Be Healthy…Eat Dessert!

dessert table
If eating healthy was easy, everybody would be doing it! Sticking with a healthy eating plan is hard work. There is no way around that, but for many it means giving up the foods that they love the most. But, you don’t have to do that!

If you are limiting yourself so much that healthy eating becomes more of a hindrance than a help, then your good habits won’t last long. So what does this mean? You can still eat dessert– and enjoy it! Learn some smart substitutions to make your dessert a healthy part of your day.

The key to including dessert is to enjoy that sweet treat without overloading on calories, fat, and sugar. Desserts can often make it hard to maintain a healthy weight. But who wants to give up their favorite foods? Willpower is hard to fight against. As with many things in life, moderation is key, so you’ll need to stop yourself before you overindulge. Try sensible portions; you can eat 1 slice of pie and still be in your calorie range for the day.

Not every chocolate cake or banana nut muffin is created equal. Look for things without a lot of butter, nuts, or creamy frosting. Since feeling guilty can ruin a good meal, why not try some of our ideas instead of your “regular” desserts?

Try:

  • A frozen 100% juice bar
  • A low-fat cookie (check ingredients for natural low fat)
  • Fresh berries with low fat creamer
  • A few pieces of chocolate
  • Frozen grapes
  • Angel food cake
  • Pudding made with skim milk
  • Nondairy frozen dessert
  • Low fat ice cream or sorbet
  • Pieces of fruit

If you are the one doing the cooking, there are lots of ways to make your favorite recipes healthier.

Use:

  • Egg substitutes or egg whites instead of whole eggs.
  • Apple sauce or prune puree instead of oil when baking to naturally trap moisture into your cakes and breads.
  • Less sugar. A lot of recipes call for much more sugar than is needed. You might even like it better!
  • Fruit-based desserts. Although you still have to be careful, these desserts often have less calories and fat than a chocolate or cream based one.

How Depression Is Different In Black Men

smiling blindfolded african american businessman(BlackDoctor.org) — Of the 11 million Americans diagnosed with clinical depression every year, less than 1 in 10 were men; and an even larger percentage of people actively seeking treatment for this problem were women. Likewise, the majority of reported suicide attempts were made by women, but 80 percent of the people who actually died by suicide were men.

As researchers began to dig a little deeper, trying to understand this apparent contradiction, it gradually became clear that depression is just as common among men, but men simply weren’t seeking or receiving treatment in proportion to their numbers. Many factors, including both cultural stereotypes and biological differences, made men less likely to report symptoms of depression, and their health professionals less likely to identify the problems they did report as symptoms of depression.

This situation has changed quite a bit recently. Last year, more than six million men were diagnosed with depression. But many men (and the people around them) may still have trouble recognizing that their problems are caused by depression that needs to be treated. Here are some things you need to know to avoid this problem.

Depression can look different in men.

Most experts believe that although the basic symptoms of depression are very similar in men and women, men express them very differently. Here are the differences most often seen:

  • Depressed men are more likely to notice and report the physical symptoms of depression:
    • Tiredness
    • Sleep problems (trouble falling or staying asleep, insomnia, sleeping more)
    • Lack of energy
    • Changes in appetite (increased or decreased)
    • Chronic muscle tension
  • Depressed men are less likely to exhibit and report the emotional symptoms of depression. This may be due mostly to cultural stereotypes that view the expression of certain emotions as “feminine.” In some cases, men may be aware of their feelings of sadness, hopelessness and guilt, but feel compelled not to talk about them. In others, these feelings may be suppressed and go unrecognized. In either case, depression may go unrecognized because the tell-tale symptom of low mood appears to be missing.
  • Depressed men are more likely to display behavioral signs that aren’t easily recognized as signs of depression:
    • Unusual degrees of irritability, anger, and/or aggression
    • Blaming others for problems
    • Alcohol and drug abuse
    • Attempt to manage their moods by taking on more activities, like working overtime
    • Engaging in high-risk behaviors such as dangerous sports, gambling, or compulsive sexual activity
  • Depressed men are less likely to display the behavioral signs that are commonly associated with depression, such as spontaneous crying, loss of interest in usual activities, and thoughts or talk of death or suicide.

These patterns are not rigid. Many men will experience the same basic symptoms common among women, just as women may experience the symptom patterns described above. And any given individual may experience a combination of “male” and “female” symptoms.

If you or someone you know seems to be experiencing unusual or unexplained increases in the physical or behavioral problems mentioned above for two weeks or more, talk to your doctor. There’s a good chance that those problems are signs of depression, and effective treatments are available.