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5 Foods that are both Healthy AND Sweet

If you’ve been following this blog for a little while (or you’ve been doing other diet-related acne research), you’ve probably noticed that sugar is considered a big no-no if you’re struggling with acne. We’ve blogged about the dangers of sugar. Sugars in the body can cause inflammation [1] which can be a contributor of acne.

So if you’re trying to cut down on the sugar (and that includes high glycemic index foods like refined grains and even dairy), then what can you do when a sugar craving strikes? We made a list of healthy sugar-free snacks here, but we understand that sometimes you’ve just gotta have sweet. So here are five foods can satisfy your sweet tooth, but still leave your insulin levels – and your skin – healthy.

1. Almonds or other Nuts

Go with raw or dry roasted, and of course unsalted to allow the slight hint of natural sweetness of the nut to come through. You can also try nut butters. Peanut butter has been a staple of the American diet for ages, but if you want some variety (or have an allergy to peanuts), there are lots of choices: almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter, and more. Just be sure to check the ingredients – the healthiest options have no added sugar or anything else, just nuts. [2]

2. Sweet Potatoes

Many people love the traditional Thanksgiving meal sweet potatoes – like a casserole baked with marshmallows and brown sugar, or a pie with whipped cream on top. But this naturally sweet root vegetable can still be a delicious meal without all that added sugar. Sweet potatoes are complex carbohydrates and have a fairly high GI (glycemic index) meaning that they can turn into sugar fairly quickly in the bloodstream. However, they’re rich in fiber, antioxidants, and many other nutrients, so when eaten in moderation and with healthy flavorings, sweet potatoes can be a healthy and enjoyable food. [3]

3. Smoothies

Smoothies are one of those treats that can be healthy, but you have to be careful – many commercial smoothie mixes or cafes that serve smoothies include a lot of sugar and other unnecessary ingredients. Your best bet for a healthy, great-tasting smoothie is to make your own. It doesn’t have to be hard – fresh or frozen fruit in a blender is a great place to start. There are plenty of options for adding flavor to your smoothies: try foods like nuts (see point number one), chia or flax seeds, spices like cinnamon or ginger, or even a little bit of plain yogurt (though go easy on the dairy if you’re fighting acne). If you’re eating out, then check the list of ingredients used, or opt out some of the extras like syrups or ice cream. [4]

4. Fruit Teas, Herbal Teas, or Kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented tea that has been reported to have some health benefits, though some say it’s an acquired taste. It’s safest to buy a commercial tea that has been pasteurized. If you enjoy the taste, then this drink can be a unique and tasty way to tickle your taste buds. [5]

If you’re of a more traditional mindset, then you can opt for fruit teas or herbal teas for a mild sweet-tasting drink. As always, check the ingredient label before you buy – avoid any teas with added sugar, or any artificial flavors.

5. Fresh Fruit

Fruit is sweet treat that humans have been eating for centuries before we invented soft drinks and candy bars. Yes, fruit has sugar in it, but one or two fruits a day is just about the right amount of sugar that we should be consuming. Also, if you eat fresh fruit (rather than dried fruits or drinking fruit juice), you’re also getting the fiber and other nutrients from the fruit. So enjoy that apple or banana guilt-free! [6]

Do you have any favorite healthy-and-sweet treat ideas you’d like to share?

References:

1. http://thatsugarfilm.com/blog/2016/03/27/diet-and-inflammation/

2. http://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-and-nutrition-pictures/the-best-and-worst-nut-butters.aspx

3. https://authoritynutrition.com/foods/sweet-potatoes/

4. https://www.healthysmoothiehq.com/what-makes-a-smoothie-unhealthy

5. http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/truth-about-kombucha#1

6. https://iquitsugar.com/faqs/are-we-allowed-to-eat-fruit/

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