Desserts are a great way to end a delicious meal. If you’re watching your cholesterol, adding dessert may seem a bit off-limits at first. However, the good news is that you can eat cake too—especially if you follow these best practices for cholesterol-friendly dessert choices.
do it yourself
Not only does making your own dessert give your treat a personal touch, but you also know the exact ingredients you put into your dessert. You have many options when it comes to making delicious and heart-friendly desserts. Whether substituting wheat flour for baking flour or replacing high-fat oils with healthier oils, try these health tips to ensure a delicious low-calorie dessert.
Watch your fat and refined sugar levels
Whether you make your own desserts or buy them from the store, you should always check food labels. You should avoid ingredients or desserts high in saturated fat, refined sugar, salt, and/or trans fat, as too much of these ingredients can adversely affect your heart health. Foods that commonly contain these ingredients include cakes, cookies, pie crust, frosting, and pastries. Some whipped creams and puddings can also be high in saturated fat, but luckily for those of us following a healthy diet, there are many low-fat varieties available.
You’ll be surprised how a simple dessert can satisfy your sweet tooth without drastically raising your blood lipid levels. One dessert that comes to mind is yogurt. Not only can this creamy dessert be used for a quick breakfast, it can also be eaten on its own or as a topping for your favorite fruit or low-fat cake.
Do you want to eat ice cream but don’t want to add calories and fat? Try frozen yogurt, which tastes like ice cream but isn’t as high in fat. If you decide to use yogurt for dessert, be sure to check the ingredients, as some yogurts can be high in sugar.
Fruit is a great way to add a little sweetness to the end of your heart-healthy lunch or dinner. The great thing about fruit is that you can eat it on its own, add it to your favorite yogurt or low-fat pudding, or add it to cakes or pies.
Fresh fruit is generally healthy, so you can combine your favorite seasonal fruit to make a delicious meal. If you decide to use canned or other packaged fruit, read food labels before buying as these add extra refined sugar to desserts. Also, if you’re putting fruit in a pastry or pie, check the label of store-bought dough or crust, as some of these may be high in fat.
If you want to eat frozen, you can use a blender to grind your favorite fruit, add a dash of honey (if desired), and pop it in the freezer to make a delicious sorbet.
Don’t forget your ingredients
Sometimes toppings can make or break a dessert. In addition to fruit and low-fat yogurt, other cholesterol-friendly toppings like a handful of walnuts, a dash of honey, or a few slices of dark chocolate can add flavor and texture to your dessert. If you want to use whipped cream as a topping, be sure to choose low-fat cream.