Got a craving that just won't go away? We sent dietician Vanessa Furlong on a mission to find the tastiest sweet treats out there – so you can enjoy a rich, creamy, fruit, gooey, frozen, which-ever-way-you-like-it indulgence.... totally guilt free.
Sweet tooth solutions
Each of the following sweets is less than 418kJ/100cal – perfect for snacking.
- Skinny Cow Ice Cream Stick 418kJ – a source of calcium and portion controlled.
- 1 Tim Tam 400kJ – you can still enjoy chocolate biscuits if you take one and keep the rest out of sight.
- 2 cups frozen melon balls 330kJ – this snack provides antioxidants, fibre and helps fill you up.
- Yoplait Formé Classic Cheesecake 292kJ – a nice size at 175g, with a big 315mg calcium – 39% of your RDI.
- 1 cup strawberries and cream 350kJ – top off a cup of strawberries with a heaped tablespoon of whipped cream.
- 25 M&Ms 418kJ – when numbers count, M&Ms deliver! You can enjoy 25 of them without overdoing it.
- Mini Milky Way 237kJ – keep one on hand for a cravings 'quick fix'.
- 1 Lindt Lindor Ball 323kJ – a high quality, portion controlled treat you'll want to savour slowly.
- 1 cup lite jelly 70kJ – tasty, low-kJ and it's easy to eat slowly so you can taste each bite.
- 26 Mini jelly beans397.5kJ – Fat-free and a kilojoule bargain: 26 jelly beans have less than 400kJs.
- 6 Kool Mints 314kJ – a nice finish to a meal, which you can savour slowly.
- Passionfruit ice-cream 345kJ – add passionfruit pulp to one scoop of Peter’s Light & Creamy vanilla ice-cream for a refreshing treat.
- 27 fresh cherries 405kJ – nutritious, delicious and full of antioxidants.
- 1 Ferrero Rocher 301kJ – an obvious choice for hazelnut fans.
- The Natural Confectionery Co. Snakes 354kJ – a fun way to meet your sweet cravings.
- Frozen choc banana 418kJ – dip the tip of a banana (100g) in melted dark chocolate and freeze.
- 7 Allen’s Frogs Alive (mini) 406kJ – seven frogs provide a tasty sugar hit to get you through.
- Dove Promises 182kJ – individually wrapped for portion control with a real chocolate taste.
- Bulla Splits 393kJ – cool off with your choice of raspberry, mango or lemon-lime.
- 2 Arnott’s Choc Ripples 338kJ – having two of these with a cup of tea won’t sabotage your efforts.
- Homemade ice block 400kJ – pour 250ml of your favourite juice into a popsicle mould and freeze for a healthier treat.
There’s no ‘ideal’ serving size for treats, but 418kJ is generally recognised as snack size for those trying to lose weight. Stick to two or three snacks a day and make sure at least one of them is fruit or yoghurt.
Taming your craving
Want more ways to beat the need for sugar? Read on...
Mix it up: When it comes to nutrition, it goes without saying that fresh fruit and low-fat dairy products are a healthier alternative to lollies and chocolate. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy lollies; just be sure to include some nutritious options in your snacking.
Don’t compromise on quality: Craving chocolate? (The most frequently craved food in the world.) Then seek out the richest, most indulgent chocolate you can find instead of choosing a 'light' substitute, You'll need to eat a smaller amount, but you will find it more satisfying.
Chewing gum: Research shows that you can avoid adding extra kilojoules to your diet and reduce your stress levels by chewing gum whenever cravings strike. Just make sure your selection is sugar-free.
Take a walk: It might sound unlikely, but studies have proven that you can eliminate cravings by going for a walk before treating yourself, and even if your craving hasn't disappeared, you will have burned off about 200kJ towards your treat.
Practise mindful eating: Before you roll your eyes, read this: countless studies have shown that concentrating on your food, ‘mindful eating’, is the trick to slashing kilojoule intake without feeling deprived. So eat slowly, and savour your food with all your senses.
Plan ahead: Make a list of your favourite sweet indulgences and calculate what constitutes a 418kJ/100cal serving. This way, you can have whatever your favourite sweets are – without over-indulging.
Why are we sweet on sweets?
Humans show a preference for sweet tastes from birth. It is thought that sweetness is nature’s way of telling us that a food provides energy and is safe to eat. In addition to tasting good, sweet foods also trigger the reward centre in our brain through their effect on serotonin. Great tasting and mood boosting? It’s easy to see why we enjoy our sweets so much!