It's tempting to walk down the aisle at the grocery store and pick out "healthy" desserts to eat to satisfy your sweet tooth, while consoling yourself that they are labeled as healthy. But are they really healthy?
Not to pick on them, but let's look at a Weight Watchers Smart Ones Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Sundae. Mmmmm. Sounds great, doesn't it? Something sweet and decadent and it only has 140 calories, 3g fat and has 2g protein. I could eat these all day since it's healthy, right?
But let's look at the ingredients:
Low Fat Ice Cream Mix (Milk, Stabilizer [Corn Maltodextrin, Whey Protein Concentrate, Milk Protein Concentrate, Guar Gum, Mono & Diglycerides, Polysorbate, Xanthan Gum, Carrageenan], Sugar, Nonfat Milk, Corn Syrup), Fudge Sauce (Corn Syrup, Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Maltodextrin, Cocoa, Modified Cornstarch, Salt, Potassium Sorbate, Vanillin), Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (Wheat Flour, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Butter, Water, Soybean Oil, Chocolate Chips [Sugar, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla Extract], Cornstarch, Molasses, Salt, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Soy Lecithin, Baking Soda), Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumb Crust (Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumbs [Wheat Flour, Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (Sugar Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter, Dextrose, Soy Lecithin, Vanillin), Brown Sugar, Soybean Oil, Sugar, Salt, Sodium Bicarbonate, Natural Flavor, Vanillin, Milk], Apple Juice Concentrate, Corn Maltodextrin, Corn Oil), Artificial Flavor [Propylene Glycol, Artificial Flavors, Glycerin, Corn Syrup, Caramel Color], Caramel Color, Beet Juice (Color).
That's about 65 ingredients, give or take a few. Sugar in its many forms is listed 14 times as an ingredient! These things are FAR from healthy, they are anti-health. Not just because of the sugar, but the fact that there are so many ingredients that you wouldn't find in your pantry but a laboratory. The sugars add up to 16g, and there are 26g of carbohydrates. The reason they only have 140 calories is that a serving size is 2 ounces (60g). For me, that would be about two bites. So yeah, pretty much anything taken in small quantities is going to have a seemingly small number of calories.
So it's actually MORE healthy for you to have a real ice cream sundae. Using FitDay as a calculator, a 2 ounce real ice cream sundae has 159 calories, 8g fat, 21g carbohydrates, and 2g of protein. And about 10 ingredients, all of which you've heard of. Sure it has more fat, but that's one reason why Weight Watchers puts so many of those artificial ingredients in their product, to get the fat grams down. And we now know that saturated fat isn't the enemy, so the Weight Watchers dessert is less healthy than the real alternative. And I'd venture to guess it tastes worse too.
If you want a sundae, eat a small sundae. Eat it slowly, savor every bite. When you're done you're done, don't have seconds. Don't eat them often. Schedule your favorite treat into your healthy eating plan once a week and it won't set your overall progress behind.
So be a smart one and avoid the "healthy" desserts you buy from the store.