Dark chocolate, bananas, and oatmeal—superfoods turned into super-treats.
You have that sweet tooth craving niggling at you. You want to give in so badly, but you don’t want to deal with breaking-your-diet guilt or jeopardize your weight-loss program. What to do?
Don’t fall off the wagon. Satisfy those demanding taste buds the healthy way with velvety, unsweetened chocolate, creamy bananas, and the natural fullness of oatmeal.
Dark chocolate decadence
When we crave desserts, it’s because our bodies seek sugar and fat to elevate feel-good chemicals in our brain, according to Deborah Waterhouse in Why Women Need Chocolate. She recommends feeding the cravings by eating dark chocolate, in moderation.
Unsweetened dark chocolate, the food of Aztec royalty, is chock full of compounds like caffeine, cannabinoids, and anandamide that reduce stress and give you a “chocolate high.” The healthy fat in chocolate will keep your blood sugar from spiking and will stop you from craving sugary, fatty, and salty foods.
Eating dark chocolate in particular, the darker and less processed the better, is extremely heart healthy, helps prevent strokes, lowers blood pressure, and reduces inflammation. It’s high in calories, however, so don’t eat more than 100 calories per day, and make sure the chocolate has at least 70 percent cacao so the sugar and milk content are low.
One way to satisfy those sweet-tooth cravings is to to dip fruit into dark chocolate. We aren’t just talking strawberries – which are great – but why stop there? Go on a fruity adventure! You can pair dark chocolate with a variety of fruits, such as tangerines, grapes, and kiwi.
Satisfy those sugar and fat cravings with the sweet, creamy goodness of bananas. Have you tried banana “ice cream?” It’s quite a la mode these days. Freezing and then pureeing bananas will produce a delicious, custardy ice cream substitute that you can pair with fruit or nut butters. Try some delicious frozen banana ideas, like banana peanut butter ice cream or banana cherry garcia.
Bananas are fat free and low calorie, but high in glucose, which makes them a perfect pre-workout treat to give you the energy boost you need to push yourself to the limit. After your workout, pair bananas with proteins like nut butters as a muscle-recovery food. They will also replenish potassium and magnesium to prevent your muscles from cramping.
Make your own crisp banana chips for an on-the-go snack or as a yummy dessert with this inexpensive and super-easy recipe for baked cinnamon banana chips.
Feel your oats!
Oatmeal is inexpensive and extremely healthy. It’s a complex carbohydrate that is low on the glycemic scale, which means fat-burning is increased during workouts and sugar and insulin spikes are reduced after eating it. The soluble fiber in oatmeal makes you feel full and the compound beta-glucan increases levels of your appetite-suppressing hormones.
Triple threat dessert
Combine the benefits of all three of these magical ingredients—dark chocolate, bananas and oatmeal—into one fun dessert by using dark chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet ones in this healthy dessert recipe: Chocolate Chip + Banana + Oatmeal Bites. You’ll create a yummy, guilt-free dessert and snack that won’t sabotage your weight loss program.
If you struggle to beat back cravings when making food choices, come meet our the health coaches at Plantation Wellness. Educating you about good nutrition so you make better food choices and develop smarter eating habits is our goal. Call us at 954-452-4590 so we can get you started on the right path today!
Dr. Nina Coletta has been practicing Podiatric medicine for nearly 20 years and is the owner of Plantation Wellness Center. For the past 30 years, Dr. Coletta has been a fitness and nutrition enthusiast. Her passion for health and wellness, along with a strong desire to help her patients live healthy lifestyles, led to the selection of Ideal Protein as her platform of choice for weight loss.