A sweet tooth is a double edged sword. On one end, it provides us with delicious, delectable desserts that fill our hearts and satisfy our taste buds after a good meal. On the other end, they are packed with calories that aren’t exactly on the healthy side and can leave our gut chemistry in a painful downward spiral. However, despite these shortcomings, dessert will always be a part of human life – especially in Latin America where, in many cases, sweets are a defining component of food culture.
In this article, we will be highlighting a few popular desserts and declaring one being ‘healthier’ than the other. This way, you can plan your next meal around a late night sweet.
Flan or Arroz con Leche?
Calories: 223 – Sugars: 35g – Protein: 7g – High in calcium and vitamin B-12
Arroz con Leche
Calories: 382 – Sugars: 41g – Protein: 10g – High in calcium
Flan and arroz con leche are among the most popular Latin American desserts around. In this comparison, flan edges out arroz con leche in terms of calories and sugars. Flan is a custard made from condensed and evaporated milk, and topped with a thin layer of soft caramel. Arroz con leche is the Spanish version of rice pudding. Both desserts have a healthy serving of protein and taste just as good as they sound.
Apple Pie or Pumpkin Pie?
Calories: 320 – Sugars: 29g – Protein: 2g – High in fiber, magnesium, and selenium
Calories: 323 – Sugars: 25g – Protein: 5g – High in Vitamin A
These two Thanksgiving day staples are actually quite comparable from a nutrition standpoint. They are both high in vitamins and relatively low in total sugars as far as desserts go. In the end, the slight edge goes to apple pie for the nutritional value that comes from the apples themselves. Pumpkin pie is a bit lacking from that standpoint (but that doesn’t make it any less tasty).
Tres Leches Cupcakes or Queso y Dulce?
Tres Leches Cupcakes
Calories: 280 – Sugars: 28g – Protein: 6g – High in calcium and potassium
Queso y Dulce
Calories: 180 – Sugars: 21g – Protein: 9g – High in calcium
These spectacular treats are each heavy on the dairy, but surprisingly low in calories and sugars. Make no mistake – both desserts are sweet and satisfying in their own right, but won’t make you feel like you’ve got a ball of molten sugar in your stomach. Tres leches is a style of cupcake which mimics the popular Latin American dessert with the same name. Queso y dulce is a sweetened cheese bar which is actually quite low in sugar, which earns it the win in this particular comparison.
Strawberry Ice Cream of Chocolate Ice Cream?
Strawberry Ice Cream
Calories: 254 – Sugars: 35g – Protein: 4g – High in calcium and Vitamin C
Chocolate Ice Cream
Calories: 286 – Sugars: 34g – Protein: 5g – High in calcium
Not surprisingly, chocolate ice cream and strawberry ice cream are fairly comparable when it comes to nutrition facts. The only difference is in the flavoring, which puts chocolate just above strawberry when it comes to calories. If you’re making strawberry ice cream with real strawberries, you’ll get some nutrients and vitamins from the fruit, combined with a high dose of calcium from the heavy cream. So, there you have it! Dessert will always be…well…dessert. No matter how you slice it, indulgence and bodily sacrifice will always be involved when enjoying something sweet at the end of a meal. But, while you’re at it, it’s good to know you’re getting some nutrients and vitamins as well.