Food for Thought: Kick these killer cravings to the curb

So you have a giant sweet-tooth that seems to have a mind of its own. Finding it hard to say “no thanks” to the pastries and pies of the world? You are not alone. Even as a nutrition student, I find it difficult to resist a donut, cupcake or croissant once and a while. Although I do believe the odd indulgence is completely permissible (as long as you make up for it with you other food choices) I would still encourage a diet generally free of the high-fat white-flour baked and fried goods.

So, what are the primary culprits that should be avoided at all costs?

1. Elephant Ears/Beaver Tails
Call them what you will, these deep-fried, sugar drenched dough pies are a perfect example of a dietary disaster. Not only do they have an increased surface area to soak up all the deep-fryer oil (because the oil is never hot enough to avoid a thorough soak) but consumers of this fare often drown the pastry in syrups, sugars and sweet sauces. The only contender to rival its unhealthy nature is the Elephant Ear's cousin, the Funnel Cake.

2. Butter-cream
I love a nice butter-cream frosting on a celebration cake, but once and a while a cake comes along that has inches and inches of butter- cream with only a small morsel of cake. What's wrong with that? Well, considering that buttercream is made predominantly of butter, and knowing that butter is high in animal fats and cholesterol, then adding in some white sugar you can imagine that a buttercream cake isn't going to be the best thing to put in your body.

3. Pigs in a blanket
This little piggy went “wee wee wee” all the way to the most fattening snack I can think of. Most hotdogs and sausages are the secret hideouts of fat, cholesterol and other mystery animal parts. If that's not appealing enough, the little cylinder of “meat” is encased in a puff pastry of sorts, baked and typically served with a dip. While puff pastry seems innocent, it is packing hundreds of layers of butter that lay between each layer of pastry. This causes the pastry layers to “puff” up as the moisture in the butter turns to steam, while the fat is left to keep the pastry moist and flavourful. This classic favourite is full of hidden punches to your health.

It's a difficult thing to say no to every temptation; to deny every indulgence, but making sure to avoid these red-flagged foods will keep you one step closer to a healthier body. If you keep your taste buds satisfied with flavourful healthy foods (like watermelon or frozen yogurt), the craving will be easier to overcome!