All foods can fit into a healthy diet plan. However, many people have difficulty practicing moderation when it comes to sweets. Although they are tasty, many sweet treats contain large amounts of added sugar and contribute excess calories without providing any nutritional benefits. Use the following "do's and don'ts" to help you satisfy your craving for sweets without going overboard.

Do
  • Enjoy sweets in moderation. Reduce your portion size and focus on eating slowly and mindfully to fully enjoy sweet foods. 
  • Choose fruit more often. Fruit is nature's candy that has the added bonus of having key vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
  • Know what works best for you. If you are someone who wants a little something sweet every day, make your treats healthier. If you are someone who wants to have the real deal and is not willing to make substitutions, enjoy your decadent dessert less often.
  • Pair sweet things with nutrient-dense foods. Make the sweet element a supporting actor rather than the star of the show. For example, pair a small amount of chocolate with fruit, nuts, or yogurt.   
Don't
  • Don't deprive yourself. Restricting yourself too much may lead to overindulgences later.
  • Don't keep desserts in the house. If you have a hard time resisting those cookies in the cabinet or the tub of ice cream in the freezer, don't keep them around. Instead make yourself walk or bike to a bakery or ice cream store to get your sweet fix.

Grab & Go Sweet Treats:

  • Fruit in many forms (smoothie, fruit salad, frozen fruit, chocolate-covered fruit, fruit popsicle)
  • Low-fat/low-sugar pudding cup
  • Small granola bar (Kashi, Special K, FiberOne, KIND)
  • 1 ounce cocoa roasted almonds (Blue Diamond, Emerald)
  • 1 ounce homemade trail mix
  • Low-fat/light yogurt
  • Graham crackers
  • Small square of dark chocolate
  • Light ice cream or frozen yogurt bar (Halo Top, Enlightened, Yasso)

Practice
Swap your typical go-to dessert with one of this week's featured recipes or try one of the "Grab & Go Sweet Treats" listed in the article.

Recipes
Old Fashioned Fruit Crumble
Chocolate Mug Brownie
Banana-based Ice Cream