How to enjoy dessert without the guilt

By: Canadian Living

Author: Canadian Living


How to enjoy dessert without the guilt

By: Canadian Living
This article was originally titled, "Desserts in Moderation" in the Canadian Living special issue, Eat Right Volume 2. Visit the Special Issues page for information on how to buy this issue.

Canada's Food Guide may not include desserts, but that doesn't mean that occasional sweet treats can't be part of a balanced diet.

Enjoy dessert responsibly with the "CAN" principle
Control the portion size: Anything larger than the palm of your hand is too big.
Allow desserts once in a while: it's not truly a treat if you have it daily, and studies show that you have fewer dessert cravings if you only indulge every so often.
Never finish sub-par desserts: if you don't love every bite, it's not worth eating.

Make your own
If you like desserts but are watching your waistline, follow these healthy tips. When fat is vital to a recipe, replace bad fats with better fats, such as soft, non-hydrogenated margarine or oil instead of butter, shortening or lard.

Reduce fat and calories
• Replace heavy cream with evaporated skim milk.
• Use 2 egg whites instead of 1 egg.
• Replace half the fat with applesauce, mashed bananas or puréed prunes.  
• Swap sour cream with low-fat yogurt.
• Dust cake with cinnamon, cocoa or icing sugar instead of using frosting.
• Substitute cocoa powder for chocolate.
• Use artificial butter or nut flavouring (such as almond extract) to give the aroma of indulgence without using butter or nuts.

Reduce sugar
• Cut back on total sugar by one-third.
• Replace half of the sugar with a sugar substitute that is suitable for baking.
• Use sweet-tasting fruit, such as ripe banana, to replace half the sugar.
• Rely on spices or flavours that enhance sweetness, such as cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, orange rind and nutmeg.
• Add diced dried fruits to distribute sweetness more evenly.

Increase fibre
• Choose recipes made with lots of fruit.
• bake with whole wheat flour instead of white flour.
• Make crumbly crusts from high-fibre bran cereal instead of wafers or cookies.

Did you know that fruit is full of fibre?
Fibre is essential to a balanced diet, and adults need 25 to 35 grams daily for optimal health. Eating more fruit is a delicious way to increase your intake. Not only can fibre help keep you regular and relieve constipation, it has also been linked to reducing your risk for heart disease and colon cancer.

These fruits are fibre all-stars:
 Fresh fruit  Amount  Fibre
 Blackberries  1 cup (250 mL)  8 g
 Raspberries  1 cup (250 mL)  8 g
 Pear  1 medium  6 g
 Blueberries  1 cup (250 mL)  4 g
 Apple  1 medium  4 g
 Orange  1 medium  4 g
 Strawberries  1 cup (250 mL)  3 g
 Banana  1 medium  3 g
 Dried Fruit Amount Fibre
 Figs  1/2 cup (125 mL)  8 g
 Prunes  1/2 cup (125 mL)  6 g
 Apples  5 rings  3 g
 Raisins  2 oz (30 g)  2 g
 Apricots  6 halves  1 g

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How to enjoy dessert without the guilt