Guilty pleasures food. We all have our favorites and we might feel guilty for eating them. Not all foods and drinks are good for you and that doesn’t mean you can’t eat them. I’m here to share a few foods that are quite indulgent, shouldn’t be seen as guilty and can even be healthy for you.

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As an intuitive eating coach, I teach my clients to eat all foods. No foods should be off limits or restricted from your diet.

When we attach the word guilty or reward to food, we eliminate the food from our diet but cravings for it will still exist. We might try to sneak it when no one is looking or binge eat it in secret making it a guilty act. When you restrict food from your diet, you are thinking the food is bad.

Intuitive eating is all about eating all foods, not restricting any foods from your diet, savoring every mouthful of food and being self aware of your hunger cues.

So there’s no need to feel guilty any more with foods that might be considered guilty pleasures food.

Guilty Pleasures Foods that are Healthy too

There are in fact a selection of foods and drinks that might be considered someone’s guilty pleasure but they are actually healthy for you too. Here’s just a few.

Dark chocolate

Chocolate is made from the seed of the cacao tree which is considered to be one of the highest sources of antioxidants.

variety of chocolate including dark chocolate

Dark chocolate with a high cocoa content of over 70% is considered to be full of so many minerals and fiber. Milk chocolate and white chocolate is higher in fat and sugar and even though dark chocolate might be healthier, it does also contain sugar. Remember to savor every bite and enjoy it and never deprive yourself of it.

Coffee

One of those ongoing debates about whether drinking coffee is good for you. Latest findings indicate that up to 5 cups of coffee per day could in fact be quite beneficial for your health. It may lower your risk of heart disease.

There are of course side affects associated with drinking too much coffee and that could be from too much caffeine and too much sugar if you take sugar with your coffee. If in doubt, always check with your GP or book in a FREE 30 minute consultation with me to discuss your specific concerns.

Tea

Tea is the same as coffee above. It does contain a certain amount of caffeine so should be enjoyed in moderation. There are some herbal teas that taste absolutely delicious and are caffeine free. I also highly recommend a range of adaptogen teas that not only taste delicious but help to reduce stress naturally, as well as having other health benefits.

Nuts & Nut Butters

I’m covering all bases here with your choice of nut. Nuts are very high in minerals, antioxidants and may even lower cholesterol.

When nuts are blended on high speed in a food processor, they break down and the natural oils help to create a smooth butter. No need to add cocoa powder or sugar like the commercially hazelnut spreads, for example. If you have a food processor, try it for a delicious indulgence.

variety of homemade nut butters

Spread on whole wheat toast, on pancakes, used in baked goods, eaten as is or indulgently licked off the spoon. Enjoy such nuts as almond, cashews, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, macadamia nuts and pine nuts.

Waffles & Pancakes

Who doesn’t love waffles and pancakes at home or out at a restaurant. If you have a waffle maker waffles are easy to make at home and pancakes are easy any time of the day. If you use whole wheat flour and keep sugar low, they are actually a healthy breakfast option.

I always have a box of this high protein pancake mix in my pantry for a pancake indulgence. Top with fresh fruit, Greek yoghurt (for an extra protein boost), maple syrup and or melted chocolate.

Ice Cream

Who doesn’t love ice cream. It should never be an off limits food. A little full fat, high sugar ice cream isn’t going to hurt occasionally but you can make a delicious ice cream from 100% frozen bananas. I’m not kidding!

Just blend frozen bananas until smooth. Feel free to add your other frozen fruit like strawberries, blueberries and scoop into a cone. (Don’t tell the kids it’s 100% banana or good for you.)

If you’re looking for an extra indulgent, lower calorie ice cream option, check out gelato or frozen yoghurt for an even healthier but still indulgent option. Check the labels for sugar and fat content to keep it healthy.

French Fries

Absolutely nothing wrong with any vegetable cut into a long shoestring shape, ie until it is deep fried. And of course, deep fried French Fries are perfectly fine but for an even heatlhier version, bake the vegetables, eg potato, sweet potato, carrot, zucchini, beetroot etc in the oven.

homemade sweet potato fries in a basket

Toss in a little olive oil and spread evenly on a cookie sheet. Toss with dried herbs, salt and pepper or other seasonings of your choice. If you have an air fryer, even better.

Cookies & Cake

Buying cookies, cake or brownies from the store is perfect for a guilty pleasure. If you bake, you could make a much healthier version by using whole wheat flour and as little refined sugar as possible.

tray of healthy energy balls

There are plenty of natural sweeteners on the market so google recipes for low sugar and whole wheat cakes and cookies. Have you tried energy balls? They are a sweet, delicious little ball of a cross between a cake and a cookie.

There’s no baking involved and you can add a whole range of healthy goodness. Check out my round up of energy ball recipes.

Conclusion

Please don’t think that I’m saying to restrict the unhealthy version of your favorite indulgent foods or, alternatively, eat more of the healthier guilty pleasure. You owe it to your own health and wellness to practice gentle nutrition and trying to find a naturally healthier version of your favourite foods can only help towards long term nutritious living.

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