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Heart-Healthy Desserts: A Delicious Way to Promote Heart Health

Incorporating dessert into a heart-healthy diet is not only possible but also enjoyable. According to Theresa Gentile, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, desserts can still be a part of a heart-healthy lifestyle. Gentile herself eats dessert almost every day, usually in the form of chocolate. Choosing the right dessert foods, along with other lifestyle strategies, can help individuals achieve their heart-health goals.

Choosing Satisfying and Mindful Desserts

In order to make desserts a part of a heart-healthy diet, it is important to choose satisfying desserts and be mindful of portion sizes. Emma Laing, a clinical professor and director of the didactic program in dietetics at the University of Georgia, suggests incorporating fiber into desserts. Fiber is an important nutrient for heart health. Whole-wheat flour can be used in quickbreads, while oats can be incorporated into cookie recipes or fruit crumble and crisp toppings. Fruit-forward desserts are also recommended, as fruits are rich in fiber.

Heart-Healthy Ingredients to Look For

When it comes to heart-healthy desserts, experts recommend making desserts at home whenever possible. This allows individuals to control the ingredients and minimize the unhealthy oils and fats that may be present in commercially prepared products. Local bakeries are also a good option, as they tend to use healthier ingredients. In particular, desserts that incorporate fiber-rich ingredients like whole-wheat flour, oats, and fruits are ideal for promoting heart health.

Ingredients to Limit in Heart-Healthy Desserts

Individuals aiming to improve their heart health should be conscious of certain ingredients to avoid or limit in desserts. These include tropical oils such as palm oil and coconut oil, as well as alcohol. While desserts like frozen watermelon margarita pops or wine-based granita may seem tempting, they should be consumed in moderation.

Dietitian-Approved Dessert Ideas

There are several delicious dessert ideas that have been approved by dietitians for their heart-healthy qualities. Grilled or poached fruit is a great option, with grilled pears topped with warm spices or poached pears in apple cider being popular choices. Yogurt bark, made by spreading Greek yogurt on a baking sheet and topping it with various ingredients, offers endless possibilities for customization. Black bean brownies, which incorporate black beans for added fiber and protein, are a surprising yet tasty dessert option.

Classic oatmeal raisin cookies are also heart-healthy, as they contain rolled oats and raisins that provide fiber and antioxidants. Oat and banana cookies, made with oats, bananas, and optional additions like peanut butter, offer a nutritious option for breakfast or a snack. Mini matcha cakes, which are made with matcha powder known for its high levels of antioxidants and amino acids, are another heart-healthy dessert idea. Chocolate clusters with fruit and quinoa, matcha popsicles, beetroot brownies, and fruit crisps made with seasonal fruits are also recommended for promoting heart health. Fruit and yogurt parfaits, which can be easily prepared by adding fresh fruit and chopped nuts to plain yogurt, are a simple yet delicious way to enjoy a heart-healthy dessert.

Overall, with thoughtful planning and the incorporation of heart-healthy ingredients, individuals can enjoy delicious desserts while still prioritizing their heart health. By making desserts at home and being mindful of portion sizes, individuals can satisfy their sweet tooth without compromising their overall well-being.

Original Story at www.today.com – 2023-12-15 15:33:44

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