Desserts, especially cakes and pastries have a bad reputation for being unhealthy food. This is because most of these yummy delights are packed with sugar and calories, which is not very good for the body.
Here are some of the reasons why sugar is extra bad for your health:
- Can cause weight gain
- May increase risk of heart disease
- Has been linked to acne
- Increases risk of diabetes
- Increases risk of cancer
- Increases risk of depression
- May accelerate the skin aging process
- Can increase cellular aging
- Drains energy faster
- Can lead to fatty liver
- Increase kidney disease risk
- Negatively impact dental health
- Increase the risk of developing gout
- Accelerate cognitive decline
Health Baking Alternatives
However, there are still ways you can enjoy desserts without risking your health. You don't have to starve your sweet tooth and miss out on the dessert course. It is called healthy baking, which basically involves finding better and healthier alternative to usual ingredients for baking your favorite sweet treats.
- Use healthier sweetness in place of the raw sugar such as maple syrup, agave syrup or honey.
- If you want to reduce or even eliminate sugar in fruit pies; you could use extra cinnamon and other spices to perk up flavour.
- When baking cakes or cookies, you could discard half the egg yolks and increase the number of whites which increases the protein and at the same time cuts down on fat and cholesterol.
- Substitute condensed skim milk for cream in frostings and pie fillings. Similarly, try strained yogurt cheese instead of high-fat cream cheese for toppings and fillings. Fruit and fruit sauces are other options for low-calorie toppings.
- In order to increase the nutritional content and at the same time, cut the fat calories in cookies, you could try sticking with the old favourites such as oatmeal cookies or fruit bars. These can be made even more nutritious by substituting applesauce for part of the fat, using whole-wheat flour, spelt flour or oat flour, and loading them with raisins and other dried fruits instead of nuts.
- For a festive occasion, serve a chocolate angel food cake with fresh berries and strawberry or raspberry sauce; it has virtually no fat and a fraction of the calories contained in a comparable piece of devil?s food cake with chocolate cream frosting.
- Make a light lemon cheesecake by using a combination of non fat cottage and ricotta cheeses, lemon zest, and egg whites. Top the cake with strained yogurt instead of sour cream.
- When baking a banana bread, your 2-3 extra very overripe bananas and replace the sugar with honey. The riper the bananas, the sweeter your banana bread will be.
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