15 Decadent but Healthy Treats

  • Smarter Choices, Still Delicious

    Dieting resolutions may have already fallen by the wayside, but there are still easy and enjoyable ways to indulge in both sweet and savory snacks, meals and desserts without loading up on saturated fats and refined carbohydrates. Photo Credit: pusgums
    Extra Moist Cupcakes
  • Extra Moist Cupcakes

    If you’re staying away from saturated fats but you have unrelenting cravings for baked goods, vegan cupcakes could be a good alternative. Pluses: Recipes often swap out butter and cream for soy yogurt and vegetable oil, meaning your cupcakes will be just as moist as your traditional, small cake indulgence, if not more so. And you’ll get calcium without the saturated fats, and a healthy dose of soy protein. Damage: There’s still a lot of sugar, but one vegan, low-fat vanilla cupcake is only 148 calories. Photo Credit: norwichnuts
    Dark Chocolate
  • Dark Chocolate

    Chocolate is one of the most craved foods, according to one blogging doctor. And if you make the right choices, indulging in this dark and melty goodness may not be too bad for you. In fact, it could help prevent heart problems and ease stress, according to Science Daily. Pluses: Scientific studies have shown that eating 6.7 grams of chocolate every day can protect you from the inflammation that leads to cardiovascular disease. But that only equals about a small square of chocolate two or three times a week. Plus, the antioxidants in chocolate can cut stress levels. Damage: Chocolate is about 150 calories per ounce. More than 6.7 grams per day could do more harm than good, and generally, the milkier the chocolate the more fat it contains. Photo Credit: kevindooley
    Brownies and Cookie Dough
  • Brownies and Cookie Dough

    If you’re generally a sucker for candy bars and thick and decadent baked goods, almond brownie and cookie dough Balance Bars could make an adequate replacement with their dense but luscious feel. Pluses: Balance bars contain 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% dietary fat, a ratio known to promote fat burning. Damage: about 200 calories and six grams of fat per Balance Bar. Photo Credit: bloggyboulga
  • Toffee

    Kashi Golean Bars, especially the chocolate almond toffee flavor, also add a nice crunch to a decadent mass with toffee, nuts and whole grains. Pluses: Kashi Golean bars provide 13 grams of protein and six grams of fiber. Damage: The Kashi bars are 290 calories a pop, but since they’re so heavy, for some they’re actually an adequate meal replacement. Photo Credit: norwichnuts
    Sticky Sweet
  • Sticky Sweet

    For those who prefer to get more quick carbs out of their favorite sweet treat, Fiber One and can provide the drizzled chocolate and gooey caramel that your heart desires. Pluses: Fiber One bars provide nine grams of fiber, which is 35% of your recommended daily fiber intake. Damage: 140 calories and about four grams of fat per Fiber One bar. Photo Credit: fiberone.com
  • Parfaits

    Description and Cravings: If you crave the sweet, tart and creamy goodness of fresh fruit and whipped cream, a yogurt parfait is likely your next best choice. Pluses: Instead of consuming the saturated fats in heavy cream, plain, fat-free yogurt provides a good amount of calcium, and the fruit supplies the antioxidants and fiber. Damage: 185 calories per serving for this Eating Well breakfast parfait. Photo Credit: sherrymain
    Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches
  • Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches

    Ice cream between soft chocolate cookies. Who doesn’t love that? This classic treat comes in chocolate, vanilla, peanut butter, mint and other flavors. Pluses: These ice cream sandwiches include calcium, are low in fat, and are approved under the Best Life diet developed by Oprah’s personal trainer, Bob Greene. Damage: 140 calories per sandwich. Photo Credit: Denise Cross
  • Fudgsicles

    A cool, creamy, chocolaty treat that reminds you of being a kid. Pluses: They’re a low-fat or fat-free and low-calorie indulgence. Damage: Regular Fudgesicles have about three grams of fat and 100 calories and the fat free ones will cost you about 60 calories. Photo Credit: Chris Winters
    Mushroom Quinoa
  • Mushroom Quinoa

    Carb addicts don’t need to feel guilty if they replace bad carb-filled risotto or couscous with a good helping of hearty mushroom quinoa. Low-sodium beef broth and mushrooms can make it meaty enough to be satisfying on its own. Pluses: It’s a great source of protein, it’s high in fiber and you’ll get some of your veggies in with this recipe. Damage: About 109 calories per serving. Photo Credit: eylon
    Red Wine
  • Red Wine

    A rich, full-bodied red wine can be a decadent accompaniment to a good steak, or even a healthy meal with a little spice. And some nutritionists believe that drinking red wine can actually temper the effects of a fatty meal. Pluses: Wine can increase your good cholesterol levels, thereby reducing your heart disease risk, and it can actually boost your brain power, according to WebMD. Damage: Around 115 to 165 calories for a standard glass, depending on how sweet it is, according to the BBC. Photo Credit: jenny downing (r&r)
    Beef Stew
  • Beef Stew

    Nutrisystem's beef stew, part of the Nutrisystem diet plan, is a surprisingly tasty, hearty and filling hot meal. Pluses: With Nutrisystem, you’re forced to exercise strict portion control. Damage: About 150 calories, 2.5 grams of fat. Photo Credit: Fotoos VanRobin
    A Warm and Creamy Casserole
  • A Warm and Creamy Casserole

    Hummus is more than just a creamy but healthy dip for vegetables and other good-for-you snacks, you can also make it into a whole meal. This recipe is made with all wholesome ingredients and you can make it even healthier by using whole wheat pita bread, lean ground beef or no beef at all. Pluses: This dish is full of protein, fiber and good fats. Damage: This recipe is more on the fatty side, but it makes a filling meal. With meat, you’ll be consuming 480 calories and 32 grams of fat, but we’d suggest portion control. Eat a little less than these serving guidelines recommend. Photo Credit: norwichnuts
    Eating Butter?
  • Eating Butter?

    Whether you like them on their own or you prefer them in the form of guacamole, avocados capture the texture of butter but with heart-healthy qualities. It’s chock full of good fats and vitamins. Pluses: Avocadoes provide good, monounsaturated fats that raise your good cholesterol level which can protect you from heart disease. WebMD even recommends it as a replacement for mayonnaise. Damage: about 330 calories and 30 grams of fat per avocado, but it’s good fat. Photo Credit: sweetonveg
    Spreading On Flavor
  • Spreading On Flavor

    Those who crave a vinegary taste can take a step beyond sodium-laced salt and vinegar potato chips. Instead, try this sweet and savory delight: fig and olive tapenade on whole wheat crackers. Lovers of sinful pate, fois gras and even cheese spreads might go for this alternative. Pluses: Olives and olive oil are full of good fats and vitamins, and figs are full of fiber. Damage: About 200 calories per generous serving according to this Epicurious recipe. Photo Credit: lepiaf.geo
    A Miracle Tonic
  • A Miracle Tonic

    Believe it or not, balsamic vinegar can be part of a sweet and decadent dessert. Grilled fruits like pineapples, mangoes and peaches have natural sugars that caramelize when heated, and a drizzle of good balsamic vinegar can make for a sweet, tart and flavorful dessert that even the Mayo Clinic approves of. Pluses: The fruits in this recipe are a rich source of vitamin C and fiber, and vinegar is known to improve digestion. Damage: 120 calories per serving and it’s fat free. Photo Credit: loozrboy
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