Should I have dessert? This is certainly a question that resonates in our mind every time we finish a satisfying meal, but still have just enough room for dessert… Sure, eating in moderation is a mantra that seems to echo in our ears every time we’re nibbling on our favourite sweet treats.
Do gooey molten lava cakes make your heart skip a beat? Are cupcakes topped with rainbow sprinkles some of your biggest vices? Despite what you may have heard or thought, your deep love and appreciation for desserts can actually benefit your health. Sciacca Grill wanted to explore legitimate reasons you should have your cake and eat it too – literally!
1. It makes for a good breakfast
First thing’s first. Breakfast is the most important thing of the day, so why not start your day with something you love? Believe it or not, having dessert for breakfast can actually help you lose weight. According to researchers at the Tel Aviv University’s Wolfson Medical Centre, eating desserts for breakfast can help non-diabetic obese people lose weight.
The study was conducted about 200 obese non-diabetic adults. Some consumed a large, 600-calorie breakfast followed by a slice of cake or cookie, whereas others ate a 300-calorie protein-rich breakfast of egg whites, tuna, cheese and milk. Both groups were found to have lost over 12 kilos per person. But, in the subsequent four months, it was found that the high-protein group had regained over half the weight loss back, while the sweet-happy group continued to shed weight. Researchers attributed this to the reduced cravings, which made the subjects less hungry throughout the day.
2. A few bites is all it takes
Surely you don’t eat an entire cake by yourself. You probably eat a slice, if that. And this makes sense. You needn’t eat a massive chunk to enjoy the flavour. Often, just a few bites should prove to be enough to satisfy the strongest cravings. To make sure you enjoy your cake maintain a healthy lifestyle, make portion control a regular practice.
Focusing on portion control, lets us avoid potential bouts of binge eating, which means avoiding that generous slice of pie or devouring four or five cookies in one sitting. This allows you to watch your waistline and stay in shape while you satiate your taste buds.
3. Remember sharing is caring, after all
So, you’re on strict(ish) diet but can’t seem to control your craving for a tiramisu? Well, fret not! You can have your tiramisu and eat it too. Simply share it with your dad, partner, friend or even a colleague. This way you don’t miss out on dessert, plus you cut the calorie intake by half. Additionally, you earn some brownie (yum, brownie!) points with the person you share your sweet nothings with.
4. It can prevent a stroke
Get this: consuming a little bit of dark chocolate everyday can actually help reduce the risk of stroke in the long run. As per a 10-year study conducted on 37,000 Swedish men, all aged between 45 to 79 years and without any cardiovascular diseases, it was found that those who ate some amount of dark chocolate regularly were 17% less likely to suffer a stroke than those who didn’t.
It’s good to opt for the chocolate that contains 65 to 70% cocoa. Additionally, you should check the ingredient list to gauge the sugar and milk content. So now you have a healthy excuse to look for the best-quality dark chocolate and eat it on a daily basis without feeling guilty about it.
5. Believe it or not, it could help you lose weight!
Studies have shown that adults who indulge in dessert but eat an otherwise nutritious diet have a greater chance of producing long-term success in weight loss. This is because the body responds to small amounts of desserts that satisfy cravings by satiating its own appetite for them. Balancing your indulgences with healthier eating and regular exercise is more likely to lead to diet success than completely eliminating them. Interestingly, desserts are packed with nutrients.
There’s a reason why your body craves certain delicious desserts. Low carb diets often overlook the fact that carbohydrates are an essential nutrient for the body. While desserts may not be the healthiest form of carbohydrates, the right indulgences can fuel your body and mind. Indulging in your favourite dessert alters your mind and body in positive ways.
6. It inspires you to be active
Since you know what you’re eating when you indulge, you can also make the conscious decision to work it off afterwards. If you can’t live without dessert, one way to balance your sugar intake is to stay active during the day and maintain a diet low in other added sugars. Taking a stroll during lunch or hitting the gym after work can lead to a whole bundle of other health benefits, too. So what if you had that brownie after dinner – you deserved it!
7. Dessert makes you happier
Admit it, eating dessert makes life more enjoyable and your day better. Have you ever taken a bite of your favourite dessert and felt instantly transported to a higher level of happiness? We can understand that feeling all too well. Foods that have a naturally high percentage of carbohydrates help the brain and body produce chemicals (such as serotonin) that contribute to overall emotional well-being.
If like us you’re a passionate dessert-lover, there doesn’t need to be an occasion or the time of the year to indulge in dessert. It’s all about feeding the soul with food that makes you feel like you’ve found Heaven on earth. Go ahead, live a little, have some dessert!