Sweets 101: How to Make Dietitian-Approved Choices
Guest Blog Post by: Joannah Konecny, RD
When it comes to the role of a Registered Dietitian, having a plentiful repertoire of product recommendations up our sleeve at all times is one of our most notable traits. This can be particularly challenging when it comes to sweets and treats that are a bit on the indulgent side – such as cookies. The market is often limited in cookie products, which can be comfortably and confidently recommended on a regular basis among different types of populations.
Does choosing healthy sweets leave you feeling lost? If so, keep an eye out for the following three characteristics to make purchase decisions as simple as possible:
1. Low in Added Sugars: The amount of added sugars in a product can make a sweet snack easily turn into a low-nutrient dessert. In moderation, added sugars can be used to enhance the taste of a product and may often be seen on the label as cane sugar, brown rice syrup, honey, etc. However, if a source of added sugar is one of the first few ingredients, the product will more than likely provide little to no nutritional value. Choose products with moderate to low added sugars, to ensure you are having a snack that will keep you feeling both satisfied and energized.
2. Made with Whole-Grains: Often, snacks and sweets whose main ingredients are sugars lack the proper amount of dietary fiber needed to keep you full between meals. Opting for food items that include whole-grains will help bump up your fiber intake for the day so that you are not scrambling to the pantry 30 minutes later in search of another snack. Dietary fiber helps regulate our digestion and will do wonders at helping fill you up!
3. Few Ingredients: One of the most important attributes of a food product is the ingredient list. Those which have shorter ingredient lists, tend to be more wholesome and nutrient-dense – but not always! When reading a food label, rather than paying attention to calories, turning your attention to the ingredients which make up those calories, will provide you much more insight on the nutrient composition of the product itself.
Overall, these recommendations should serve as an excellent starting point for choosing better-for-you cookies, snacks, and other sweet treats. Aim for snacks, which fall into these categories when searching for products that will be a regular part of your diet. BuckWHAT Noshes are an example of one of my favorite cookie alternatives, which not only follows all three of these guidelines, but is both nutritious and delicious.
Special occasions, gatherings, and celebrations will certainly call for sugar-rich options once in awhile and guess what?! That is perfectly okay -- moderation is key! In the meantime, grab some BuckWHAT noshes to pack in your backpack, car, or office drawer and get snacking. Happy noshing!
About the Author: Joannah Konecny, RD, is a new Jersey based Registered Dietitian and business owner of Jo’s Foods that Fit, LLC. Her mission is to guide individuals toward better nutrition by improving both their lifestyle habits and their mindset. Through this, she helps clients increase their confidence and love their bodies. Joannah has a passion for discovering new food products and developing healthy recipes with them! You can follow her journey on Instagram @the.ambitious.nutritionist, on iTunes with The Nutrition and Ambition Podcast, or on her website www.josfoodsthatfit.com.