You don’t have to deny your cravings for sweets to live a healthy lifestyle. Just commit to changing the way you “do” sweet.
Did you know that chocolate, especially the darker variety with 70-85% cocoa solids, is actually quite nutritious?
According to Medical News Today, dark chocolate is rich in minerals, such as iron and magnesium, and antioxidants called flavonoids, which can benefit the body.
Research also suggests that eating a moderate amount of dark chocolate can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure, making chocolate not as taboo as we previously thought.
So, instead of indulging in something laden with sugar and setting you back on your health journey, the team at Herbalife Nutrition suggests you give these chocolate alternatives a try and satisfy your sweet tooth without the guilt.
Bite-sized chocolate treats
Because the taste of chocolate is so strong, you can get away with using a lot less of it. So, to appease those chocolate cravings, try mixing it with other ingredients like banana and peanut butter before popping it into the freezer for some delicious nibbles when you need it.
More delicious ideas are to dip citrus fruit segments into melted dark chocolate for a burst of flavour or drizzle melted chocolate over freshly popped popcorn before turning on the television.
Indulge in your favourites
The trick is to cook smarter. There’s no need to compromise on flavour when you’re craving chocolate cake, mousse, or ice cream. There are many ways to still reach your goals while indulging a little.
For example, you can combine avocado, cacao powder, raw honey, and almond milk for a delicious chocolate-tasting mousse or add some chocolate-flavoured protein powder to smoothies for a chocolaty start to your day.
Don’t knock it until you try it
Are you feeling a little adventurous and want to try something new? There is a trend making the rounds that pairs chocolate with the most unexpected ingredients. Would you try chocolate-dipped asparagus?
How about chocolate-covered olives and sundried tomatoes? Or even chocolate-coated garlic cloves? These options might sound a little outlandish, but without trying it, can you really say the flavours don’t go?
Try experimenting in the kitchen with chocolate and fruit and veggies – you'll be surprised at the tasty yet unusual results.
There’s always a healthier way around your favourite treats. The key to staying on track lies in moderation.
So instead of reaching for a giant-sized slab when the sugar cravings come knocking, try incorporating small amounts of dark chocolate into meals and snacks instead. Your body and waistline will thank you.
This originally appeared on IOL