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Don't Desert Desserts!

The scent of warm cookies drifting through the house. A slice of bread pudding with your favorite sauce. Biscotti dipped in a mug of gourmet coffe. That first delectable bite into chocolate cake. As the song says, "...these are a few of my favorite things."

Fortunately, we don't have to give up our favorite things. Eaten in moderation, sweets can be good for the soul and the waistline. Treating yourself to dessert every now and then keeps you from feeling deprived, which in turn keeps you from splurging on the entire batch of goodies.

To enjoy desserts more often, follow these basic principles:

Make healthful tradeoffs. Watch your fat intake over the course of a day by balancing the higher fat foods you eat with lower-fat choices. If you top off lunch with your favorite monster-size cookie, forgo a high-fat afternoon snack and plan a sensible, lower-fat evening meal.

Try low-fat substutions.

  • Use 1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder instead of 2 ounces baking chocolate.
  • Replace full-size chocolate chips with "mini" chips.
  • Use two egg whites instead of one whole egg.
  • Use 1/2 cup of marshmallow creme instead of 1/2 cup of butter in frostings.
  • Use 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce or pureed prunes instead of 1/2 cup oil.
  • Replace cream cheese with low-fat or fat-free versions.
  • Use slivered nuts instead of whole nuts.