Dessert Makeovers

Everyone likes dessert—but nowhere else do the evils of white flour, sugar, and saturated fat converge in such a perfect storm, making your blood sugar surge. In terms of glycemic load and extra calories, most desserts are the last thing you need. But that doesn’t mean dessert in general is off-limits. When the cake comes around, don’t say no; instead, say, “I’ll take half a piece please, with lots of berries on top.”

Our Top Four Dessert Guidelines


  • 1.

    Think fruit, fruit, fruit.

    It’s sweet and refreshing and easily transformed into an almost endless variety of attractive, easy-to-make desserts.

  • 2.

    Watch portion sizes.

    The truth is, you can eat whatever you like if the portion is small enough. Use a small plate, such as a saucer, or a child-size cereal bowl for ice cream to help make smaller portions look more substantial. Or, to make your dessert fill up a big plate or bowl, add fruit such as pineapple, blueberries, or banana.

  • 3.

    Hunt for whole grains.

    Most baked goods are made with white flour, but they don’t have to be. In fact, many of our dessert recipes cut down the amount of white flour in favor of blood sugar–friendly oats, whole wheat flour, and so on.

  • 4.

    Go low fat.

    Whether it’s the ice cream you buy or the cream cheese you put in your cheesecake, make it reduced fat to avoid the nasty saturated fats that hamper your body’s ability to handle blood sugar.

  • 5.

    Think of dessert as a treat—not a daily habit.

    Indulge twice a week to keep your sweet tooth happy. The rest of the week, top off dinner with an evening stroll instead.

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