10 Delicious Treats Registered Dietitians Eat to Satisfy Sugar Cravings
Find out what registered dietitians turn to when they want to satisfy sugar cravings, from treats like baked apples to peanut butter and jelly.
What registered dietitians eat when they want something sweet
There’s nothing more satisfying than reaching for that delicious fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies. The decadent chunks of chocolate nestled in a crisp layer of sugary goodness will make any sweet tooth melt. Now, the urge to eat a cookie or two, or maybe half the batch, may satisfy your sugar cravings, but it’s also loading you up on extra calories. Luckily, there are other ways to satisfy sugar cravings if you are trying to limit calories, have specific weight loss goals, or are just trying to sneak in some fiber and nutrients along with the sweet treat.
We spoke with registered dietitians with a sweet tooth and asked them to share their go-to treats that are both healthy and delicious.
DIY chocolate peanut butter ice cream
It doesn’t sound more decadent than this, and Lauren Manganiello, RD, a certified personal trainer, has found a way to make it healthy. (Get her recipe for chocolate peanut butter ice cream.) “The frozen ripe banana provides a natural sweetness, while the peanut butter and cacao powder make this recipe very tasty. The spinach provides an antioxidant boost, and it’s a great way to sneak in extra greens that you won’t even taste.”
DIY double chocolate cookies
“One of my go-to treats are double chocolate cookies,” says Alexis Joseph, RD and founder of Hummusapien.com. “I think it’s super important to not deprive yourself and to live life. And let’s be honest, I freaking love chocolate.” Plus hers are vegan and high in fiber. (Great news for chocolate-lovers, these 11 next-level chocolates are loaded with unbelievable health benefits.)
Love apple pie? A baked apple delivers all the homey goodness but without the added sugar. Lemon, cinnamon, and cocoa powder add an antioxidant boost to naturally high fiber apples. Lisa Cohn, RD, nutrition expert for miVIP Surgery Centers, tops a cored Granny Smith with lemon, cinnamon, and cocoa powder, pops it into the oven for 25 minutes at 375 degrees, and finishes it with a dollop of plain yogurt. Apples are a great source of fiber, but they shouldn’t be your only source. (Read up on the signs you’re not getting enough fiber in your diet.)
DIY frozen dark chocolate banana pops
No matter the time of year, a chocolate-dipped banana always seems to hit the spot. These frozen dark chocolate banana pops are a decadent, grown-up take on a childhood favorite. And did we mention, they’re packed with good-for-you ingredients? “These pops are one of my favorites because they include tons of healthy nutrients, like fiber from the bananas, an antioxidant punch from the dark chocolate, and healthy fats from the almonds,” says Taylor Riggs, RD, creator of Simply Taylor, and author of Real Food, Real Simple. (Wondering what nutritionists eat on the go? These are the 17 snacks nutritionists always keep in their bags.)
When Sharon Palmer, the “Plant-Powered Dietitian” and nutrition expert for BFree Foods, wants something sweet, she turns to a beloved classic…but gives it a healthy twist. “One of my favorite treats is a good old-fashioned PB&J—the sweetness of a spoonful of jam atop that earthy, nutty peanut butter on a piece of toasted BFree Seeded Brown Bread.” (Here are nutritionist-approved eats at Starbucks, Chick-Fil-A, and Panera.)
DIY Paleo mocha truffles
Raw cashews, Medjool dates, raw cacao powder, shredded coconut, ground coffee beans, cinnamon, sea salt, a food processor, and a fridge is all you need to whip up a batch of Paleo mocha truffles. “I love these because they are full of superfoods, healthy fats, and taste like heaven,” says Shira Lenchewski, RD, and creator of ShiraRD. (On the Paleo diet? These are the snacks you should be eating.)
DIY banana chocolate muffins
“I’m a big believer in balance, and I’m all about indulging when a craving hits. If I have healthier treats like banana chocolate muffins on hand, all the better!” says Joseph. If you’re craving a bit more cocoa, go ahead and microwave with a few extra dark chocolate chips. Be sure to grab a bag that’s at least 75 percent cocoa. Beyond just tasting great, dark chocolate may actually help reduce stress.
Oatmeal with berries, nuts, and dark chocolate
One sweet way to start the day? Oatmeal with fresh raspberries, chopped dates, roasted organic hazelnuts, and mini dark chocolate chips. “This recipe is great balancing energy levels. Oats have a lot of fiber that supports digestion, while hazelnuts add healthy fats,” says Cohn. (Love oatmeal? These are the other health benefits of eating oatmeal.)
DIY dark chocolate avocado mousse
Rich, creamy, and decadent dark chocolate mousse made of avocados? Sounds almost too good to be true, but in reality, it’s low in sugar and super satisfying. “I like to make delicious desserts from scratch, using whole foods in very interesting ways,” says McKel Hill, MS, RD and founder of Nutrition Stripped. (Fun fact: Avocados are one of the foods you should eat for healthy hair and beautiful skin!)
DIY toasted coconut macaroons
“When it comes to desserts, I always tell clients to practice the “three bite rule.” Studies show people usually enjoy their first and last bites the most. Three bites is just enough to satisfy your craving, but small enough to keep diet damage to a minimum,” explains Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD, and creator of F-Factor. When her clients are in the mood for something sweet, she recommends toasted coconut macaroons, made with protein-packed egg whites and nutrient-rich coconut. (Struggling to lose weight? These are the 10 mistakes that might be ruining your diet.)
- Lauren Manganiello, MS, RD, CDN, a registered dietitian and certified personal trainer
- Alexis Joseph, MS, RD, LD, and founder of Hummusapien.com
- Lisa Cohn, RD, nutrition expert for miVIP Surgery Centers
- Taylor Riggs, RD, LDN, creator of Simply Taylor, and author of Real Food, Real Simple
- Sharon Palmer, the "Plant-Powered Dietitian" and nutrition expert for BFree Foods
- Shira Lenchewski, MS, RD, and creator of ShiraRD
- McKel Hill, MS, RD and founder of Nutrition Stripped
- Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD, and creator of F-Factor