The quickest way to make someone on a diet cringe is to mention the word “dessert.” Dessert has been the downfall of many a diet and the last bite often also comes accompanied by thoughts of hitting the gym and putting in some work to prevent it from “going straight to my thighs.”
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We are so used to desserts being a guilty indulgence and bad for our health; but what if this isn’t necessarily the case? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to enjoy dessert without the feeling of guilt and dread?
It might sound too good to be true, but desserts can in fact be healthy for you and here is why.
1. Dessert Can Actually Help You With Your Diet
Ever started a diet only to end up feeling lethargic and foggy? The reason is often that you are in need of glucose and calories to provide you with energy, and the result is often that food cravings start to develop and, after a while, the dieter gives way to binge eating.
This can be prevented by eating a dessert that is rich in carbohydrates, as it will prevent you from feeling as if you are starving your body. It is not a substitute for consuming regular balanced meals, but the occasional dessert will help you to stick to your diet instead of abandoning it completely. After all, what use is a diet if cravings drive you to pack those pounds back on?
2. It’s A Great Excuse To Eat More Fruit
Chances are you are not getting your daily-recommended amount of fruit, and dessert is a great excuse to change that. Not only are fruits very tasty and packed with flavonoids, but adding a generous helping to your dessert will also prevent you from eating too much of the not so good stuff, so it is a win-win situation all around.
Stick to fresh fruit though and not canned or tinned ones for the best results.
3. Sugar Doesn’t Have To Be An Option
We are used to desserts being sweet, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be packed with sugar. Sugarless pumpkin pie, sugar-free rugelach, banana cookies, pumpkin parfait and much more can be whipped up without ever having to reach for that bag of sugar.
By opting for tasty sugar-free desserts, you cut back on all those empty calories while still satisfying your sweet tooth. Also, thanks to the abundance of recipes available, there are endless varieties of sugar free treats to discover and enjoy.
Sound like too much effort? Simply visit the health section of your local shop where you will be sure to find some convenient sugar-free dessert options.
4. Healthy Mind, Healthy Body
One of the reasons why we enjoy dessert so much is because it causes your body to release tryptophan and serotonin. These two well-known chemicals promote positive feelings and serve as mood enhancers.
This also explains why you tend to become a little cranky while dieting and depriving yourself of your favorite desserts. If you feel depressed it is easier to give in to cravings, so instead treat yourself to the occasional dessert to keep your mind happy and your body will reap the benefits, too.
Desserts are definitely not all bad for you and many are actually a surprising source of some great nutrients. For example, a cheesecake or smoothie where the milk has been substituted with yoghurt is actually a great way to get some calcium and probiotics into your body.
Dark chocolate is also a great source of flavonoids when consumed in moderation. In addition, blueberries and strawberries are great sources of antioxidants that can help undo the damage done by free radicals.
Moderation Is Key
Of course, this doesn’t give you an excuse to gorge yourself on dessert at every opportunity and expect to stay healthy. Like in all things, moderation is the key, but there is definitely no reason to deprive yourself. As long as you don’t go overboard, there is no reason to ditch the dessert when opting for a healthier lifestyle.