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A Dieter’s Dilemma: Selecting Sweet Treats

Do you crave sweets? Are desserts your dieting “weakness”? You can put a happy ending on your dining experience -- just plan it! Use the online menu planner before picking your dessert or digging in. Play around with different choices to see the impact they’ll have on your diet plan and nutrition tracker.

Scared to even look at the dessert menu? Don’t worry, not all desserts are a diet nightmare. Some options are naturally lower in calories, like fresh fruit, nonfat frozen yogurt and angel food cake. Other desserts aren’t too bad if you keep the portions in check. And don’t forget the delicious and already portion-controlled Jenny’s Cuisine® desserts (cookies, cake, cheesecake,...). Yum!

Here are some choices to consider and the portions that may fit into your weight loss meal plan:

Sweet TreatServingFood Exchanges
Bowl of fresh strawberries1 cup1 fruit
Scoop of vanilla ice cream½ cup1 starch, 2 fat
Chocolate nonfat frozen yogurt½ cup1 ½ starch
Small slice of unfrosted cake2” square 1 starch, 1 fat
Slice of frosted cake2” square2 starch, 1 fat
Brownie, unfrosted2” square1 starch, 1 fat
Cappuccino made with nonfat milk1 cup1 milk
Microwave popcorn3 cups1 starch, 1 fat
Cookie1 medium or 2 small1 starch, 1 fat
Slice of apple pie⅙ pie3 starch, 2 fat
Glazed doughnut3 ¾” across2 starch, 2 fat
Pumpkin or custard pie⅛ pie1 1/2 starch, 1 1/2 fat

Also try these strategies to to keep calories in check:

● Order one dessert with forks for all to share.

● Use the online planner to determine a portion under 250 calories and enjoying a splurge for your week.

● Put half or a third on your plate and bagging the rest to go. (Assuming you won’t finish it on the drive home...).

● Delay your intake of the sweet treat when a craving hits by distracting yourself. As the intensity of your craving goes down, you may choose to go without the tempting food or consciously choose to eat a smaller portion.

Sweets can be part of a healthy diet. It just requires a little planning and keeping moderation and portion control top-of-mind.