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Living well: Dont give up dessert when developing a healthy lifestyle

April 26, 2011

Go ahead, have your cake and eat it too. When thinking about living a healthy lifestyle, losing weight, or staying in shape, most people think having dessert in not an option. By portioning your desserts and learning how to make your desserts healthier, you can still have dessert while living and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
 Mindful eating is being conscious and aware of the food that you are eating. Practicing mindful eating is important when considering desserts as part of an overall healthy diet. If you plan ahead and know that you will be eating a dessert, you can fix your plate accordingly by eating smaller portions of your meal. Then, when it comes time for dessert, you can have a small portion and not feel any guilt. The American Dietetic Association recommends eating dark chocolate as a way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Studies show that eating small amounts of dark chocolate can be beneficial in maintaining a healthy heart and blood vessels. Also, not all desserts are loaded with carbohydrates, fat, and sugar. A few ways to make desserts better for you include using sugar substitutes, substituting light margarine for butter, adding fresh fruits when possible, and using low fat or fat free products when cooking or baking desserts.
Don’t give up your desserts. Everyone needs to satisfy their sweet tooth occasionally. However, instead of indulging in rich, decadent desserts, try going for a lighter, healthier version of desserts that you enjoy.
 
Low-Calorie Lemon
Cheese Cake Squares
Ingredients
Crust:
1 cup crushed graham crackers
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 stick light butter, melted
Filling:
1 package fat-free cream cheese
1/2 cup Splenda
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 Tbsp Flour
1/4 cup Fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp baking powder
 
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 8-inch round spring form pan with aluminum foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. In a small bowl, combine first three ingredients. Press into prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes. Beat cream cheese, Splenda, and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs and flour. Mix well. Stir in lemon juice and baking powder. Pour over crust. Bake 25-28 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Store leftovers in the refrigerator. Yield: 18 servings
 
Nutrition Information (per serving) Calories 77; Fat 2g; Sodium 86 mg; Carbohydrate 13; Sugar 10g; Protein 2g.
Banana Pudding
 Ingredients:
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup Splenda® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
2 cups reduced-fat milk
2 tablespoons egg substitute
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon light butter
1 teaspoon banana extract
1 1/2 cups sliced bananas
 
Directions: Blend splenda, and cornstarch together in a small mixing bowl. Set aside. Place milk, egg substitute, vanilla, and salt in a medium saucepan. Stir well. Add splenda mixture and stir well. Add butter. Cook over medium-low heat 4-5 minutes while stirring constantly. Cook until mixture begins to thicken and bubble. Remove from heat. Add banana extract. Stir well. Pour pudding into a small bowl. Spray surface lightly with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap by laying plastic wrap directly on top of the pudding surface. This will prevent any ‘skim” from forming on the surface. Refrigerate 2 hours before serving. To serve, diving pudding equally into 6 individual serving bowls and top with sliced bananas.
 
Nutrition Information: Calories 130; Total fat 3g; Saturated fat 2g; Cholesterol 10 mg; Sodium 160 mg; Total Carbohydrates 22g; Dietary Fiber 1g; Sugars 15g; Protein 4g.
In this recipe, sugar substitute, reduced-fat milk, and light brown butter are all used to make this recipe healthier.

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