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MEDITERRANEAN DIET
Sweets
How to stay in shape without feeling deprived
A sweet every now and then does not hurt and it helps to improve mood. Sweets are definitely not forbidden if you have an active lifestyle and do sports.
And if you sometimes go “overboard” when eating, it really is better to immediately diet the next day to get rid of the excess calories right away
by Novella Pranzo
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Zeppole with pastry cream.
Irresistible for food lovers.
Photo by Dario Ersetti


Zeppole

 

Ingredients for thirty zeppole:

 

For the DOUGH

- 300 g of flour

- 80 g butter

- 6 eggs

- 1/4 liter of water

- a pinch of salt

- extra virgin olive oil or lard for frying

 

 

For the PASTRY CREAM FILLING

- 1/2 liter of milk

- 125 g of sugar

- 4 egg yolks

- 50 g of refined flour

- 1/2 vanilla bean or a little lemon peel (yellow part only)

 

For the GARNISH

- cherries in syrup

- powdered sugar

or, in place of cherries in syrup, garnish with a dollop of chocolate cream sauce, made by mixing 2-3 teaspoons of unsweetened cocoa powder with a little of the cream

 

 

Nutrition facts per 1 zeppola:

 

(Fried in EVO oil with cherries in syrup garnish)

 

- energy: 268 Kcal

- protein: 4 g

- fat: 21.5 g

- saturated fat: 5 g

- carbohydrates: 15.5 g

- sugars: 6 g

- fiber: 0.5 g

- total cholesterol: 69.5 mg

 

 

(Fried in lard with with cherries in syrup garnish)

 

- energy: 267 Kcal

- protein: 4 g

- fat: 21.5 g

- saturated fat: 9 g

- carbohydrates: 15.5 g

- sugars: 6 g

- fiber: 0.5 g

- total cholesterol: 85.5 mg

 

 

 

      Have a sweet YES or have a sweet NO? It is always an open debate.

      But who said that to stay in shape and not gain weight you must sacrifice sweets and not eat them?

      Let’s start by saying that it is important to eat a healthy and varied diet, and to be attentive to the quality and quantity of food according to the individual and their lifestyle. People who are active, do sports, and walk or ride a bicycle regularly will surely allow themselves more satisfying food than those with a sedentary lifestyle. In any case, a sweet every once in a while, especially when eaten at the right time of the day, is not fattening. The secret lies in being able to control your intake: enjoying a little bit of sweet pastry or a small piece of cake is one thing, overindulging is another. Letting yourself occasionally enjoy the sin of gluttony helps you to adhere to a healthy diet or stay on a diet and keeps your morale up. Too much rigidity is counterproductive because that can only lead to hunger pangs which in turn lead to overeating.

      In theory you could even eat a cake a day without gaining weight. Clearly it depends on the type of cake and “when” it is consumed. Breakfast time is perfect: a slice of pie or plum cake, preferably home-made with genuine, simple ingredients goes together well with a cup of milk.

      The ideal time to give in to the daily urge for something sweet, without fear of seeing the needle on the scale go up, is in the morning. In fact, in the early hours of the day, sugar is burned off more quickly. If you have a sweet tooth, breakfast is the most conducive meal to indulge it.

      If sweets are eaten after lunch, maybe it would be appropriate to decrease the serving size of the first course.

      In the evening, however, one would be better off not eating sweets because at the end of the day metabolic activity is low and thus any calories consumed are transformed mainly into fat. Of course, for a special occasion you can make an exception to the rule but do not let it become a habit, and you need to pay attention to the quantity you consume. If you are in a period of intensive study or work, and you are busy in the evenings, it could help to eat something sweet after dinner, like a piece of chocolate, even better if it is dark.

      In any case it is inconceivable to never go “overboard”. The important thing is knowing how to “cut down” as soon as possible. If today you allow yourself more calories, than tomorrow you have to make some small sacrifice: cut down on carbohydrates or, if you can, replace your evening meal with two glasses of water and one or two apples, chewed slowly. A minimum of satiety is assured and the next day you can already return to your normal diet.

      One last tip: avoid, if possible, prepackaged sweets, snacks and those desserts full of preservatives. They are high in fat or harmful hydrogenated vegetable fats, such as coconut oil or palm oil. If you are going to have something sweet to eat, choose homemade cakes or freshly made pastries of top quality, like the irresistible zeppole proposed in this issue of Bridge.

 

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