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Healthy Dessert ChoicesHealthy Dessert Choices


Healthy Dessert Choices

You can lose weight and still satisfy your sweet tooth. The key is finding treats with fewer calories, more nutrients, and fewer added sugars.

Fancy Fresh Fruit

Low in calories but rich in valuable fiber and beneficial antioxidants, fruit is an obvious healthy dessert. Freeze blended fruits to make a popsicle, puree frozen mango and pineapple for a simple dairy-free ice cream, or stack fruit slices like this orange kiwi fruit salad with honey yogurt.

Unsweetened Dried Fruit

Dried fruit can be loaded with calories. The drying process extracts the moisture making it easy to eat several apricots or plums in one sitting. Many dried fruits have added sugar, but the sweetness is concentrated in dry fruit, so there is no need for added sugar. Make your own or buy unsweetened varieties. Eating a small handful of dried cherries or raisins is a healthy way to satisfy a candy craving while increasing your fiber intake.

Dark Chocolate

Flavanols, like those found in chocolate, have been found to lower blood pressure, increase blood flow, and reduce blood clot formation. To maximize the flavanols, choose dark chocolate (at least 70 percent cacao solids) and limit servings to one ounce to avoid going overboard on calories.

Nut Butters

When ground into a spreadable paste, most nuts have a concentrated sweetness even without added sugar. Enjoy a teaspoon or two for dessert, and you'll reap the same nutritional benefits as eating a few nuts. Add more flavor without excess calories by stirring in cocoa powder or spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.

Homemade Frozen Yogurt

Making frozen yogurt at home allows you to combine the health benefits of fresh fruit with a boost of protein and calcium. Use an ice cream maker, like this strawberry mango frozen yogurt, or use a blender to create a frozen yogurt that is more like soft serve or a thick smoothie.


Lori Rice, M.S., is a nutritional scientist and author with a passion for healthy cooking, exercise physiology, and food photography.
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