Why You Should Eat What You Crave
Provided by: Real Age, Yahoo! Editorial Team
You've been told way too often to resist cravings. You know: "When cookies call, munch on carrots. When ice cream screams, scoop up some cottage cheese." Yeah, right. Better advice: When you've just gotta have it, give in -- but eat the healthiest version of whatever it is you're lusting after. And try to buy a single portion so there are no leftovers to tempt you the next day, when the crisis has passed. Some yummy options:
IF ONLY CHOCOLATE WILL DO
GO FOR: Hershey's Antioxidant Milk Chocolate OR Dove Dark Chocolate Singles (1.3 oz. bars)
WHY: You'll be feasting on flavanols -- the compounds that make dark chocolate so heart-healthy. Dove and other dark chocolates have them naturally, but Hershey's recently added them to its milk chocolate bar for those who prefer moo juice in their candy. Bonus: Both come in at under 200 calories, while other popular candy bars push the 300-calorie mark.
IF ONLY Real ICE CREAM WILL DO
GO FOR: Blue Bunny Personals Double Strawberry Light OR a small cone at Dairy Queen
WHY: The portions are perfect. A container of Blue Bunny Personals (sold at Wal-Mart) holds just a single cup -- technically two servings, but at 200 calories and 4 grams of fat, you can polish it off in one sitting without guilt. If you want the ice cream-stand experience, a small soft-serve Dairy Queen chocolate or vanilla cone will lick your craving for 230 to 240 calories and 7 to 8 grams of fat.
IF ONLY COOKIES WILL DO
GO FOR: Nabisco 100% Whole Grain Newtons Minis
WHY: They contain whole grains, fiber, vitamin A -- you even get calcium without having to dunk them in milk. Each 130-calorie packet of eight cookies delivers 150 milligrams of the mighty mineral -- about as much as 4 ounces of skim milk. The only drawback: They're sold in six packs, so share the extras with fellow cookie cravers.
IF ONLY A DOUGHNUT WILL DO
GO FOR: Entenmann's Softee Plain Donut Singles
WHY: We almost fell for Krispy Kreme's Whole Wheat Glazed, which at 180 calories appear to be one of the skinniest, healthiest options sold individually. The bummer: Hidden inside are 3.5 grams of scary trans fats. All Entenmann's doughnuts, on the other hand, are trans fats free, though for mysterious reasons the "singles" come two to a pack -- so share one with a friend and you'll only eat 170 calories each.
IF ONLY PIE WILL DO
GO FOR: A slice of pumpkin OR blueberry
WHY: Choose pumpkin and you'll get a serving of veggies (thanks to the vitamin A-packed pumpkin) and quite a bit of calcium (courtesy of evaporated milk) for about 230 calories, no matter which brand you buy. Remember: Just fork over the cash for a slice, not the whole deep dish. If you can handle 270 or so calories, blueberry pie is a healthy alternative -- the berries are chock-full of cancer-fighting antioxidants.
IF ONLY CHIPS WILL DO
GO FOR: A 1 1/8 oz. bag of Baked Lays
WHY: Even though they're totally free of saturated and trans fat -- few other brands can claim that -- they taste good. So good that you need to buy the single-serve, 130-calorie bag. With the family size, it's practically impossible to stop crunching when there are still chips this good in the bag.