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How to Order Healthy Desserts at Restaurants

Everyone is looking for ways to have their cake and eat it, too. Use these tips to find the most waist-friendly option for satisfying your sweet tooth.


  • Step 1: Go light Browse menus for dessert options labeled as "low-fat," "low-calorie," "light," or "heart-healthy." Many restaurants highlight these options on their menu.
  • Step 2: Seek low-fat dairy Opt for a sorbet or frozen yogurt, when available, which packs far fewer calories and less fat than ice cream.
  • TIP: Limit yourself to a single scoop of regular ice cream to control calories if low-fat options are not available.
  • Step 3: Look for mini-desserts Look for a dessert among the growing trend of mini-desserts now offered at many restaurants. Sometimes served in a shot glass, these one-hit wonders seem indulgent but are reasonable to eat because a smaller size equals fewer calories.
  • Step 4: Be creative Read the menu creatively. If low-fat desserts are not an option, order a fruit cup instead. Eating fresh fruit is one of the healthiest dessert options available.
  • Step 5: Skip the toppings Cut out a lot of fat and calories by foregoing the chocolate sauce, caramel, and whipped cream. Eat the cookie, but hold the sugar and fat explosion served on the top.
  • Step 6: Split the dish Split the dessert with your dining partner if all else fails. That way you don't have to say "no," but you also get to cut the calories in half.
  • FACT: The U.S. is among the world's largest sugar producers, manufacturing sugar from both sugarcane and sugar beet crops.

You Will Need

  • Ability to discern healthy foods
  • Portion-size control

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