Diet Spotlight: Satisfying your sweet tooth



The average American consumes 150 lbs of sugar annually. To put that in perspective, the average man in the U.S. weighs 195 lbs, the average woman about 165 lbs. In other words, we’re eating or drinking nearly our entire weight in sugar each year.

Compare that to 100 years ago when we only consumed about 4 lbs of sugar. Which explains why 29.1 million Americans now have diabetes and another 86 million have pre-diabetes.

While you’re likely to find sugar in most foods, this month we wanted to focus on candy, or more specifically substituting sweets that aren’t loaded with sugar. The occasional and we do mean occasional candy treat isn’t terrible and won’t affect your health or weight loss goals, but there are healthier alternatives that can still satisfy your sweet tooth:

  • Fruit: You’ve heard it before but it’s true fruit is nature’s candy. Oranges, strawberries and peaches are three deliciously sweet fruits and, while they are still high in sugar, they’re still better for you than candy. Blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are packed with antioxidants and fiber and are even better. And dried fruit are another healthier option. Remember that eating fruit is always better than drinking fruit juice, which can spike your blood sugar levels.
  • Applesauce: Okay, it’s sort of a fruit, kind of like how ketchup is a vegetable. Try a no-sugar-added variety. One cup only has about 50 calories.
  • Nuts: While they can be high in fat, unsalted cashews or almonds may satisfy your craving for sweets. But remember, don’t eat from the jar grab a handful and move away from the pantry!
  • Popcorn: Yes, popcorn. Look for a sweet and salty variety that satisfies your sweet and savory tooth. Flavored popcorn does have sugar but it will help you feel full on fewer calories. Sweet rice cakes hit the spot too.
  • Gum: Go for sugar-free, non-aspartame chewing gum, which has very few calories and may be enough to satisfy your craving at least till lunch or dinner.
  • All right, candy: If you insist on eating actual candy, these options are healthier anything with dark chocolate, chocolate-covered almonds, Twizzlers or Red Vines and Hershey Kisses (but only a few!)

What are your favorite non-candy candies? Tell us about them in the Shop Talk Blog community forum!




Did you know: Instead of ice cream…

Try frozen grapes! Simply rinse, dry and de-stem them, place them on a backing sheet lined with wax paper, wait four hours then eat a handful right from the freezer. Heaven!(Source)


64 thoughts on “Diet Spotlight: Satisfying your sweet tooth

  1. Not just grapes are good when frozen but use the same process with blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. When frozen place in small individual servings in freeze and when you want to snack or make a smoothie take out what is needed and no mush fruit to deal with.

  2. Although I don’t like bananas as a general rule, I like frozen bananas in the summer. They’re like a banana popsicle, but creamier. You can roll them in nuts and/or chocolate sauce, too. Just peel them and wrap them in plastic wrap before you freeze them.

  3. dear shop voice,
    do you have any other things
    i can use to be heathly and lose
    weight? thanks
    anna clark!!

  4. I am assuming that your “better choice” suggestion of RedVines or Twizzlers was based on caloric intake? Both of these products contain Red dye 40, which is a common allergen and known excitotoxin, particularly harmful for children. With so many healthy options out there, why resort to suggesting these at all?

  5. As a Long time registered nurse I do NOT believe that for one minute!
    However, I DO know that GMO foods thank you mister Obama and Monsanto have made foods significantly higher in sugar and rigged to trigger the appetite center of the brain to eat 33% MORE! That’s in grains abs veggies !
    Also infant vaccinations

  6. I eat ice cream every night for dessert. & some candy. what can I eat in place of ice cream?

  7. Anything sugar free, or made with sugar substitute (Splenda, Equal, Sweet N Low, etc.) I never have, nor never will eat candy and I do not like chocolate.

  8. I make chocolate candy out of 4 ozs. coconut oil and 4 ozs. of “Enjoy Life” gluten , dairy and soy free mini chocolate chips. Melt them together, for a minute, in a microwave safe bowl . Stir to mix thoroughly and pour into a candy mold. Mine looks like tiny apples. Cool in the fridge or freeze them. They must be kept cold or they will melt at room temp. Simply Delish !!! And low in sugar, 7 grams to 1 tbsp.

  9. having a hard time with the sugar addiction, and I know that is what it is. not wild about candy but love the sugar in my coffee, i have no hacks i just struggle

  10. When out traveling (whether camping, hiking, or on the road), I stock up on cherries and trail mix (without the M&Ms) and munch on those to calm my sweet tooth. Also, I will drink Vitamin Water to help control the sweet cravings. Both work on keeping me full until it is time for lunch or dinner. Works very well for me.

  11. I am diabetic – allowed 30-35 carbs max per meal – NOT allowed fruits due to high carb content…”Natural Sugar” is still sugar. I get fiber from vegetables. Popcorn is high in carbs. You mention diabetes in your post, but the advice is worthless for people dealing with diabetes.
    I see an endocrinologist & a dietician – this is a worthless post for diabetics.

  12. blueberries, strawberries and cantaloupe are my favorite non candy treats
    sometimes a tease of yogurt to go with the fruit for an evening snack

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