Why do so many people feel guilty about eating sweets? It has a lot to do with how we perceive food, points out celebrity chef and nutritionist, Zoe Bingley-Pullin.
“I think many of us - whether we know it or not - have started viewing food as good or bad," Zoe claims.
“This has likely resulted from the recent clean-eating trend, greater exposure to food marketing - including via social media - and increased celebrity endorsement of health trends and diets."
Zoe explains it is these factors that make us more inclined to "punish" ourselves if we eat something viewed as unhealthy.
However, she prefers a healthier outlook of "acknowledgement and management".
“People should look into their cravings and acknowledge whether food is being used emotionally or not,” she says, noting that some sugar cravings may indicate your diet lacks adequate protein and fat.
“Frequency is as important as portion control,” she continues, “so it may work best to have a small portion daily as opposed to a large serve every second day.”
If you do find yourself craving sweet things, Zoe also offers some healthier alternatives to artificial, store-bought lollies and desserts. Get the recipes below!
Nana’s Almond and Banana Ice Cream
“The sweetness from the banana and the ice cream-like texture tricks you into thinking you are eating real ice cream!” laughs Zoe.
Furthermore, bananas are rich in vitamins, fibre and minerals, while almonds are rich in vitamin E - a potent antioxidant and healthy fats. Cinnamon has been traditionally believed to help control blood sugar, she adds.
Zoe suggests this as a great dessert or afternoon snack for kids once they are home from school. “This can be served with a spoon of homemade toasted nuts and seeds for an added crunchy element.”
Cacao Cashew Butter
The subtle hint of sweetness from the maple syrup, combined with the richness of the cashew nuts, will have you addicted immediately.
“I love this spread generously on sourdough toast or a spoonful on my porridge in the morning,” Zoe enthuses. “You can even add to smoothies.”
Ensure you choose pure quality maple syrup to quell sugar cravings, she adds.
“Chocolate is a common craving people experience, especially around the 3PM slump," Zoe explains. This healthy alternative uses cacao - which is rich in antioxidants and boasts a chocolate flavour.
"Coupled with the sweetness of the honey, you would think you are eating reach chocolate!" She says.
The cashews and almond meal are filling and flavoursome enough to keep cravings at bay!
Zoe is the founder of the Falling In Love With Food online program.