Joy Bauer

Too good to be healthy? Not these treats!

April 3, 2012 at 1:00 PM ET

This morning on TODAY, Joy Bauer launched her new series "Too Good To Be Healthy." In it, she'll be sharing her picks for foods that that help you manage your weight -- and taste great, too! 

Mrs. May's Almond Crunch

Made from with almonds and just 3 other simple ingredients, these natural, crunchy nut clusters are just slightly sweet (3 grams sugar per serving) - and majorly delicious. Grab a handful during an afternoon slump and you'll feel energized, satisfied, and glad you didn't reach for a candy bar. I love that they're available in most airports - they're my go-to plane snack!

Nutrition information (6 pieces)

Calories 156

Total Fat 13g (1g saturated)

Carbohydrate 8g

Dietary Fiber 3g

Sugars 3g

Protein 5g

Canyon Bakehouse Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread

This whole-grain bread is made with brown rice flour and other healthy, natural ingredients like sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and extra virgin olive oil…and flavored with plump raisins and warm, cozy cinnamon. And it's one of the moistest gluten-free breads I've tried. Pop a slice in the toaster and top with your favorite spread such as peanut/almond butter - or the Laughing Cow cream cheese wedges we have coming up next - for a tasty breakfast or snack.

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Nutrition information (1 Slice)

Calories 90

Total Fat 1.5g (no saturated or trans)

Carbohydrate 19g

Dietary Fiber 2g

Sugars 5g

Protein 2g

Laughing Cow "1/3 Less Fat" Cream Cheese Spread Wedges

The typical person tops their bagel with nearly ¼ cup cream cheese, which slathers on a whopping 200 calories and lots of unhealthy fat -- so these pre-portioned wedges from Laughing Cow will automatically help you keep your breakfast on the light side. They're made with "1/3 less fat" and have just 45 calories per mini-wedge. The “plain” and “garden vegetable” flavors are both terrific picks (heads up: the “strawberry” and “cinnamon” varieties contain the artificial sweetener aspartame).

Nutrition information (1 wedge)

Calories 45

Total fat 4g (2.5g saturated)

Carbohydrate: 2g

Dietary Fiber 0 g

Sugars 1g

Protein 2g

Sunsweet "Dark Chocolate" SunSweets

These bite size pieces of dried plums (a.k.a. prunes!), coated in rich, dark chocolate are the perfect indulgence. Creamy on the outside and chewy on the inside, these treats will satisfy your sweet tooth while giving you a little burst of nutrition from the dried fruit. Plus, you get a double shot of antioxidants from the prunes and the dark chocolate. Best of all, they are just as tasty as the expensive chocolates sold in candies store at a much lower price!

Nutrition information (14 pieces)

Calories 120

Total Fat 6 g (3 g saturated)

Carbohydrate 19 g

Dietary Fiber 0 g

Sugars 13 g

Protein 1 g

Turkey Perky Jerky

Jerky often gets a bad rap -- most brands are highly processed and loaded with salt, sugar (!), and preservatives. But this one is a different story. It's made with ultra-lean turkey breast, and has just 50 calories and 110 mg sodium per ounce (but a pack is 2 ounces and you'll definitely end up eating the whole thing, so you'll need to double the stats) - and since it's almost pure protein, it's the ideal snack to squash your hunger. It's a terrific healthy, portable munchie (great for travel or toting to work). And rest assured, there are no preservatives, nitrates, or MSG.

But why is this jerky "perky"? It contains guarana, a stimulant that delivers about 40 mg of caffeine in a 1 oz serving (about the same dose as a can of cola). Which means you can nibble on jerky instead of grabbing your usual Diet Coke when you need a little afternoon pick-me-up.

Nutrition information (1 oz)

Calories 50

Total Fat 0 g

Carbohydrate 2 g

Dietary Fiber 0 g

Sugars 2 g

Protein 9 g

Sodium 110 mg

Joys Ricotta-Mushroom Pita Pizza

You won't miss that cheesy Sicilian slice from your local pizzeria after you try this ricotta-mushroom pie. By using a pita bread as the crust, I create a delicious personal pizza that's perfectly portion-controlled. Healthy comfort food at its best!

1 full-size, whole-grain pita bread (about 150 calories)

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Kosher salt

Black pepper

3 tablespoons part-skim ricotta cheese

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Place the pita bread (closed, do not cut open) on the baking sheet and mist the surface with oil spray. Toast the bread in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, coat a small skillet with oil spray and preheat over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Season with the garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.

Spread the ricotta cheese evenly over the toasted pita bread. Top with the sautéed mushrooms, and sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes, if using (sprinkle lightly-they're very hot!). Bake the pizza for 8 minutes.

Nutrition information

Calories 225

Protein 16 g

Total Fat 5 g

Saturated Fat 2.5 g

Cholesterol 20 mg

Sodium 425 mg

Carbohydrate 38 g

Fiber 7 g

For more info on healthy eats, visit joybauer.com and follow Joy on Facebook and Twitter.

Also by Joy Bauer:

Popcorn as healthy as veggies? Depends on how you pop it

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