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How Do I Choose the Best Low Calorie Desserts?

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  • Written By: Gregory Hanson
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 11 September 2016
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Finding the best low calorie desserts is largely a matter of experimenting with different healthy and low-calorie dessert options and finding ones that are both tasty and satisfying. Some dessert items are naturally low in calories and require little or no modification. In other cases, desserts that are normally very high in calories can be made with different ingredients to minimize the final calorie count without sacrificing flavor. Certain types of low calorie diet may limit dessert options, to some extent, by excluding fat or sugar almost entirely.

The simplest low calorie desserts are fruits and berries. Most berries are sweet enough to satisfy as desserts if they are picked when ripe. If this is not possible, a very modest amount of sugar, ideally in the form of simple syrup to maximize the sweet flavor of a given amount of sugar, is enough to turn a dish full of berries into a sweet and delicious dessert that is also low in calories. Calorie-free sweeteners can be used to further lower the calorie content of fruit or berry desserts.

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Some prepared desserts are naturally fairly low in calories. Desserts made with mostly healthy foods and a few other ingredients tend to fall into this category, as do very light desserts. Fruit cobblers can be made with only a modest amount of sugar and sprinkled with toasted oats or other healthy toppings. Angel food cake contains few calories and complements fruits very nicely. Sweet desserts, in fact, can often be low calorie desserts in comparison to desserts which are rich and buttery, as butter and other fats are packed with calories.

In some cases, a cook may prefer to make a modified version of a beloved high calorie dessert. Turning such recipes into low calorie desserts is simple and need not ruin the flavor. Sugar-free sweeteners can be substituted for sugar. Lower-fat products can be used in place of butter, and cream cheese or yogurt can be replaced with a low-fat or fat-free variety in many applications. Some recipes do require a certain amount of fat in order to cook or bake properly, however, so this technique cannot always be used.

When shopping for commercially-produced low calorie desserts, it is possible to follow these same rules. Products made mostly of fruit will typically be quite low in calories, unless they have been extensively processed. Airy and low-fat products will have fewer calories than dense and rich foods. Foods with added fats will have significantly more calories than foods without.

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