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20 Healthy Snacks For Your Sweet Tooth

20 Healthy Snacks For Your Sweet Tooth

Giving up sweets can be one of the hardest things to do when trying to live a healthier lifestyle. How can you address your desire for ice cream and candy without actually consuming those products? You can whip up some sweet snacks that are healthy instead! It sounds like an oxymoron, but if you try hard enough, you can put together something dessert-y that’s also good for you. Here are a few you can try for yourself!

1. Smoothie.

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    Smoothies are great, especially if you are fond of milkshakes. They aren’t quite as rich as their dairy based cousin, but still hit the sweet tooth spot. Simply blend some ice and fruit together, add a little yogurt or protein powder for texture, and voila! It’s like dessert, but healthy. Here’s a list of recipes to get you started!

    2. Blueberries.

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      A humble bowl of blueberries works wonders when you’re craving something sweet. Instead of going crazy with something wildly unhealthy, chow down on some sweet berries and absorb some awesome antioxidants while you’re at it!

      3. Raisin bread.

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        It’s like bread, but with raisins in it. Add a little bit of your favorite cheese spread if you are feeling adventurous. As you know, raisins are pretty sweet, so this will almost be like eating a slice of healthy cake if you prep it correctly.

        4. Dark chocolate.

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          I’m not saying you can go out and eat several bars of dark chocolate, as some might have you believe. A small portion however, will sate your desire for sweets while simultaneously imparting the beneficial effects of dark chocolate upon you.

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          5. Pancakes.

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            Surprised? The key here is to lay off the syrup, using fruit alternatives, and making the pancakes out of something healthier than just plain flour. Recipes I’ve seen use anything from whole wheat flour to a cinnamon oatmeal blend.

            6. Vegan ice cream.

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              Turns out vegans like ice cream so much that they decided to come up with their own version that doesn’t rely on dairy or artificial sweetening. What this basically is is frozen, pureed fruit (or pureed cashews in the case of the image). It won’t be as creamy as ice cream, but it will be sweet and smooth. See all of the ways you can make ice cream without any dairy products!

              7. Frozen yogurt.

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                Another ice cream alternative, though a bit creamier in consistency than the vegan option. It almost tastes like its unhealthier cousin (there’s a slight tang), while being far better for you. Top it with fresh fruit (not bits of candy) and you’ll have yourself a satisfying sweet tooth snack.

                8. Apple pie without the crust.

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                  This one’s pretty straight forward. All you do is bake the apple pie filling, sans the rich, buttery crust. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top and enjoy!

                  9. Peanut butter.

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                    I used to do this in college when I craved something sweet and had no access to anything decent. I’d simply grab a spoon and a jar of peanut butter, and dig in. It’s sweet, filling, and even has some protein to help you recover from workouts. Just don’t eat half the jar.

                    10. Fruit pouch.

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                      You probably see these at your local supermarket. They’re basically little pouches of pureed fruit, that you open with a twist of the cap. It’s like eating an apple, in a much more optimized format. Good if you want a quick jolt of something sweet on a busy day!

                      11. Sesame bar.

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                        You’ve probably seen these at your local Asian buffet. It’s basically sesame seeds held together by honey. While a bit difficult to eat, and certainly bad for your teeth, honey is fairly healthy as far as sweet products go.

                        12. Figs.

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                          Whether it’s the fruit itself or fig bars, figs fulfill your sweet tooth with a gusto few on this list can match. If you get raw ones, be sure to eat them quickly because they tend to go bad rapidly (I found this out the hard way).

                          13. Chocolate strawberries.

                          Delicious Chocolate Strawberries

                            It’s so good it’s almost unhealthy! Just don’t go too heavy on the chocolate dip and these can be a good alternative to your favorite candy bar.

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                            14. Parfaits.

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                              Greek yogurt has a great, creamy consistency that goes well with granola and fresh fruit. See what all the hipsters are raving about and try one!

                              15. Vanilla latte.

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                                As a heavy coffee drinker, I usually use lattes or cafe mochas to satisfy my sweet tooth. They aren’t the healthiest drinks in the world, but if they prevent you from consuming a thousand calorie dessert then it’s totally worth it.

                                16. Protein bar.

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                                  My preference is the chocolate peanut butter Zone bars, but there’s tons out there for you to choose. These bars almost taste like candy, except they’re chock full of essential nutrients instead of mostly sugar and fat.

                                  17. Fruit leather.

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                                    You’ve seen these at your local Trader Joe’s, I’d bet. It’s basically a healthy alternative to Fruit Roll Ups.

                                    18. Pudding!

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                                      Dean Winchester’s favorite. I like the chocolate variety, but sometimes stray to strawberry. Strawberry yogurt plus granola is awesome, I won’t lie.

                                      19. Whipped yogurt.

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                                        I can’t believe people aren’t aware that this stuff exists. Yoplait makes an awesome version of it that’s super cheap and always satisfies my sweet tooth. My favorite flavor is the strawberry, but chocolate and orange cream bar are pretty good as well…

                                        20. Cereal.

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                                          Ah, cereal. Good for breakfast, dinner, and dessert! Any kind will do, though if you go for Cinnamon Toast Crunch I won’t blame you. Pretty much all cereals are better for you than a bowl of ice cream, so have at it! You can even watch some cartoons while you’re eating it.

                                          Do you have any secret sweet-but-decently-healthy snacks you turn to on a daily basis? Share below!

                                          Featured photo credit: Blueberries!/ FromSandToGlass via flickr.com

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                                          Last Updated on May 22, 2019

                                          10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                                          10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                                          There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

                                          One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

                                          In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

                                          Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

                                          1. Cat Camel Stretch

                                          Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

                                          Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

                                          Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

                                          Here’s a video to guide you through:

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                                          2. Go for a Walk or a Run

                                          This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

                                          Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

                                          The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

                                          Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

                                          Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

                                          3. Jumping Jacks

                                          Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

                                          Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

                                          4. Abductor Side Lifts

                                          Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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                                          Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

                                          5. Balancing Table Pose

                                          This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

                                          Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

                                          ablab

                                            6. Leg Squats

                                            Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

                                            Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

                                            The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

                                            7. Push Ups

                                            You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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                                            An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

                                            Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

                                            This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

                                            8. Bicycle Crunches

                                            There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

                                            Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

                                            9. Lunges

                                            Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

                                            Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

                                            This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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                                            10. Bicep Curls

                                            You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

                                            Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

                                            Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

                                            Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

                                            Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

                                            These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

                                            You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

                                            Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

                                            More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

                                            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                                            Reference

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