Dessert That is Actually Healthy For You

Desserts are just some of the tastiest foods ever created! That sweet, heavenly goodness! Cakes, cookies, candy, doughnuts, macaroons, you name it, they are very hard to resist at times (unless you prefer savory foods, of course). Unfortunately, desserts are also known for being the most unhealthy for you mainly due to its sugar content. Sugar just has its way of damaging our bodies and allowing certain diseases like Diabetes to develop. So does that mean we should give it all up, completely? Of course not!

Before we dive into what desserts are healthy for you, let’s first see what sugar is even for.

Purpose of Sugars

Naturally, sugar is a form of energy that our bodies rely quite heavily on. It is quick and it is simple for the body to use. We use it to move around, to think, exercise, and pretty much anything that requires energy. Without sugars, our bodies would not be able to function properly. Sugar is like the gasoline to our vehicles. You know those days when your brain doesn’t work at all since you skipped a meal? Yeah, that experience.

In the old days though, people only consumed just the right amount of sugar and burn up just the right amount of that sweet fuel. These days, however, are much different. Many foods contain excessive sugars now. In addition to that, our physical activities most likely have dropped significantly. Probably even more so with the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine. (Click here for some methods to work out while still at home). Our stress have probably increased due to life’s demands which causes us to crave sweet things even more.

So then, what happens when we over consume sugar? Shouldn’t we have a good storage of that sweet fuel for emergency use later on then with no harm?

Problems with Over Consuming Sugar

Unfortunately, our bodies do not work like that to store the excessive sugars without consequences. There always has to be a good balance of things. Here are some of the problems that can arise with the over consumption of sugar:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Cholesterol problem
  • Weight gain
  • Cancer
  • Kidney disease
  • Dental decay
  • Liver disease
  • Mental illnesses or decline (Depression, Anxiety, Dementia)
  • Fatigue

Hearing all those complications, it probably makes one not want to consume it anymore, right? Not quite. We may still want it here and there, especially if you have a sweet tooth like myself. Of course, moderation is always key. On the days you know that you will be over consuming sugar, you will want to engage in some form of physical activity to burn off that sweet fuel. This is so that the sugars do not store up in ways that can be detrimental for your health like the ones listed above.

Another option is to find alternatives that can replace and even fulfill those sweet cravings. In fact, there are even some sweets and desserts that is actually healthy for you!

What Desserts Are Actually Healthy For You?

You are probably already aware that one of the best sweets or dessert that is healthy for you are fruits! Fruits contain so many nutrients and minerals that are essential for our bodies to function properly. Nectarines, apples, berries, and bananas are some great examples. But aren’t they also sweet though?

When it comes to sweetness, the sugary substance we are most familiar with is called glucose. Fruits have a different type of sugar called fructose, or at least a higher content of it than glucose for some. Fructose has the advantage of raising your blood sugar levels MUCH slower than glucose. The form of sugar that our bodies uses is the glucose form, so before fructose can be used, it must first be converted to glucose and that requires energy. It’s almost like burning fuel to gain fuel!

Still, you should consume fruits like anything else in moderation. Do pay attention to the glycemic index of the various fruits so you know how much sugar you will be ingesting. A score of 100 on the glycemic index is considered a high sugary product so aim for fruits that are lower in score. Go for something that has a score of 55 or less. Here is a list of common foods and their glycemic index levels:

Now, the other dessert that you might not be aware of that is actually healthy for you is chocolate! Wait what? Yes, you read that correctly, chocolate.

Why is Chocolate Good For You

In addition to how tasty chocolate is, it also has many other health benefits which can include:

  • Essential minerals
  • Antioxidants (absorbs free oxygen radicals which damages our cells)
  • Improve heart health
  • Improve brain and mental health
  • Good for fetal health
  • Improve cholesterol

Recommendations

There are different forms of chocolate ranging in their level of sugar content. Milk chocolate is probably the tastiest because it has the most sugar content. Dark chocolate is what you want to go for since it most resembles cocoa, the active ingredient that contributes to the health benefits listed above.

You might be tempted to go for chocolate that is 100% cocoa because why not right? It’s the form that will have the most health benefits! Although that is true, you also want to consider how it tastes as well. Cocoa is quite BITTER. At 100% cocoa, I don’t even think it would be the same sweet chocolate that we know of anymore.

I once ate dark chocolate that was 90% cocoa. It was definitely a challenge trying to swallow that. I would say somewhere around 70% to 80% cocoa would be more ideal and manageable. This brand has a variety of dark chocolates with different amounts of cocoa for you to try. Perhaps you can see how much percentage of cocoa you can handle!

If you really want to take on the challenge, there is a 99% cocoa dark chocolate. If you end up buying it and unable to tolerate, you can still melt it at a low temperature, add milk and sugar, and turn it into milk chocolate. No shame in that at all!

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Summary

We may have a sweet tooth and love all types of sweets and desserts. Although sugar is a natural fuel that our body utilizes to function on a daily basis, an over consumption of it is not so great. But it can’t hurt to enjoy it every once in a while. There are even desserts that are actually healthy for you like fruit and chocolate! The key thing to pay attention to here is to always consume with moderation. What would life be like without sweets right?

You can challenge your friends to see who could tolerate the highest percentage of cocoa with the 99% cocoa dark chocolate. Remember that you can always melt it down, add some milk and sugar to it to turn it into milk chocolate if you cannot tolerate it.

Did you enjoy this article about healthy desserts? Did you attempt the 99% cocoa dark chocolate challenge? Please leave a comment below!

28 thoughts on “Dessert That is Actually Healthy For You”

  1. Indeed, some of my friends have gained weight during the lockdown. Lack of movement/exercise and perhaps stress eating too..

    Fruits make an excellent replacement for that need for sugar. I love dark chocolate but similarly, I couldn’t eat the ones above 80%. However, despite all these, ‘eating in moderation’ principle still applies. 

    Vegan desserts have been on the rise lately! I wonder what are your thoughts on that?

    Cheers.

    SAM

    Reply
    • Hello there, Sam! I think vegan desserts are great and delicious too! But like with anything, moderation is key. I guess something to keep in mind with other desserts are starches or flour products since they’re made of glucose too. Too much of it can also lead to those health issues mentioned in my article. Often times I see people give themselves a reason to eat more of certain desserts that are “not too sweet” but that’s where it can become dangerous.

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  2. Thanks for this. In this new stay-at-home era where people may be more prone to cravings especially sugar cravings, providing healthier alternatives is really golden. I never knew that fruits were desserts although that’s totally on me. For the dark chocolate, does melting it and adding milk not increase the sugar level? I’d like to know

    Reply
    • Hello there! In some cultures, fruit is actually the dessert that people eat after their main course meal. In America, our typical desserts have such a huge variety like cakes, cookies, ice cream, etc. And yes, melting the dark chocolate and adding milk to it does increase the sugar level a little (not as much as adding sugar though). From what I remember, milk has a different type of sugar called lactose which is actually a 2 part sugar molecule composed of galactose and glucose. Once it is digested, the 2 part molecule breaks apart and the body can now use that glucose. Galactose is converted into glucose as well but it requires some energy.

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  3. You have made me happy. All my life I have felt guilty whenever I eat chocolate. And it’s so nice to read this other side that chocolate can also be good. That it may help prevent heart disease. If chocolate can lower our blood pressure and make our heart, veins, and arteries work better then I’ll go eat that bar I have in the fridge. I know that chocolate is still candy, and it has extra calories, sugar, and fat. So I’ll always eat it sparingly.

    Reply
    • Hello there, Ann! I am glad to hear that this post made you happy. I definitely hear a lot about how candy is bad for you, but there are definitely some good healthy ones too like chocolate. Milk chocolate is typically the tasty one with extra calories, sugar, and fat, but if you can tolerate the higher percentage of cocoa ones (dark chocolate), you can consume more than your usual amount if you like.

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  4. This was actually such a helpful post! I have been dealing with type 1 diabetes for the last 18 years, and because of that, I have learned to put sugars aside and enjoy the things that I love but always keeping an eye out for carbohydrates. It’s sad to see that there are so many people dealing with diabetes that don’t have the opportunity to enjoy something sweet because it might spike up their glucose levels. It’s always so motivational to find alternatives for the things that you love and enjoy.

    Reply
    • Hi there, Stephanie! Sorry that you have to struggle with Type 1 Diabetes. As someone who has a sweet tooth, I imagine it must’ve been really difficult that you had to put down most sweets and desserts. Fortunately, there are alternatives that are on the healthier side. Hopefully chocolate and fruits are one of them for you! I feel like whenever patients go to the doctor’s office, they tend to be told what not to eat rather than what they can.

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  5. Interesting. I don’t have a sweet tooth. I don’t like cheesecake, sweet desserts, sweet drinks, none of that for me. What I like is dark chocolate at 70%. If it tastes sweet, I don’t eat any more of it. I have read about the dangers of having too much sugar in my diet, and I have no fear of this because I don’t like sweets. I checked your list of foods, because I also know that there are some foods in which the sugar content is somewhat hidden. I copied it because I don’t want to have to deal with any diabetes in my lifetime. Thank you for this information.

    Reply
    • Hi there, JJ! That’s quite a blessing to not have a sweet tooth actually. That would actually eliminate the risks of many diseases caused by excessive sugars. Do be careful with the sodium intake too though. Usually, there’s a preference between sweet or savory/salty types of foods since that’s what gives food its flavor. I’ll probably write something on that in the future.

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  6. Interesting article, I was captured by the title ‘ Desert that is actually healthy for you’. I have lost interest in dessert due to the fact that most of what I would love to have is actually unhealthy, This article was a kind reminder that my sweet tooth does not have to completely suffer if we have sweety healthy stuff like dark chocolate. Thank you .

    Reply
    • Hello there! That’s actually great that you lost that interest in desserts. Definitely always good to go for the healthier options of different (unhealthy) foods.

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  7. I love pudding, sweeties, chocolates all kinds of desserts. My family is always looking for the next best tasty dessert. I have been trying to find some healthy recipes that still fill that sweet tooth craving. This website not only gives you the catalogue for natural candies but it also tells you why and how the body needs and uses sugar. This information should be on all sugar products. 

    Reply
    • Hello there! It’s nice to know there’s another person who has a sweet tooth! I am glad you found this article to be informative. I also agree that there should be some educational info on sugar products.

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  8. We definitely all love desserts and I’m one of them. Just the thought of fruit and chocolate together starts me salivating and it’s so yummy. But as you said the sugar fix can be bad for us as I have found. It has to be a very careful day that I eat sugary deserts as they spike my insulin which really isn’t fun.

    Reply
    • Hi there, Lily! Chocolate and fruit are definitely one of the best combinations for a dessert idea. Definitely have to be careful with other types of desserts that have higher sugar content which in turn causes spikes in insulin.

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  9. Hi Mike, pleased to meet you again. I’ve just gone through your article on dessert that is actually healthy. Frankly speaking, I actually never thought that there is in the world a healthy dessert, after all, it is true that most of them contain a lot of sugar like you clearly stated. I am going to make sure that I get used to desserts with fruits than more sugar. Thanks for sharing this amazing piece of writing with us. I definitely will be sharing this helpful information further to spread the word.

    Reply
    • Hello there again! It is quite interesting that there are healthy desserts out there. Almost seems to good to be true but they are definitely out there. I am sure there are even some other ones that I haven’t yet encountered just yet.

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  10. Well, I learned a lot from this post. I am an oddball because I love dark chocolate. I have never been big on deserts unless it’s for a special occasion. I am big on eating fruits like bananas for some reason. My brain tends to work better with at least two bananas a day. At the coffee shop, they know I need two bananas in addition to my coffee each day. I didn’t know dark chocolate was so good for you the higher the cocoa content. I will accept your challenge and try like 90 % cocoa to see if I’m still a fan of dark chocolate. 

    Reply
    • Hello there! That’s awesome that you already love dark chocolate and eat bananas. They contain a lot of great nutrients that indeed help with our brain function. I look forward to hearing back about your experiences with the 90% dark chocolate challenge.

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  11. I agree with you completely! Candy is a challenge to me, too, but since I’m aware of their bad influence on the body, I make smarter choices. Today, there are many sweets on the market with healthy substitutes for sugar or no sugar with added dried fruit that is also sweet. I think it’s all a matter of goodwill and training of our minds and bodies. What matters is the end result, to rely without remorse that we’ve ingested poison into our body that will have a bad effect on other cells.

    Reply
    • Hi there, Jas! You are right that it definitely takes a strong training of our minds and bodies to control what we eat. I can say that my will power is definitely much better than it was many years ago (still some room for improvement though). Definitely keeping our minds and hopes focus on the end results help with that willpower. It’s also good to reward oneself every once in a while too.

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  12. Thank you so much for the informative article!  I enjoyed reading this because who doesn’t love a good desert?  Everyone does!  However, the biggest issue is the health reasons for most people!  Some of these desserts are actually good for you.  I love dark chocolate so I was happy to read about that !

    Reply
    • Hi there, Jessie! I am happy to hear you enjoyed reading this article. Definitely a big concern for desserts are the health consequences. The key is to always think in moderation. That’s good that you already enjoy dark chocolate.

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  13. I love that there are so many wonderfully sweet fruits out there that are packed with vitamins and antioxidants! It is very satisfying to have a small taste of something sweet at the end of a meal, but smart portions and healthier choices can help people reach their health goals. Dark chocolates can be an acquired taste — they don’t seem to be for everyone!

    Reply
    • Hello there, Aly! It is quite wonderful how many available fruit options there are. Dark chocolate is an acquired taste so perhaps starting with milk chocolate and slowly increasing the cocoa content.

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  14. Thankfully I don’t have a sweet tooth, but if I do eat dessert, I prefer the fruit based desserts like granadilla cheesecake or a lemon mouse. I do eat a lot of fruit, but normally have it for breakfast, but there is nothing better than fresh strawberries of cherries as a dessert. I prefer dark chocolate to milk chocolate, but do find that anything above around 70% cacao, becomes too strong for my taste. 

    Reply
    • Hello there! That’s really good that you don’t have a sweet tooth. I would say 70% cacao is a pretty good cocoa level for dark chocolate.

      Reply

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