Healthy snacks for your sweet tooth

Many adults trying to maintain or lose weight may find themselves craving sweet foods. When you’re trying to save calories, sweet foods are often the first to go. Fortunately, you don’t have to eliminate all sweets.

As children take a break from school and the pace of summer activities is accelerated, Michigan State University Extension reminds that we can benefit from foods that provide us with vitamins and minerals, but also satisfy that “sweet tooth.” Many adults trying to maintain or lose weight may find themselves craving sweet foods. When you’re trying to save calories, sweet foods are often the first to go. Fortunately, you don’t have to eliminate all sweets. There are many delicious sweet treats that you can enjoy without breaking your diet. It will also help to complete the task of meeting the guidelines advised by the United States Department of Agriculture “MyPlate.” Check out the following list for ideas.

Fruit salad – Fruit is naturally sweet and makes an excellent choice for those who are trying to watch their weight but still satisfy a sweet tooth. A single piece, though, can get boring. By making a fruit salad and mixing up several different types of fruits, you’ll be able to enjoy a variety of tastes and textures.

Smoothies – Smoothies can be tangy and fruity or creamy. Throw different frozen fruits in with ice and water to make a nice tangy smoothie. Mixing frozen strawberries and bananas with milk will taste like a milkshake.

Yogurt parfait – Try using plain yogurt, fruits and granola, you can make a tasty parfait. Simply layer the different items in a tall glass. Remember that a single serving of granola is quite small. Double check on the box to make sure you are not serving more than one serving or calories will quickly add up.

Chocolate-dipped strawberries – Here’s another excellent way to get a sweet fix. You’ll get the taste of chocolate, but it’s not enough to make a significant impact. Most of the bulk of the dessert is a fruit. You can also dip other fruits in chocolate as well. Bananas and pears are a couple of tasty favorites.

Cantaloupe is great with a scoop of low-fat frozen vanilla yogurt. Or, try a skewer of watermelon, cantaloupe and red grapes.

Blueberries, strawberries and cherries belong to the berry family of fruits and contain a number of beneficial compounds. Berries are high in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory chemicals that help prevent age-related cognitive loss. Berries can be eaten whole, made into smoothies or added to cereals and other foods for their antioxidant effects and sweet taste.

Lastly, citrus fruits are a tart, tangy fruit packed with vital nutrients. In addition to vitamin C, citrus fruits also contain phytochemicals like flavonoids and carotenoids that have antioxidant effects. Citrus fruits, like oranges and grapefruits, may reduce the risk of cancer, anemia, heart disease and other health conditions. Citrus fruits can be eaten plain or juiced for their refreshing flavor and nutritional benefits.

Enjoy these tasty, sweet treats, while increasing your nutrient level and adding a satisfying compliment to your diet.

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