Desserts are always considered the culprit when you diet. The reason for your sudden weight gain is often traced back to your favorite, scrumptious desserts. But even then, you’ll find you’re often tempted to dig into your favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavor from time to time. Are you forced to deny the desire in the interest of good health? Well, don’t worry. Here is the good news. Desserts are not that bad and when consumed in moderation they will never jeopardize your healthy lifestyle. Here are a few surprising health benefits of desserts.
1. Makes You Happy
Depressed? Sad? You will probably reach for an ice cream or something sweet and delicious when you feel down. According to research, sugar minimizes physiological responses normally produced in the brain and body during tough times. Sweets tend to provide immediate relief. But, research suggests that it can be temporary if you consume only refined carbohydrate sources, such as a sugar cookie or candy. Instead, go for desserts containing a complex carbohydrate source. Moreover, chocolate is a good source of tyrosine, which can stimulate the production of dopamine, a chemical that helps control the brain’s pleasure centers. Dark chocolate is particularly rich in theobromine, a natural substance that can stimulate feelings of pleasure.
2. Provides You Nutrients
Surprised? Well, it depends on your choice. As you know, nutritional content varies according to the type of dessert. Avoid those with excessive added sugars or sugar-sweetened varieties. Fruit pies and fresh fruit smoothies are healthy choices. You get ample amounts of protein and calcium from cheesecakes or smoothies made with low-fat milk or yogurt. Fruit salad is another healthy dessert. You can also go for carrot cake or oatmeal cookies sweetened with maple syrup. Look for a dessert with healthy ingredients to reap the maximum benefit.
3. Improves Weight Control
Wondering how can desserts manage your weight? By reducing cravings for unhealthy snacks, desserts help you keep a check on your weight control. For short-term fitness goals, removing desserts seems like a good idea. According to studies, however, those who eat desserts along with a nutritious diet have a bigger chance of success in weight loss. In a study published in “Steroids” in March 2012, 195 obese adults consumed a low-carbohydrate diet or a diet containing the same amount of calories with a sugary dessert. Both groups showed a similar pattern of weight loss within the first six weeks. However, it was observed that those who had a low-carbohydrate diet gained significantly more weight back 16 weeks later than participants who ate desserts. Avoiding sweets completely may lead to binging. Eating a few pieces of candy each day, in fact, helps you control binging without adding too many calories.
How To Stay Healthy Eating Desserts
There is no need to swear off desserts forever. Moderation is key when it comes to desserts. You should learn to balance your indulgences with healthy eating. Quality should be the priority, not quantity. Low-fat milk or yogurt, whole grains, and berries are healthy choices. Consider dessert-time as an opportunity to include more fruits in your diet. Use fruits to top up your desserts. And fruit desserts are the treat you can have without any guilt. Next time, when you choose desserts for your kids, read the nutrition label. Ensure that it has fiber, calcium, or whole grains. Sometimes, you may crave for a special treat. Then, make sure that you burn those extra calories by being more physically active.