What’s the Best Way to Enjoy Sweets On a Healthy Diet?

Desserts are not considered health foods, but they can be part of a healthy diet. For me, a life without the occasional glazed doughnut for breakfast or Sour Patch Kids at the movies is a life not fully lived. Most Americans, including doctors and nutritionists, would likely agree. Nevertheless, studies show that sugar intake, in excess, can contribute to the development of diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. So when you inevitably consume foods loaded with sugar, is there a way to do so that minimizes the impact on your health—a sort of how to eat a sweet guide?

Recent studies suggest there could be a few tricks to eating healthy—and they don’t involve reducing your sugar intake. First of all, there’s no reason to cut sugar completely out of your diet. That’s a pretty hard thing to do, says Leslie Bonci, a registered dietician and sports nutritionist. She says it’s unlikely that most people will stick to a sugar-free diet. Everyone, to a certain extent, has a desire for sweet-tasting foods—and for good reason. Sugar provides us with needed energy. So, if we eat a diet completely devoid of sugar, “psychologically, that can be devastating.” It’s much more productive to think about how to keep your sugar intake as healthy as possible.

Excerpted from Popular Science

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