Who here doesn’t love dessert? It makes any great meal even better – and it can save a meal that just didn’t taste well! However, is it healthy to reach for dessert after your dinner?
I mean, come on – are there really any healthy dessert options? It seems like everything is sugary and sweet and loaded with calories, there’s no way that it can be a healthy part of your diet, right? Not even just thinking of the calories that you consume when reaching for that slice of pie or cheesecake, but what about the increased risk of Type 2 diabetes or cancer from all of the sugars? Or the saturated fats that can put a strain on your heart?
Is Dessert Healthy?
It seems like it is a pretty open and shut case, but this article I read recently on Time magazine’s website has me thinking otherwise. According to the article, recent studies are suggesting that it is OK to have dessert every once in a while, and they don’t just mean the healthy kind (fresh fruit or something similarly low calorie), but the indulgent kind that you’re craving. When it is used strategically, it can actually be a good part of your diet – just don’t overdo it. This doesn’t mean that you can have dessert every night, but on a somewhat frequent basis, it can be OK.
How Dessert Choice Affects Your Diet
The biggest takeaway that I took from the article is the timing of making your dessert choice can play a big part in how healthy you eat. If you were to choose a decadent dessert at the beginning of your meal – instead of when you’ve already finished your meal – you are more likely to choose a lighter option for your entree. If you know that you’re going to be having a huge hot fudge sundae or a rich piece of cheesecake or something similarly rich and decadent, you will probably go lighter on your entree choice. If you wait until after you finish your meal to decide on dessert, after already eating a large or unhealthy entree, you’re probably still going to be craving something sweet and end up overdoing it with your entree and dessert.
Related reading: If you need some help curbing your appetite and boosting your metabolism, check out the Phen24 diet pill reviewed here.
The thinking behind this is, according to an assistant professor of marketing and cognitive science at the University of Arizona, if something healthy is chosen first, then you have more license to stray away from your diet when it comes to the dessert portion. If you make that unhealthy dessert choice before you order your entree, you are more likely to cut back on the calories on your meal choice.
How Dessert Can Benefit You
Another thing I took away from the article is that dessert can actually be helpful! While it is not the most healthy option, in terms of calories, sugars, and fats, a lot of the food that make up common dessert options actually do have properties that can be beneficial. For instance, many contain sugars and proteins that can aid in muscle recovery. For this reason, some experts even recommend having a dessert after a tough workout as to aid in the recuperation of your muscles.
On top of the health properties that dessert foods provide, the timing of having a sweet can also be beneficial. By this, I mean that having a dessert sprinkled into your dieting schedule can actually be helpful. If you are on a low-calorie, low-carb diet that pretty much restricts eating anything but those kinds of options, then you will find that you will have a lot of cravings for unhealthy snacks and junk food. If you schedule in some indulgence every now and then, you will be more satisfied and have fewer cravings, knowing that you have a sweet snack coming up in the schedule.
In addition to giving you something to look forward to, having indulgences on a moderate basis can also help to reduce your cravings by re-wiring your brain and tastebuds to crave sugary foods less. It will take time and effort, but after enough consistency over a prolonged period, you will find that you just don’t have the urges to binge on sugar like you used to. If you need help to reduce those cravings, I would also suggest trying out a diet pill like PhenQ (which I discuss here) that helps to suppress your appetite.
Should you have dessert at every meal? Absolutely not. But can you have it every once in a while? Absolutely! While it generally is poor for your health in terms of the fat and sugar content, sprinkling it into your meal plan every once in a while can be a great way to reduce your cravings overall. It can give you extra motivation to stick to your diet, knowing that you have a reward coming up later where you can indulge yourself. So go ahead, have that piece of cheesecake – just not every day!