4 Magic Desserts

Desserts so good you’ll think they’re magic.

Maple-Walnut Roasted Apples
Maple-Walnut Roasted Apples

Typical Dessert
1 slice apple pie with 1/2 cup ice cream

Total GL: 29
Total calories: 363

Magic Dessert
1 Maple-Walnut Roasted Apple with ice cream

Total GL: 17
Total calories: 207

The Fixes
Kept the apple but got rid of the piecrust and the extra sugar used for the filling. Both of these ingredients are responsible for increasing the GL of this dessert (plus, the piecrust is high in calories and full of saturated fat).

Added walnuts for protein and “good” fat to help fill you up and further lower the dessert’s GL.

Cut the ice cream down to one small scoop and switched to reduced-fat ice cream to lower the saturated fat.
Typical Dessert
1 cup vanilla ice cream with 1/3 cup hot fudge sauce

Total GL: 39
Total calories: 329

Magic Dessert
1/2 cup vanilla ice cream with:
1/2 cup strawberries
5 toasted walnut halves

Total GL: 12
Total calories: 224

The Fixes
Decreased the portion of ice cream since it has a lot of sugar and a high GL, not to mention saturated fat, which hampers insulin sensitivity.

Scrapped the sugar-laden hot fudge, along with its glycemic load.

Added walnuts and strawberries to fill up the bowl and provide fiber, nutrients, and healthy fats (from the walnuts) to help improve insulin sensitivity.
Typical Dessert
1 large piece chocolate cake with frosting

Total GL: 23
Total calories: 439

Magic Dessert
1 small piece unfrosted chocolate cake dusted with confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup mixed blueberries and raspberries

Total GL: 12
Total calories: 309

The Fixes
Decreased the portion size of the cake to cut refined carbohydrates and therefore the GL.

Eliminated the frosting, which has a high GL.

Added berries to increase the nutritional value of the dessert and make the smaller portion of cake more satisfying.
Typical Dessert
1 large chocolate chip cookie

Total GL: 19
Total calories: 196

Magic Dessert
1 Oatmeal–Peanut Butter Trail Bar

Total GL: 13
Total calories: 175

The Fix
Swapped the cookie, made with the triple evils of sugar, butter, and white flour, for an even more delicious trail bar made with whole grains (full of fiber) and peanut butter (full of protein and “good” fat) to lower the GL and keep you fuller longer. The bar also provides extra nutrition from dried fruit.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest