Pick dessert like a dietitian with these tips

Giving up sweets can be a big hurdle to jump when you're getting into healthy eating, but it doesn't have to be a hard and fast rule. Atlanta dietitian Nicole German Morgan, RDN, LD, CLT shared some of her favorite desserts and tips as we creep toward the season of trick-or-treating.

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Pay mind to moderation.

"Dessert does not need to be eliminated! The tricky part is figuring out how to have moderation with desserts," said Morgan. Look at portion size when considering the calorie, sugar and fat content of your favorite treats.

Find a healthy twist on your favorite treat.

"My favorite dessert recipe is a 'mug cake,' which is a cake or brownie made and cooked inside of a coffee mug in about five minutes," said Morgan. "I can choose to make it healthy by using protein powder, coconut and stevia. Or I can make it more sinful by using the traditional cake ingredients!" Preparing single-serving desserts is an easy way to ensure that you don't overindulge, too.

Pick a go-to treat at restaurants.

Understanding the nutritional content of your favorite sweets is a great way to keep yourself in line when eating out, too. Ordering a small portion of commonly available items can satisfy a sweet tooth without going crazy on the calories in the process. "My favorite dessert to eat out is and has always been ice cream," said Morgan. "If I can find a custard-style ice cream shop, that is my number one favorite!" Most ice cream shops offer kid-sized cones and other tiny treats for those who don't want to come away too full, so keep an eye out for other neighborhood treats you can consume in moderation, too.