Eating dessert after dinner is a common practice in the US. from ice cream to cake, cookies, and more. The desire for something sweet after a delicious meal is logical. Your satisfaction with a certain taste profile decreases relatively quickly, and changes in taste, temperature, and texture can contribute to greater enjoyment of food. But dessert usually has a bad reputation, which makes people feel guilty for eating it regularly.
You may be wondering if the daily consumption of dessert has significant health consequences? In this article, we will talk about the possible health consequences of regular dessert consumption.
It can improve your relationship with food.
Giving yourself unconditional permission to eat the food you like can improve your relationship with food. If you like dessert, limiting its consumption is likely to only fixate on it. Patricia Pauyo, MD, RDN, owner and founder of Pathway Nutrition LLC, says, “all products fit into the healthy eating schedule, including desserts. The first step that will help you with this is to give yourself permission to eat desserts if and when you want, without feeling guilty.”
When you allow yourself to eat dessert, you can enjoy it and continue your day. You can get enough food and prevent the harmful cycle of limiting consumption for a few days, and then inevitably overeating later. In addition, a 2019 study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion shows that giving unconditional consent to eat through the practice of intuitive eating can increase self-esteem while reducing depression and obsessive-compulsive overeating.
Can give you a boost of nutrients
A wide selection of desserts with a wide range of nutritional properties is offered. According to Pauyo, using fruit in your dessert will increase its antioxidant and fiber content, lowering the risk of illness and enhancing intestinal health.. Choosing desserts with nuts and seeds helps to add healthy fats and proteins that can be beneficial for brain health. The addition of dark chocolate and various spices also promotes health due to their anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, milk-based hot chocolate or yogurt parfait are rich in calcium. You may obtain each of these essential components through specific sweets.
may make you more likely to develop fatty liver
Desserts such as ice cream and pastries tend to be very high in saturated fats, which contribute to the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This condition occurs due to the accumulation of fat in the liver and is often asymptomatic. However, in some people, this can lead to health complications, such as cirrhosis of the liver. Excessive intake of saturated fats can also give you a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
However, more recent research reviews, including a 2020 study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, cast doubt on the validity of these claims. At the same time, dietary guidelines for Americans recommend limiting saturated fat intake to 10% of energy consumed, while the American Heart Association recommends a maximum of 6%. With a 2000 calorie diet, this amounts to 23 or 14 grams per day, respectively.
May increase your risk of heart disease.
The consumption of large amounts of added sugar is associated with cardiovascular disease, as shown by a study published in 2019 in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. According to dietary guidelines for Americans, desserts are one of the main sources of added sugar in the United States.
These guidelines recommend limiting total added sugar intake to 10% of daily energy intake, which is 48 grams or 12 teaspoons for a 2000 calorie diet.
The American Heart Association has stricter guidelines: a maximum of 6 teaspoons a day for women and 9 teaspoons for men. Therefore, it can be helpful to be aware of the types of desserts you have and how they fit into your overall diet. Consider adding a combination of natural sugar and added sugar to add sweetness. If you listen to your body’s signals, you usually don’t want dessert all day, every day. Communicate with your body, and also do not forget to include fruits, vegetables, proteins, unsaturated fats and whole grains in your normal diet.
What to look for in your dessert
When it comes to dessert, you can satisfy your desires while practicing gentle nutrition. Pay attention to what tastes good and makes your body feel good. Tune in to how much the taste, texture, temperature, and quantity satisfy you and how what you eat makes you feel physically. For example, some people may have a stomach ache when eating certain desserts or a large number of them. If you haven’t eaten a lot of fruit or vegetables that day, you may want a lighter dessert based on fruit and yogurt. If you’ve had a hot, delicious dinner, you might want ice cream. If you have a chronic medical condition, such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease, you may need to be especially careful about the saturated fat content in your dessert or added sugar.
Dessert can perfectly fit into a balanced diet. Reducing and remembering your overall diet is more important than obsessing over one dish. By allowing yourself to eat dessert without feeling guilty, you can improve your relationship with food and maintain a sense of satisfaction. If you have chronic diseases that require careful control of the intake of saturated fats and added sugar, consider including in your diet a variety of desserts with different nutritional properties, from fruit to dark chocolate.