Part 3 – Food For Indulgent Treats
Indulgence does not have to come at the expense of your waistline. Dieticians recommend some not so naughty but nice foods for those decadent moments.
1. Dark Chocolate
If the very idea of having to give up chocolate upsets you, do not despair. Dark chocolate is an excellent alternative to milk chocolate.
Dark chocolate retains higher levels of flavonoids from natural cocoa, and falvonoids are a source of antioxidants and are good for the heart.
Dark chocolates should have a minimum of 35 per cent cocoa solids in relation to all the other ingredients in the product.
You do not need to consume large amounts of cocoa-rich products to reap the benefits. Try 20 to 50g – about two to five squares – of dark chocolate up to three to four times a week. At about 75 calories for four small squares of dark chocolate, it is a treat you can indulge in without feeling guilty.
Gelato can be a healthy and delicious substitute for ice cream because gelato recipes usually include more milk and less cream. Therefore, they contain less fat and calories than regular ice cream. An occasional one to two scoops of gelato in place of regular ice cream can be a healthy indulgence.
Instead of grabbing a pack of potato crisps, go for roasted, unsalted nuts as they can be just as satisfying. Nuts are high in protein, a good source of fibre and have beneficial monounsaturated fats, calcium and iron.
By choosing a mixture of nuts, you will get a variety of important vitamins and minerals. Choose the unsalted or lightly salted versions that are not fried or roasted.
4. Dried fruit
Snacking on dried fruit is not only a smart way to enjoy more fruit but also a great way to satisfy your craving something sweet. Dried fruit also make good snacks-to-go.
Choose those with little or no added sugar. Apricots, berries (such as cranberries) and raisins are often dried with just their natural sweetness.
Dried fruit have a greater nutrient density, fibre content and antioxidant content than fresh fruit. Being nutrient-packed, be aware that dried fruit are also higher in calories. They can be added to a trail mix of nuts and sees, or to fresh fruit salads for a splash of colour and a healthy dose of nutrients.
5. Red wine
The number of social events on your calendar show how you can easily rack up many extra calories from alcohol. Make a simple swap. Red wine can be a healthier choice at about 120 calories per glass.
Research suggests that a glass of red wine a day may help to lower the risk of heart disease, thanks to the phytochemicals found in the skin and seeds of grapes used to make the wine.
If you drink alcohol regularly, consider switching to red wine (women up to two 100ml glasses a day, and men up to three glasses a day).