns about the health and safety of artificial sweeteners, but there is currently not enough research to link these sweeteners to cancer or other health issues.[12]
    • All artificial sweeteners sold or used in prepared foods in the United States are regulated by the FDA. The FDA has set an acceptable daily intake amount (ADI) of artificial sweeteners, about 15 mg/day, for most sweeteners.[13]
  2. Image titled Enjoy Sweets on a Diet Step 8
    Avoid aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose. These are three very common artificial sweeteners that may be detrimental to your health. They are all made of chemically tweaked versions of sugar and are often hard for your body to break down.[14][15]
    • Aspartame is 220 times sweeter than sugar and is found in diet drinks, sugar-free gum, and as a sugar packet. It is a synthetic sweetener sold under the brand names Equal and NutraSweet.
    • There is currently no conclusive evidence to link aspartame to cancer. But it can trigger headaches or stomach discomfort for certain people and it can create a bitter aftertaste when it’s cooked, so avoid using it in cooking. People with a rare condition called phenylketonuria (PKU) cannot break down phenylalanine, which is a component found in aspartame. People with PKU should not consume aspartame.
    • Saccharin is 200-700 times sweeter than sugar and is sold as a “tabletop sweetener”, commonly known as Sweet n’ Low or NectaSweet. It is approved for use as a food additive in beverages and processed foods by the FDA, but it is known for its unpleasantly sweet and metallic taste. It does not break down well under high heat so it should not be used for baking or cooking.
    • Sucralose, also canned Splenda, is sold in yellow packets and is 600 times sweeter than sugar. This sweetener is found in many products, including soft drinks, cereals and baked goods. Sucralose can withstand high heat, so you can use it for cooking and baking. However, like aspartame, sucralose can cause headaches and digestive issues.
  3. Image titled Enjoy Sweets on a Diet Step 9
    Go for Stevia leaf extract. This sweetener is derived from the leaf of a South American shrub and is a natural substance that is 200 times sweeter than sugar. Stevia-based products include Truvia and Pure Via.[16][17]
    • Stevia is a natural sweetener than is free of artificial chemicals. You can also use stevia in cooking and baking. The FDA has approved the use of Reb A (Stevia leaf) as a sugar substitute but the whole leaf and crude extracts, commonly sold as supplements in health food stores, have not been approved.
    • Keep in mind Stevia has a more potent taste, so always follow the recommended conversions on the Stevia label for baking and cooking.

Sources and Citations

Show more... (14)

Article Info

Featured Article

Categories: Featured Articles | Losing Weight