Make Healthier Choices For These 7 Popular Desserts, Snacks & Drinks

WEIGHT LOSS  |  December 12, 2017
  • Should you eat this or that?
    1 / 8 Should you eat this or that?

    Who doesn’t love desserts? If you only have space for one indulgence, choosing can be difficult. Here’s how to decide between seven favourite sweets, snacks and drinks.

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  • Fruit Jam OR Kaya OR Peanut Butter?
    2 / 8 Fruit Jam OR Kaya OR Peanut Butter?

    Healthier choice: Fruit Jam

    Calories-wise, fruit jam has the lowest – at 52kcal per tablespoon, compared to kaya’s 63kcal and peanut butter’s 117kcal. Fruit jam is also free of fat and cholesterol. The others contain unhealthy saturated fat, says Jaclyn Reutens, clinical dietitian at Aptima Nutrition & Sports Consultants. Jams made of 100 per cent fruit and no added sugar are best, although it remains the more heart-friendly choice even with extra sugar.

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    (Also read: Hawker Foods That Are Good For You)

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  • Glazed Donut OR Bagel with Cream Cheese?
    3 / 8 Glazed Donut OR Bagel with Cream Cheese?

    Healthier choice: Glazed Donut

    Both confections are made from nutrient-poor white flour, but one bagel can be the calorie equivalent of five servings of bread. Even if you opt for a medium bagel, it contains 320kcal before smearing on cream cheese (150kcal for two tablespoons). A glazed donut is healthier because it is only 260kcal and has 2g less of fat.

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  • Potato Chips OR Popcorn OR Nacho Chips?
    4 / 8 Potato Chips OR Popcorn OR Nacho Chips?

    Healthier choice: Potato Chips

    The calorie content per 30g portion is about the same (150-160kcal) but nacho chips have the most sodium. Between the popcorn and potato chips though, it’s a tough call. Popcorn may have more fibre, but it also tends to have lots of artificial flavouring, says Pooja Vig, nutritional therapist at The Nutrition Clinic. Chips are made healthier these days, some are baked with just a sprinkle of salt and those made with blue potatoes score antioxidant points. Unless you’re popping the corn yourself (where you can control the oil and salt that goes in), the movie snack is worse than potato chips.

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  • Smoothie OR Cereal with Fruit?
    5 / 8 Smoothie OR Cereal with Fruit?

    Healthier choice: Cereal with Fruit

    Both options are filled with antioxidants and other nutrients, but the winner is cereal as it is fortified with vitamins and minerals that women fall short on (such as iron, calcium, and folic acid). Go for a brand with whole grains listed as the first ingredient. Make sure there’s no more than 9g of sugar per serving. Or for a healthier smoothie, use whole fruit, non-fat Greek yogurt, and soya or non-fat milk instead of juice (which adds extra sugar).

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  • Orange Juice OR Apple Juice?
    6 / 8 Orange Juice OR Apple Juice?

    Healthier choice: Orange Juice

    Between the two sweet sips, OJ is slightly better with 21.8g of sugar (about five teaspoons worth) per 250ml cup, compared to the 23.9g in the same amount of apple juice. OJ is also usually fortified with calcium, as the vitamin C in the drink helps with the body’s absorption of the mineral, says Pooja. On the other hand, apple juice tends to come as is, so you’re not getting any extra benefits.

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    (Also read: Fruit Juice is Not Much Better Than Sugar Water)

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  • Teh OR Kopi?
    7 / 8 Teh OR Kopi?

    Healthier choice: Teh

    They start out as equals, at about 146kcal per cup, but teh soon stands out as the healthier option. “Teh only has 3g of fat per cup compared to the 7g in kopi, and it usually needs less of the fattening condensed milk to taste good,” says Pooja. Both drinks have ticker-boosting antioxidants, but their positive effects are overshadowed by the fat you’ll be downing with them. Order teh-o or kopi-o instead to halve your fat and calorie intake.

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  • Yogurt OR Sorbet?
    8 / 8 Yogurt OR Sorbet?

    Healthier choice: Yogurt

    Nutritional values-wise, yogurt is the better choice because it has healthy probiotics and the essential mineral, calcium. However, it’s milk-based, so fat and cholesterol levels will definitely run higher than those of sorbet. It’s heavier too, with 221kcal per 174g cup as compared to 169kcal for the same amount of sorbet.

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    (Also read: Is Frozen Yogurt Healthy?)

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