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For some, desserts can be the best part of a meal. Especially for those with a sweet tooth, ending your meal with something sweet and satisfying can be a perfect finale for a delicious repast. But as enjoyable as it is to eat dessert, unfortunately, many options can leave us feeling depleted of energy and sluggish from that after-sugar crash. This is, of course, not to mention the unwanted empty calories and loads of unhealthy fats that so many pre-packaged desserts found on grocery store shelves are made with. But what about healthy dessert options you can find at the store as well?

With an overall lack of nutritional value and ingredients packed with added sugars and saturated fats, certain desserts can produce some seriously unwanted side effects. The good news is, there are some great options lining grocery store shelves that tick not only your need for great taste, but the ultimate requirements to fit in a healthy lifestyle.

How to pick a healthy dessert

Finding a healthy dessert may mean different things for different people. For people who are managing a diabetes diagnosis, they will likely want to keep their added sugar intake as low as possible. And for those who are focused on gut health, finding choices that contain prebiotic fiber will be their best-bet.

Generally speaking, here are some criteria to follow for finding healthy store-bought desserts:

  • Keep the added sugar content low. Anything that contains more than 8 grams of sugar may not be the best dessert choice for people following a healthy diet.
  • Limit choices: Avoid options that have a high quantity of saturated fat.
  • Look for natural ingredients: Opt for choices that are free from artificial colors and flavors.
  • Opt for added benefits: When possible, choose desserts that contains prebiotics, probiotics, or both to support gut health.

And perhaps the most important aspect when choosing a healthy dessert is to make sure that it tastes good. Because after all, if a dessert isn’t enjoyable to eat, what’s the point?

RELATED: The Most Popular Dessert in Every State 

The Best Healthy Desserts On The Grocery Shelves

Halo Top Chocolate Ice Cream Cake dessert
Halo Top

PER SERVING (⅔ cup): 120 calories, 3.5 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 100 mg sodium, 23 g carbs (6 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 6 g protein

When a chocolate craving strikes, Halo Top Chocolate Cake Ice Cream Cake pints are the ultimate chocolate-lover’s dream. A lower-calorie, lower-sugar light ice cream with 18 grams of protein per pint, Chocolate Ice Cream Cake is perfect for dessert-time, snack-time, or celebration-time. With rich white icing, creamy chocolate ice cream, and that nostalgic ice cream cake flavor, this ice cream checks all of the boxes.

RELATED: 9 Healthier Ice Creams That Actually Taste Good, Say Dietitians

that's it dark chocolate fig truffles
That’s it

PER SERVING (3 truffles): 70 calories, 1 g fat (1 g saturated fat) 0 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (4 g fiber, 11 g sugar), <1g protein

Organic figs and organic dark chocolate—to quote the brand name, that’s it! These powerful little plant-based bites are the perfect go-to for when you need that little sweet fix. With these truffles, you can rest assured that you’re not sacrificing any nutritional value, as these babies are loaded with fiber, only 1 gram of added sugars, and less than 25 calories per truffle. Snack on!

KIND soft baked bars
Courtesy of Amazon

PER SERVING (1 bar): 180 calories, 12 g fat (2 g saturated fat) 140 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (4 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 5 g protein

KIND Soft Baked Squares offer that satisfying sweetness in every bite while—and here’s where they get sneaky—serving up to 14 or more finely ground almonds in every bite for added nutritional value. These gluten-free bars are made with almond flour and offer 5 grams of protein with every square to keep you filled and energized throughout your day.

Next by Nature dark chocolate cashews
Courtesy of Next Organics

PER SERVING (12 pieces): 200 calories, 15 g fat, (6 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium,  20 g carbs (2 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 4 g protein

Packed with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, cashews have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease. Additionally, cashews are a source of magnesium and can aid in muscle and nerve health. Add dark chocolate for that extra sweet kick, you’ve got yourself the perfect dessert that satisfies your sweet tooth while providing you ample nutrition. With Next by Nature, 4 grams of protein help keep you full until your next meal.

Endangered species orange dark chocolate dessert
Courtesy of Endangered Species

PER SERVING (1oz.): 160 calories, 11 g fat, (6 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (2 g fiber, 11 g sugar), 2 g protein

Believe it or not, dark chocolate is a source of antioxidants, magnesium, and many other beneficial features. This fair-trade Endangered Species Orange + 60% Dark Chocolate bar (and many of their other dark chocolate options) provide those essential nutrients all within an aromatic and undeniably delicious bar. This is not to mention that every Endangered Species bar benefits a different charitable cause—in this case, we’re supporting the plight of our endangered coral reefs.

RELATED: 13 Chocolate Brands That Use the Highest Quality Ingredients

zespri sungold kiwi
Courtesy of Zespri

PER SERVING (2 kiwis): 100 calories, 0 g fat, (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 26 g carbs (2 g fiber, 20 g sugar), 2 g protein

Zespri SunGold Kiwis are deliciously sweet golden kiwifruit with smooth hairless skin and juicy yellow flesh. These kiwis provide the complete package of feel-good nutrition, with more than 20 vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin E, and antioxidants. In fact, Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit offers more than 100% of your daily vitamin C needs in just one kiwifruit.

Brookside pomegranate
Courtesy of Hersheyland

PER SERVING (12 pieces): 120 calories, 5 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 40 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (1 g fiber, 18 g sugar), <1 g protein

Rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, pomegranates are a healthy way to satisfy your sugar cravings. With these Brookside Chocolate Covered Pomegranates, you can ensure that you’re not ingesting any artificial flavors or colors, just the perfect heavenly combination of dark chocolate and pomegranate—truly, a divine flavor duo.

brownie brittle
Courtesy of Sheila G’s

PER SERVING (1 pack): 120 calories, 4.5 g fat, (2.5 g saturated fat), 75 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (1 g fiber, 14 g sugar), 1 g protein

Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle is all about helping you along your portion control journey. Sheila’s family recipe is now widely available for all, and with the help of perfectly portioned snack packs, you’ll be able to indulge while knowing you aren’t overindulging. While it seems like a good idea to keep on snacking before our brains alert us that we’re full to the brim, portioning out your sweets is a great way to ensure that you’re satisfying both your cravings and hunger without feeling sick or slogged after overconsumption.

solely whole fruit gummies dessert
Courtesy of Walmart

PER SERVING (1 pouch): 70 calories, 0 g fat, (0 g saturated fat), 14 g carbs (1 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 0 g protein

Three ingredients—that’s all, folks. Made from organic mango, orange extract, and ascorbic acid (aka, vitamin C), you’re getting the ultimate gummy consistency and flavor while not sacrificing your nutritional morals. In just one pack, you’re receiving 4% of your daily potassium and a whopping 360% of your daily vitamin C intake. These snack packs also make the perfect addition to your child’s lunch box. The power of fruit, indeed!

olipop root beer
Courtesy of Olipop

PER SERVING (1 can): 35 calories, 0 g fat, (0 g sat fat), 25 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (9 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 0 g protein

Combine OLIPOP Classic Root Beer with a small scoop of light vanilla frozen yogurt for the ultimate taste of nostalgia. Unlike traditional root beer, the OLIPOP variety boasts a whopping 9 grams of prebiotic fiber, and it has far less added sugar too (only 2 grams per can, to be exact). And best of all? It is free from any questionable artificial colors and flavors. Oh yeah, and it tastes awesome.

RELATED: 25 Healthy, Low-Sugar Soda Alternatives

dole whip frozen dessert
Courtesy of Giant Food

PER SERVING: 110 calories, 5 g fat, (4.5 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 13 g carbs (1 g fiber, 11 g sugar), 1 g protein

Dole Whip Frozen Treat is made with real fruit, sweetened with honey, and contains no artificial ingredients. The tasty treat comes in three delicious flavors: pineapple, mango, and strawberry.



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