About Healthy
Dessert Recipes

With so-called healthy dessert recipes we are entering a grey zone. How we look at the health aspect of any food type is often the result of how the media taught us.

Foods suitable for people with a (chronic) disease isn't necessarily the issue here. Rather, how all of us approach our daily intake.

... and whether it's ok to have a dessert or not in the general sense. A good one could have things like:

Nutrients and Calories

Raspberry meringue dessert, one of the healthy dessert recipes.Raspberry meringue low in dough.

But a dessert will stay a dessert, sweet and delicious. Whether you add more granola, oat, more fruit, fibres, etc...

...the health effects compared with certain traditional desserts (ice-cream, eclairs, pumpkin pie, fruit pie, etc...) is insignificant.

With a lot of the older pastries, their ingredient listing qualify as part of the healthy dessert recipes.

That changes when there's an extremely low nutrient content like for example cotton candy

According to some studies, refined sugar depletes B vitamins indirectly. We need these vitamins to metabolize our food into energy.

Cotton candy doesn't have B vitamins so the body is going to use what is left in your blood stream. It doesn't store anywhere else.

We need to start thinking in terms of calories and the quality of the desserts. 

A dessert once or twice a week is part of a normal nutritious diet. It can only work if your daily food intake is nutritious enough.

What is Good Enough?

It's not so much the dessert but what your daily diet consists of that matters. 

Consistency is the keyword...

...without deprivation! We all need proteins, carbs and good fats as much as micro nutrients. We need them on a daily bases.

When fat and simple sugars are high and nutrient content near zero, we do not consider them good, healthy dessert recipes. 

If calories are a concern low carb desserts or low fat desserts can be really delicious. You would be surprised what's out there. 

Otherwise try a New York cheesecake made with low-fat cream cheese

The idea is to implement as much variation as possible to cover those foods with a low nutritive value.

Healthy dessert recipes are usually those with enough variety within them and with an acceptable amount of proteins, carbs and fats.

One remark, fruit does NOT count as added sugars! Not in science, not in patisserie.

Is Refined Sugar
Good for You?

The truth is, your body does NOT need refined sugar at all. It has few nutrients and no fibres, unless you add it in yourself.

It has no vitamins, tiny amounts of electrolytes and hardly any trace elements. White refined sugar is almost 100% simple carbohydrates.

What scientists often refer to as "added" sugar isn't necessarily bad for you.

The question is how much your body can process on a daily basis and how much added sugar is "hidden" in the foods/meals you have. This is crucial to your personal health.

About 80% (in 2018) of all processed foods sold at the supermarket contain large amounts. These can be:

  • Packaged meals
  • Beverages (Soft drinks, beers, lemonades, etc...)
  • Sauces (oyster sauce, ketchup, mayonaise, etc...)
  • Yoghurts
  • Potatoe chips
  • Certain breads
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Canned food

...and a long list of others. As sugar is a high energy source, too much can accumulate in your body as fat fast. But that's not the only problem.

Please read the labels, they are there for a reason.

How Can Sugar
Make Us Sick?

Liquid sugar (cola and other soft drinks) is the largest part of a modern diet of added sugars. Processed foods holds a firm second place.

We're drinking and eating too much of it, overloading our vital organs. Research has shown it's responsible for liver disease, heart disease and diabetes

Obesity is known to cause certain disorders but isn't always the cause.

In fact, too much sugar can make you sick without being obese. I can attest to this since I have had non-alcoholic fatty liver myself. Thanks to a very sweet tooth.

Some symptoms were:

  • Alcoholic drinks made me naucious.
  • Eating sweets every day made me tired and brainfoggy.
  • From time to time I would get liver pain (I thought I had galstones).

How did it Happen?

Sugar is made up of two main components: glucose and fructose.

The culprit here is the fructose. The liver can only process so much in a day.

Fructose can only be processed by this vital organ. High amounts has similar effect on the liver as does alcohol. That's the scary part!

Overloading on this substance metabolizes the excess into liverfat, over time leading to non-alcoholic fatty liver.

It's not clear how that happens but there's a strong correlation between high sugar intake and liver disease. For more clinical information go to Sugarscience. Courtesy of the University of California SF. 

Many people in Western-Europe and North-America have some form of non-alcoholic fatty liver without knowing.

How Much in Healthy
Dessert Recipes?

Remember, healthy dessert recipes are only a minor part of a diet. We need to look at the whole picture of our daily food intake.

Some countries recommend a maximum of 12 teaspoons of sugar a day. While the average dessert has 4-5 teaspoons.

However, the WHO (World Health Organization) goes one step further and recommends 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men on a daily basis.

It's up to us to consider this a new found freedom or a restriction. 

One dessert serving usually contains 4 to 5 teaspoons of sugar. This could be considered part of the healthy dessert recipes group.

I could advise to use more sweeteners but I believe in moderation. Too much of anything is never good for anyone.

In this day and age, we need to detach ourselves of the idea that only the best tasting food is good enough for us, and natural nutritious food, like our grandmothers made isn't.

Cravings are somewhat like an addiction and if you crave for doughnuts, it only means you lack energy. Your body seeks it out but it's you who chooses what to eat.

Too often we choose the wrong foods, often something quick and/or sweet

Luckily, a sugar craving isn't a real addiction.

Why do we Crave?

Because we identified our energy need with something sweet and good. That's the simple answer. Research has shown that simple carbohydrates increases your hunger sensation...

...making you eat more, making you want more!

Know that a craving for sweets can be "unlearned". Try to avoid any added sugar (in your meals, sauces, etc...). Read the labels on packaged foods.

Those cravings will subdue after a week.

It may be beneficial to minimize all refined carbs (white flour, starch, etc...), even if it was only meant to save them for a dessert on a Sunday.

But you don't have to go that far. By simply lowering refined sugars you'll do your body a great favor.

Some people find it a real health benefit, even when they continue making their healthy dessert recipes. 

Remember, you can't eat what you don't have in the kitchen cabinet and frig.


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