The same amount of carbohydrate in any carbohydrate-type food affects blood sugar levels in the same way. These foods include: breads, cereals, fruit, desserts… So you can have a little bit of cake, ice cream, even chocolate… when your sweet tooth craves it…but in moderation, of course. These heart-sized treats were delish and half a heart-cake (about 3 mouth-watering bites) was enough to fulfill my sweet desire!!
Note: Gluten-Free Doesn’t Mean Low Fat or Sugar Free
Gluten Free simply means it is free of the gluten protein that may distress certain digestive systems. Although some GF products are getting more sophisticated with healthier nutrient profiles than before, many products still are high in simple carbs and low in dietary fiber. That is because white rice flour is often used to replace the wheat; and this type of rice is stripped of the bran (all the dietary fiber that not only slows digestion but helps regulate blood sugar levels). Additionally in GF desserts, sugars are added for flavor and texture just as they are added to traditional treats. That being said, it is still okay to enjoy what ever treat you desire on occasion, in moderation.
Nutri-Savvy‘s simple rule:
- “3 for 3″ – 3 bites for 1) taste 2) flavor and 3) texture.
- Eat slowly to let the sensations linger on your tongue.
I recently enjoyed a bite-sized piece of a delicious homemade apple tartlet – inspired by Pamela’s Apple Galette recipe (made in a mini muffin pan – hence the term tartlet because it is quite smaller than a traditional tart). I used Pamela’s Products GF artisan flour, but my husband loved it so much and was surprised to find it was gluten-free! That being said, just because it is gluten-free doesn’t mean it has less sugar and is low in calories. In fact, many gluten-free products contain a surprising amount of sugar and carbs. So enjoy – but you still need to watch your carbs. : )
Remember, sweets generally have more fat and calories – so keep your portion small to stay fit and healthy. So yes, you can have your cake and eat it, too. But first consider your options.
Compare these two carb-containing foods:
Food Item: Yogurt, plain, low fat
Food Quantity: 8-oz container
Note: you can sweeten with 1/4 cup of blueberries. It adds just 5.25 grams of carbs and only 20 more calories. Add a little stevia if you like — no additional calories.
- vs -
Food Item: Milk Chocolate
Food Quantity: 1 -oz
Which will you choose – the yogurt or the milk chocolate?
Well, it depends on the situation, right? For your regular routine, I suggest you opt for the yogurt*. For the same amount of carbs, you can eat more of the yogurt and get powerful nutrients including calcium and vitamin D. Yogurt is also a good source of protein (12 g), and provides functional, friendly bacteria for healthy colon/digestive function. Furthermore, weight-loss research shows a diet rich in calcium-rich foods stimulates the body to burn more fat and inhibits the development of new fat cells — great for fat- and weight- reduction.
You don’t have to ban your favorite sweets altogether. Remember my simple 3 Bite Rule and limit to an occasion (don’t make it a daily practice). When the holidays bring in many “occasions”, sometimes a daily gathering of eats & treats, choose a day or two during the week you will enjoy a sweet treat and prepare to eat healthier options during the other gatherings (usually you can find a fruit plate or veggies and dip – if it’s a potluck you can always prepare a healthier dish you enjoy).
*Some people enjoy a small piece of dark chocolate daily. So, yes, you can fit that into your healthy lifestyle if you (a) have met your nutrient requirements by consuming a plant-based diet with a healthy balance of proteins , carbs and fats and (b) making a little caloric room in your daily intake for a 150 cal (or less) treat so that little treat doesn’t add up in weight gain over time.
Q: How do you stay healthy during the holidays?