8 Healthy Alternatives to Chocolate
No matter how motivated you are to stay on track with your diet, having the willpower to avoid chocolate can be a real test of willpower, especially over weekends and when you aren’t having the best day.
If you have a sweet tooth, don’t be worried about gaining weight from eating too much chocolate, as we have 8 healthy but delicious alternatives which will satisfy and keep you on track to achieve your goals.
What better way to satisfy a sweet craving while still staying within a healthy eating plan than with fruit. Most fruits are high in vitamin C, potassium, antioxidants, fibre, and health-promoting phytonutrients. Generally, the darker the fruit’s colour pigment, the more nutrients it will have! Strawberries and whipped coconut cream, anyone? Or try mixing up a medley of cherries, raspberries, blueberries, and pomegranate seeds, with some carob chips or cacao nibs sprinkled over top for a delicious and healthy treat!
2. Raw, Organic Honey
Honey is a great source of natural sweetness and is loaded with health benefits, from supporting the immune system to treating everything from a hangover to a sore throat. You can eat a spoonful of raw honey on its own, or try it with tea, toast, or yogurt.
3. Banana Ice Cream
Keep some bananas in your freezer for easy to make smoothies or banana ice cream. To make, toss a frozen banana in the blender with almond butter and cacao nibs for a tasty (and quick) dessert that is even better than "real" ice cream. No added sugar needed!
Nuts are great alternatives to chocolate as they contain both the magnesium and nitrogen found in chocolate. Sometimes your body craves foods with nutrients that it lacks. Therefore, when you crave something, your body is not only craving the food itself, but the nutrients within the food. Next time you crave chocolate, or other carbohydrates, make sure to eat healthy foods that contain magnesium and nitrogen, such as nuts and other high protein foods, to satisfy that craving in a healthy way.
5. Dark Chocolate (at least >70% cacao)
Okay, we couldn’t COMPLETELY leave chocolate off the list. Why? Because dark chocolate can be part of a heart healthy diet, as long as it is the right type and in the right portion size (about 2 squares or 1 oz). It is important to choose dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao in order to reap all the antioxidant benefits. Plus, the darker the chocolate (aka the higher % of cacao), the less sugar will be in the bar. Dark chocolate is a great food to keep around when you want something sweet. It's naturally delicious (it is chocolate after all!) and is full of antioxidants. For the most nutritional value, choose a bar that's at least 70 percent cacao.
6. Frozen berries
Although freshly picked berries such as cherries, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are always going to be a healthy and nutritious snack, we believe eating them frozen can be the tastiest method. Perhaps you are under the assumption that frozen berries aren’t as beneficial to your health as when they are freshly picked? Fortunately for our taste buds freezing berries when they are freshly picked stores all their anti-toxins, fibre, folate, potassium and all those good things we want to be consuming when we indulge. Particularly, we’d recommend frozen cherries which can be very similar to sorbet!
7. Organic peanut butter
Not all peanut butter is healthy, most commercial peanut butters will be filled with sugar and fillers to keep it fresh and tasty for longer. These are the sort of peanut butter products you should be looking to avoid. Instead opt for organic peanut butter which doesn’t include any added sugars or preservatives. Peanut butter is naturally rich in heart-healthy fats and can act as a great source of protein. In addition to the healthy fat intake, you’ll also get a spoonful of other minerals and vitamins such as the B vitamin niacin, vitamin E, potassium, iron and fibre.
8. Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt has always been a tasty, yet healthy snack. You are probably already aware that natural yogurts are a great source of calcium, potassium and protein, but did you know you can also gain vitamins B6 and B12? Perhaps that isn’t enough for you to indulge in the Greek goodness? We’d suggest adding in tasty combinations of fruit, nuts and honey to keep the snack new and exciting every time.