6 Treats It’s Okay To Eat

We all know what it’s like to get a sudden craving for a particular snack. If you satisfy your craving now, you are less likely to overeat and binge later.

Here are some tweaks you can make to boost the nutritional value of your favorite treats.

Craving: Milkshake
Choose Instead: A banana split made with one cup frozen yogurt, topped with a handful of chopped almonds.
By adding a banana, you’re adding potassium and fiber to the calcium and vitamin D already in the yogurt. The almonds on top provide monosaturated fat and vitamin E. According to the American Dietetic Association (ADA), the good fats found in almonds may help lower cholesterol and keep your heart healthy, and the vitamin E is an important antioxidant that helps protect cells from everyday damage.

Craving: French fries
Choose Instead: Baked sweet potato wedges
Sweet potatoes are richer that white potatoes in fiber, which is beneficial for the digestive system and heart health. If you’re not ready to trade in your white potatoes you can still save calories just by switching your cooking method from frying to baking.

Craving: Beef tacos with sour cream
Choose Instead: Turkey tacos with low-fat sour cream and veggies
By switching from ground beef to ground turkey, you are saving more than 150 calories and 16 grams of fat per serving. Pile on the veggies – the more color you add, the more nutrient-rich your meal becomes and you will feel fuller.

Craving: A three-egg cheese omelet with bacon and a bagel
Choose Instead: An omelet made with one yolk and three egg whites, feta cheese and veggies with turkey bacon and a whole-wheat English muffin.
Removing some of the egg yolks saves calories while retaining the protein. Feta cheese is lower fat than other cheese. Turkey bacon is packed with protein and also saves you 83 calories per ounce. A 3-ounce bagel has about 130 calories more than a light English muffin.

Craving: Milk chocolate candy bar
Choose Instead: A square of dark chocolate
Chocolate and cocoa are naturally rich in antioxidants that may positively affect the cardiovascular system, kidney function, brain health, immune system, diabetes and blood pressure, according to the ADA. The ADA suggests dark chocolate bars made with at least 40 percent cocoa bean, or “cacao,” to get the most antioxidant power.

Craving: Potato chips and French onion dip
Choose Instead: Baked chips and salsa
Trading in traditional potato chips for the baked variety results in a saving of nearly nine grams of fat per one-ounce serving. Salsa has no fat and you will also benefit from the lycopene in the tomatoes, which the ADA says may be associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Learn how to eat healthy for life. Gwinnett Medical Center’s Diabetes & Nutrition Education Center offers Diet by Design. In Diet by Design, one of our registered dietitians can work with you to develop a customized nutrition plan to meet your specific needs. Call 678-312-6040 to speak with one of registered dieticians or visit gwinnettmedicalcenter.org/dnec for more information.


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